The European Social Partners adopted the Framework Agreement on Digitalisation at the Tripartite Social Summit on 23 June 2020. The agreement lays out an inclusive approach to digital change. UNI Europa took part in the negotiations on the agreement and is satisfied that the digital challenges faced by services workers are included.
“Digitalisation is increasingly shaping our world. Far from an automatic process over which nobody has control, it is shaped by the interests that drive it. This agreement is an important recognition that the interests of profit maximisation alone cannot be the basis for a balanced society,” said Oliver Roethig, UNI Europa Regional Secretary.
The agreement notably recognises the need for investment in workers’ skills and for respect of people’s right to disconnect and outlines appropriate measures to ensure compliance. This is particularly relevant at national level as EU member states are required to promote and support unions and employers to negotiate on the basis of the joint EU Social Partners Agreements.
- Digital Skills: The agreement acknowledges the need for skills development and commits to a joint skills development plan and that includes training associated with digital change at work. There is a safeguard for existing collective agreements and more favourable arrangements and the agreement also commits to measures that will protect workers continued employment in the event their jobs are changed in the context of digitalisation.
- AI and Human-in-Control principle: The agreement also addresses measures linked to artificial intelligence and guaranteeing the human in control principle and respect of human dignity and surveillance at work.
- Disconnecting: The agreement addresses the modalities of connecting and disconnecting, wherein it guarantees that no worker can be obliged to be contactable outside their working time, moreover if they undertake any extra work that should be paid or otherwise compensated.
- Support: The agreement aims to provide a platform of support for affiliates negotiations. Our assessment is that the agreement will be of considerable assistance to affiliates that are operating in hostile industrial relations systems.
The signing of the agreement is just the beginning of the implementation process. The next step is for our affiliates and UNI Europa sectors to be in contact with our employer counterparts and to seek to begin the negotiations for national or sectoral implementation.
- UNI Europa ICTS position paper on Artificial Intelligence
- Covid-19 intensifies the need for the right to disconnect
- Guide: The Right to Disconnect – Best Practices (also in French, Spanish, Swedish, German and Japanese)
- Guide: Right to Disconnect during COVID-19 (also in French, Spanish, and Swedish)
- UNI Europa response to the European Commission consultation on AI ethics guidelines
- How the data you give away today could hurt your job prospects tomorrow
- Tackling the future of digital skills