Brussels, 17 November 2020: just three years ago, European Union leaders proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) at the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth in Gothenburg, Sweden. Lately, the Commission launched a public consultation to collect EU partners’ views on its implementation and prepare an Action Plan for early 2021. Both EFFE and EFSI, representing the diversity of Personal and Household Services at European level, published a joint statement calling on the European Commission to include the PHS sector in its future Action Plan for a more inclusive and Social Europe.
According to demographic and societal trends, PHS services will play a major role in the coming decades, regarding both their social and economic impacts. “The PHS sector which gathers care related services and household support services mainly carried out in private households is growing” stresses Aude Boisseuil, EFFE General Delegate. “With population ageing and an increased participation of women to the labour market in Europe, the sector will continue to develop rapidly to meet the growing demand for care-related services and the needs for a better work-life balance” she adds.
The EPSR aims at improving employment and social outcomes and providing people’s needs with efficient and adapted solutions in all Member States. Based on 20 common principles, it raises concrete issues that must be tackled in terms of access to the labour market, working conditions and social protection.
However, despite its major contribution to our societies, the PHS sector is neither sufficiently recognised nor supported by public authorities. It is strongly affected by undeclared work, precarious working conditions and a lack of access to qualified and formal services for a vast majority of the European population. “The EPSR Action Plan is a unique opportunity to grant PHS workers the recognition they deserve by launching initiatives that will improve their access to social protection while enabling Europeans to access the PHS they need at an affordable price” states Aurélie Decker, EFSI’s Director.
Therefore, EFFE and EFSI call on the European Commission to consider the important contribution of the PHS sector, which meets the societal challenges of the coming decades, and to adopt measures in the following three areas:
The PHS sector must be apprehended as a whole and in its diversity. This requires, in particular, the recognition of the complementarity and coexistence of the different employment models: each citizen must be free to become a private employer or to call on a service provider, an agency or an authorised representative to help meet his needs.