SOCIAL COMMISSION

WHO'S WHO?

COMMISSION SOC MILESTONES 2018-2019

JULY 2018

SOC

SEPTEMBER 2018

SOC

NOVEMBER 2018

SOC


Final conference of the FIEC-EFBWW "VET4LEC" project

Intervention of Domenico Campogrande in the AEIP annual conference on "Adequate social protection : the role of Social Dialogue"

RESTART THE TIMELINE

In 2018 a project entitled “Skills Blueprint for the Construction Industry” was officially launched. It gathers a consortium of 24 partners, including FIEC, from 12 different countries and is coordinated by the “Fundación Laboral de la Construcción” from Spain.

The project is co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme and its main aim is to develop a long term alliance between the concerned stakeholders (employers, workers, training centres, public authorities) for a better anticipation of the skills needed in the construction industry and to ensure a corresponding adaptation of the training schemes.

It will focus on 3 key areas: digitalisation, energy efficiency and circular economy.

Why FIEC is dealing with this issue/topic and their objective(s)
In most of the Member States construction companies are facing difficulties in finding the right workers with the right skills.

This can be explained by the rapid technological changes, including the digitalisation of construction processes through BIM (Building Information Modelling) and other digital tools or methods (automation, drones, Internet of Things, etc.), by policy choices, such as “greener” economies and initiatives on energy efficiency in buildings, as well as by demographic changes, notably the ageing of the workforce.

The aim of this initiative is to develop and implement a new strategic and coordinated approach (“Blueprint”) to sectoral cooperation on skills by enhancing the responsiveness of vocational education and training (VET) systems, at all levels, to the construction labour market needs. In other words, it aims at identifying existing and emerging skills needed in order to translate them into vocational curricula responding to those needs.

For further information: www.constructionblueprint.eu

Actions and key dates

31/1/2019 – Kick-off meeting
December 2022 – End of project

In March 2018 the European Commission presented a proposal for setting up a new European Labour Authority (ELA).

The main aims of the ELA are: improving the access to information by individuals and employers about their rights and obligations in the areas of labour mobility and social security coordination; strengthening operational cooperation between authorities in the cross-border enforcement of relevant Union law, including facilitating joint inspections; providing mediation and facilitating solutions in cases of disputes between national authorities.

https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1414&langId=en

Why FIEC is dealing with this issue/topic and their objective(s)
Mobility within the Internal Market is an issue of crucial importance for construction companies. It is also a source of fraudulent practices amongst others because of the difficulties in the controls and the lack of coordination between public authorities, which affects genuine companies and the possibility for them to act on a level playing field.

Several existing bodies that are dealing with mobility-related issues (Committee of Experts on Posting, EU Platform against Undeclared Work…) in which FIEC is currently sitting will be incorporated in the ELA. It is therefore of crucial importance for FIEC to ensure its presence in this new Authority.

Actions and key dates

13/3/2018 – Initial proposal of the European Commission
05/7/2018FIEC position paper
14/2/2019 – Agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the setting up of the ELA

Preventing and deterring undeclared work contributes to better enforcement of EU and national laws, especially in the areas of employment, labour law, health and safety and coordination of national social security systems. As the challenges are common to Member States, and as undeclared work often has a cross-border dimension, EU level action can play an important role by reinforcing cooperation between enforcement authorities within and between different Member States in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work.

An EU Platform for tackling Undeclared Work was therefore launched in May 2016.

It brings together relevant national enforcement bodies such as labour and social security inspectorates, etc., as well as other stakeholders, such as EU-level representatives of employers including FIEC and workers.

Why FIEC is dealing with this issue/topic and their objective(s)
At EU level, undeclared work is defined as "any paid activities that are lawful as regards their nature but not declared to public authorities, taking account differences in the regulatory systems of the Member States".

The fact that it is not observed or registered, and defined differently in national legislation, makes it difficult to obtain reliable estimates of how widespread it is. However, the construction sector is considered as being particularly affected by this phenomenon and was therefore included amongst the priorities in the Work Programme of the Platform.

Actions and key dates

8-19/10/2018 – Participation of FIEC in the plenary meeting
12-13/3/2019 – Participation of FIEC in the plenary meeting

The EU sectoral social partners for the construction industry FIEC, representing the employers, and EFBWW (European Federation of Building and Wood Workers), representing the workers, have amongst their joint priorities the promotion of health and safety at the workplace.

In June 2018 FIEC and EFBWW adopted a joint statement: the EU Communication « Safer and Healthier Work for All – Modernisation of the EU Occupational Safety and Health Legislation and Policy » (COM(2017)12).

Why FIEC is dealing with this issue/topic and their objective(s)
Despite the overall reduction in the number of work-related accidents and illness, improving health and safety in the workplace continues to be a priority action for the construction sector and for FIEC.

We consider that : further efforts are needed in order to strengthen the implementation, compliance and enforcement of the EU legislation in a more coherent manner across the EU; it is important to review on a regular basis the EU OSH legislation whenever needed; the cooperation between Social Partners, inspectorates and prevention bodies, is of crucial importance in order to adequately take into account the sectoral specificities and needs; companies and workers need a legislative framework that is clear, stable, sustainable and proportionate, in order to be able to comply with their respective obligations.

Actions and key dates

28/6/2018FIEC-EFBWW joint statement

The ”Posting” Directive defines the rules that apply when a company provides services, for a limited period, in a country other than the one where it usually operates. As the provision of services is temporary, some of the rules that apply are the ones of the “host” country (minimum wage, working time, health and safety,…), whilst others (for example “Social security”) remain the ones of the “home” country.

The European Commission presented a proposal for revising the original “Posting of Workers” Directive (96/71/EC) with the aim to address the problem of unfair practices and to promote the principle that the same work at the same place should be remunerated in the same manner.

Why FIEC is dealing with this issue/topic and their objective(s)
Amongst the main changes proposed by the Commission we can highlight : the reference to “remuneration” instead of “minimum wage”; a limitation in time (max 12 months, plus 6 possible additional months) beyond which the terms and conditions of employment that are mandatorily applicable to workers will be the ones of the Member State where the work is carried out; a clarification of the rules applicable to the reimbursement by the employer of the expenditures incurred on account of the posting, such as on travel, board and lodging.

Approximately half of the postings within the Internal Market are in construction activities and therefore these new rules can have a significant impact for construction companies.

Actions and key dates

8/3/2016 – Initial proposal of the European Commission
20/9/2016 – First FIEC position paper
5/12/2017 – Second FIEC position paper
28/6/2018Adoption of the new “Posting” Directive 2018/957/EC
30/7/2020 – Deadline for implementation by the Member States

”Posting” is the provision of services, for a limited period, in a country other than the one where the company usually operates or where a worker usually works.

The EU Committee of Experts on Posting of Workers was set up by the European Commission in 2009 (Decision 2009/17/EC), with the aim of providing support and assistance to the Member States in the practical application of the “Posting of Workers” Directive (96/71/EC).

The Committee is composed of experts representing the competent national authorities in each Member State and the social partners at European level representing sectors with a higher incidence of recourse to posted workers, such as construction, temporary agency work, catering, agriculture and transport, participate in the Committee as observers.

Why FIEC is dealing with this issue/topic and their objective(s)
Approximately half of the postings within the Internal Market are in construction activities.

FIEC therefore provides to the Committee of Experts its expertise and knowledge by : identifying and exchanging experience and good practice; promoting the exchange of relevant information; examining any questions and difficulties which might arise in the practical application of the posting legislation, as well as its enforcement in practice; closely following the progress achieved in improving both access to information and administrative cooperation.

Actions and key dates

03/05/2018 – Meeting of the Committee of Experts
14/11/2018 – Meeting of the Committee of Experts
28/03/2019 – Meeting of the Committee of Experts (Presentation by FIEC of the assessment of 3 national websites: CZ, DE, PT)

In 2016 the European Commission started a revision of the “Carcinogens” Directive (2004/37/EC) which led (at the end of the legislative procedure) to the inclusion within the scope of this Directive of various substances, including “Respirable Crystalline Silica” (RCS).

By doing so the EU legislator recognises RCS as being a carcinogenic substance and introduced a binding OEL (occupational exposure level) of 0,1 mg/m3, which now becomes mandatory in all the Member States.

Why FIEC is dealing with this issue/topic and their objective(s)
Crystalline silica is an essential material, with the substance having an abundance of uses in industry and being a vital component in many things used in our everyday lives. It is impossible to imagine houses without bricks, mortar or windows, cars without engines or windscreens, or life without everyday items made of glass or pottery. It is thefore present in most of construction-related activities.

For many years, it has been known that the inhalation of fine dust containing a proportion of crystalline silica can cause lung damage (silicosis).

The EU sectoral social partners for the construction industry FIEC, representing the employers, and EFBWW (European Federation of Building and Wood Workers), representing the workers, are preparing a future joint project aiming at identifying best practice examples and elaborating guidelines for helping companies in complying with the requirements of the modified ”Carcinogens” Directive.

Actions and key dates

12/12/2017 – Adoption of the amended “Carcinogens” Directive (2017/2398/EC)
14/3/2018 – First meeting of a joint FIEC-EFBWW working group
Spring 2019 – Submission of a FIEC-EFBWW social dialogue project

In December 2016 the European Commission presented a proposal for a revision of the existing Regulations on Social Security coordination (883/2004 and 987/2009).

Achieving a modernised system of social security coordination that responds to the social and economic reality in the Member States is one of the central drivers for this initiative.

This initiative is complementary to the revision of the “Posting” Directive.

Why FIEC is dealing with this issue/topic and their objective(s)
Mobility within the Internal Market is an issue of crucial importance for construction companies.

The proposal of the Commission focuses on different areas of coordination where improvements are required (economically inactive citizens' access to social benefits, long-term care benefits, unemployment benefits and family benefits), but FIEC mainly addressed those provisions that have a link with the issue of posting such as the need : to strengthen the cooperation and the exchange of information between national administrations; to reinforce the reliability of the A1 forms; to strengthen the provisions regarding the pursuit of activities in two or more Member States; to align some of the proposed changes with those concerning “Posting”, because companies, workers, labour inspectorates and public authorities need a clear and coherent legal framework, in order to be able to comply with it and to enforce it.

Actions and key dates

13/12/2016 – Initial proposal of the European Commission
9/1/2018 – FIEC position paper