EPSCO Council: Make the European Pillar of Social Rights real

ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini has written to all Employment Ministers urging them not to dilute the Commission proposals and “adopt a meaningful general approach” on the 2 Directives up for discussion at the EPSCO Council on Thursday.

The letter states that the Directives on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions and Work Life Balance are both “crucial to working people across Europe and their trade unions.”

The existing EU legal and institutional framework fails to sufficiently address challenges faced by its citizens and does not provide adequate solutions for the needs of modern societies.”

Concerning the draft Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions the coverage must be the broadest possible. There should be no stepping back on the CJEU definition of worker. This Directive must apply to the private and the public sector alike and it needs to be future-proof and cover workers in different forms of work, as well the most precarious. These are exactly the categories who should receive protection through this proposal and should not be exempted from it. “

With respect to the Directive on Work-Life Balance, the general approach should maintain an adequate payment of all leave arrangements proposed and non-transferability of parental leave should be ensured, as well as the right to request flexible working conditions and adequate protections of workers against dismissal.

All EU Heads of State and Governments, together with the EU Institutions, proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights in Gothenburg in November 2017 and these Directives are the first concrete deliverables that would transform the principles of the Pillar into reality, providing concrete improvements to the living and working lives of millions of workers. More than a year after its publication and one year from the 2019 European elections, it is now time to take responsibility and ensure that citizens recover trust in the European project and its social dimension.”

We need to communicate that the reported new social direction for Europe is real and that the European Pillar of Social rights will materialise in tangible rights for the workers in Europe in these two Directives.”

The proposed Directives include provisions

  • to improve working conditions by promoting more secure and predictable employment
  • improving equal sharing of work and care between women and men, by introducing minimum standards for paid paternity leave, paid parental leave, carers’ leave and flexible working arrangements for parents and carers

Letter to EPSCO Council Ministers:  "Make the European Pillar of Social Rights real – Adopt a meaningful general approach for the Work-Life Balance and Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directives" https://www.etuc.org/en/node/17085

Open letter: It’s in your hands – the fate of working parents and carers across Europe depends on you https://www.etuc.org/en/node/17078  

Link to previous PRs on both Directives:
Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions: a first major step forward but weaker than expected https://www.etuc.org/en/pressrelease/directive-transparent-and-predictable-working-conditions-first-major-step-forward Time to deliver on women's rights: YES to the work-life balance directive! https://www.etuc.org/en/pressrelease/time-deliver-womens-rights-yes-work-life-balance-directive