Council Recommendation on access to social protection - a BusinessEurope position paper
- Ensuring access to social protection in a financially sustainable and balanced way is important to ensure that we can accompany the changes in the labour market without stifling innovation.
- Taking into account the division of competences between the EU and the national level, a non-binding approach which encourages member states to improve social protection coverage, should be the guiding principle of EU action in this field, monitored through the European Semester process and the open method of coordination. Furthermore, the EU should not interfere with member states’ definitions of worker through this recommendation.
- Member states should have the choice over how to extend coverage, to which groups of workers, and regarding which branches of social protection, to be able to take an approach which is targeted at the specific national situation and can be adapted to different types of workers and the situation of the self-employed.
What does BusinessEurope aim for?
- Any EU initiative in this area must fully recognise the diversity of concepts underlying social protection systems in EU member states and respect that member states are competent for the design, organisation and financing of their social protection systems, as well as for defining different categories of workers.
- Whilst we support the decision of the Commission to not opt for binding EU legislation in this area, we are concerned that some parts of the proposed council recommendation are overly prescriptive and could interfere with the functioning of social protection schemes at national level.
- The recommendation should be based on the principle that any action at national level must ensure a balance between providing access to social protection schemes and not deterring employers, workers and individuals from using diverse contract forms, becoming self-employed, transiting between or combining different forms of work.