|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol 7, No.11, 15.3.01, p10|
SOCIAL affairs chief Anna Diamantopoulou is calling on trade unions and employers' groups to draw up EU-wide rules guaranteeing basic rights for people using Internet technology to work from home.
The Commissioner wants the 'social partners' to find ways to guarantee that teleworkers do not face social, economic and health disadvantages simply because they are based outside of the office.
Encouraging telework is seen as a key to improving the flexibility and competitiveness of the Union's jobs market. The Commission estimates that 13% of EU computer users are teleworkers, and expects this figure to soar.
But Diamantopoulou is anxious to ensure that the growth of new working methods is not at the expense of labour rights. "The teleworker should be treated in the same way as workers who are permanently present on the firm's premises," says the Commission paper launching the consultation.
The European Trade Union Confederation, employers' federation UNICE, small business group UEAPME and CEEP, which represents state-owned firms, have already said they are willing to discuss common rules for teleworkers.
When the Commission formally asks them to take up the talks, as expected later this week, the social partners will have six weeks to decide if they accept. If they refuse, the Commission is likely to suggest its own legislation in the field.
Unions and employers in the telecommunications sector agreed last month on common working conditions for staff. The current proposal would put in place similar laws to apply across all industries.
Social affairs chief Anna Diamantopoulou is calling on trade unions and employers' groups to draw up EU-wide rules guaranteeing basic rights for people using Internet technology to work from home.
|Subject Categories||Employment and Social Affairs|