BEERG: EU Future of Work Report Recommends Eroding Distinctions Between Employment Statuses

April 12, 2019

An EU report by experts from academia, civil society, and companies recommends standardizing the approach in many respects to both traditional and non-traditional work arrangements.

"Digitalisation is driving rapid changes in the labour market,” the report reads, “influencing the nature, quality and productivity of work.  European leaders face the challenge of making use of these developments to foster economic growth and employment—while at the same time ensuring decent working conditions, social protection and equal opportunities for all.”

Recommendations include: 

  • Compensating employees for personal data used to increase their firm’s value;

  • Ensuring neutral social protection against unemployment, sickness and other life circumstances independent of employment status;

  • Developing a skilled workforce supporting digitization;

  • Creating moderated online spaces for workers, especially in the gig economy, to discuss issues, actively inviting unions, employers, and platform operators to participate;

  • Providing workers of all employment statuses equal access to government services, credit lines, and limited mobility of benefits; and

  • Preventing occupational safety and health risks like mental health and stress-related issues resulting from digitization and increased volatility in today's world of work.

Why it matters:  The paper reflects international recognition that today’s work arrangements do not cleanly fit within legal and regulatory structures created decades ago.  As with a variety of issues, where Europe goes, the U.S. may eventually follow.

Read the full BEERG Global Labor Newsletter.