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Principle 7

Information about employment conditions and protection in case of dismissals

The European Semester has promoted reforms that relax or reduce worker protection as well as the laws on individual dismissals at national level (for example, capping severance payments in case of unfair dismissal or eliminating the reinstatement of a worker in his/her job in case of illegal dismissal, etc.). There is a positive correlation between these reforms and reduced access to collective bargaining.

The impact assessment of the proposal for a TPWCD provides evidence of all major challenges concerning this principle.

As stated above, the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated even more that new forms of work need to be legally covered so that workers have access to the protection they need, and that platform workers are recognised as workers. Some measures are already part of this Action Plan, such as the announced legal instrument on a minimum wage and collective bargaining, access to social protection, reducing gender pay gaps or implementing the Recommendation on Access to Social Protection. Besides, the European Commission has announced an upcoming regulation on non-standard workers and workers in platform companies.

Technological, green and demographic transitions are changing the productive fabric of the EU, but workers are rarely protected against the adverse effects that these changes may have on their individual positions. The majority of Member States are not recording progress; more effective measures that ensure fairer transitions are needed to reinforce the collective and individual rights of workers involved in technological or green transitions. These could include:

  • the right to receive vocational training, or validation of skills, for workers in employment;
  • the right to receive an ALMP package during professional transitions;
  • an obligation on the employer to negotiate transition plans to anticipate change and define strategies that safeguard employment levels and limit externalities and negative impacts on the supply chain.
  • the right of trade unions to be informed and consulted in case of decisions that concern more than 5 people, in one or more countries, as well as the obligation to start negotiations with representative trade unions in case of decisions connected to technological or environmental transitions that affect the working position of more than 5 people.
  • SME transition plans at a local level, covering a territory or a group of companies.

Actions aimed at setting a minimum floor of rights in the EU, a level playing field in the Single Market

  1. To ensure early and effective implementation of the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive (including support to ETUC members)
  2. Reinforce collective and individual rights of workers involved in technological or green transitions.
  3. Ratification of ILO Termination of Employment Convention, 1982 (No 158) + acceptance of ESC Articles on protection against unfair dismissal and on written information by all Members States
  4. Decision No 573/2014/EU on enhanced cooperation between Public Employment Services (PES), which will be officially amended by a Council decision at the beginning of 2021.

Actions aimed at establishing upward convergence in living and working conditions

  1. Assessment of national and EU acquis in light of new forms of work and prepare for the future of work, as in Principle 5.