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The voice of social services in the European Social Dialogue

Social services are some of Europe’s biggest job creators with over 2 million new jobs created in the last decade and over 10 million people employed throughout the European Union. This means that social service providers are also important employers, who often have to manage the recruitment and retention of staff and ensure decent working conditions and career paths for all, under often constrained financial resources.
 
The European treaties enable employers and trade union representatives to discuss how to best deal with common challenges. This process is called European Social Dialogue, which also ensures that such social partners have the right to “exclusive consultations” on policy areas that affect them. This includes labour market policies, such as the working time directive, and the European Structural Funds.
 
Despite being a very important employer, the social services sector has not yet created European Social Dialogue structures. This has reduced the ability of employers and workers in the sector to collectively assess common issues and limited the sector’s employers voice on crucial policy issues.
 
Through the PESSIS projects, EASPD has been actively involved in facilitating the setting up of the Federation of European Social Employers, which aims to ensure the sector’s employers are adequately represented in European Social Dialogue; therefore benefiting from the same advantages of other sector’s employers. 
 
If you are aware of any national Employer organisation who could be interested in joining the Social Employers, let us know. More information can be found on www.socialemployers.eu
 

Thomas Bignal
Investment Policy Advisor