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Towards fairer working conditions for all forms of employment across the EU  

The SEDEC commission of the European Committee of the Regions has endorsed the European Commission's efforts to secure a minimum level of transparency and predictability of working conditions across the EU for all different forms of employment contract. Rapporteur Isolde Ries (DE/PES), First Vice-President of the Saarland Regional Parliament, urged to pay special attention to non-standard forms of employment and to the 4-6 million workers in the EU with on-demand and intermittent employment contracts.

In response to the current challenges facing labour markets, the European Commission has decided to put forward a proposal for a Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union. It will serve to implement important principles enshrined in the European Pillar of Social Rights, introducing certain minimum requirements and modernising existing obligations to inform each worker of their working conditions.

Isolde Ries, rapporteur of the CoR draft opinion adopted by the SEDEC commission on 23 April, pointed out that youth unemployment rate in Europe remains above pre-crisis levels and that younger, less educated and less skilled people are disproportionately affected by forms of non-standard employment, such as temporary and part-time jobs.

"While not all non-standard employment is precarious, important steps must be taken towards improving worker protection and ensuring more harmonised standards in the European internal market. This can improve the effectiveness of the EU labour market, promote economic and social progress and cohesion, as well as convergence towards better working and living conditions", Ms Ries said.

Her draft opinion, which is set for adoption at the plenary session on 4-5 July, urges the European Commission to ensure that the current revision of the Directive takes account of the fact that many forms of work in the collaborative economy lie mid-way between salaried employment and freelance work, which raises important questions as regards working conditions and could give rise to a new category of precarious employment. It recommends including new substantive rights, such as a ban on zero-hours contracts, the right to guaranteed working hours and more rights in connection with dismissal.

In Monday's meeting, SEDEC members also had a preliminary discussion on Roberto Pella's (IT/EPP) upcoming opinion on Mainstreaming sport into the EU agenda post-2020 and exchanged views on a recent report on Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU 2018 , presented by European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD).

The next meeting of SEDEC – the CoR's commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture – will take place on 25-26 June in Logroño, Spain, on the invitation of the SEDEC chair José Ignacio Ceniceros, President of the Autonomous Community of La Rioja.