Workers’ rights and working conditions: Keeping a common minimum standard

MEUSAC article published in Voice of the Workers Weekly – 24.09.2020

Following a period of growth across the European Union, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to considerable changes in the way most of us work. The unprecedented circumstances have shifted the way we conduct our business (out of necessity) and a considerable percentage of employees and employers found themselves having to deal with distressing situations potentially leading to unemployment.

Whilst digitalisation and the development of new technologies gave us the possibility to become more flexible, work considered as stable up until the end of 2019 became increasingly more volatile.

Fortunately, the European Union has throughout the years protected its workforce in many ways. Recent changes that have been adopted include the 2019 rules introducing minimum rights on working conditions, granting new rights for the most vulnerable employees. Workers nowadays, are more involved in their company’s decision-making processes thanks to an established general framework for the rights of workers to be informed and consulted. In the event of mass redundancies, employers are now forced to negotiate with workers’ representatives (normally Unions).

All this boils down to the European Union’s work in ensuring that workers’ rights improve and that working conditions, in general, are held to a set minimum requirement.

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