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WEC shares private employment industry’s vision for future employment policies in Europe

The World Employment Confederation-Europe has released “Making Europe the best place to work”, the private employment industry’s vision for labour markets for the next five years. As the EU prepares for a new parliament and commission to take over, WEC-Europe proposes five areas of focus and a series of concrete policy measures to help European people and companies adapt to changes in the world of work.

Bettina Schaller, president of the World Employment Confederation-Europe, said, “The growing mismatch between the world of work and our social systems puts Europe at risk of missing out on talents, losing competitiveness and weakening social integration.

“Despite the positive trends of employment and social indicators recently observed in Europe, labour markets still do not truly benefit all European citizens and countries in the same way.”

With the 2019 European elections and the taking office of a new European Commission, the EU has the opportunity to make such a shift happening during the next five years. Schaller added, “By 2024, Europe should offer a framework for labour markets that allows companies to contract their workforce under diverse and legally secured arrangements and to easily source and hire the right talents with the right skills. Further structural reforms to build new safety nets reconciling the growing needs for both flexibility and security are urgently required.”

In the new world of work, jobs are much less likely to last for life, to start at nine or to end at five; far more women take paid work; far more households are headed by a single parent, etc. Within the EU, permanent, full-time contracts only account for 58% of the total workforce. Labour laws, welfare systems and tax regimes have however lagged behind those changes. Our social protection systems are still built on the traditional male breadwinner model based on the full-time, permanent worker paying contributions.

The World Employment Confederation-Europe believes that social innovation is the right approach to enable this vision and lead to new ways of working, learning and ensuring social protection. “The private employment industry has started implementing this concept for some years now,” explained Denis Pennel, managing director of the World Employment Confederation-Europe. “Our Vision Paper sets out concrete policy recommendations in five areas to capitalize on this experience and enable open, inclusive and sustainable labour markets in Europe.”

The report proposes:

• Encourage diverse forms of work to bring more people into the labour market

• Empower EU citizens to build their career path in a changing world of work

• Strengthen the Single Market to unlock the growth and jobs potential of business services

• Rethink protection schemes to ensure the sustainability of national social models

• Strengthen the collaboration between labour market intermediaries to maximise their potential

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