In its White Paper, EFFE links the European Commission’s proposals for digital skills and jobs to the needs of home employment sector in Europe.
On 10 June 2016, the European Commission published a series of 10 actions setting out its new skills strategy for Europe. The overall purpose is to ensure a better recognition of professional skills, more specifically for the least qualified workers or working in sectors requiring less qualification. One of the measures advocated by the European institution is the creation of a “EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals”. The latter would substantially help identify the skills set of asylum seekers on European soil in order to grant them a full and long-term integration into the labor market and, more broadly, into society.
The program for the development of digital skills and jobs for European workers, an essential asset to developing online domestic jobs declarative procedures, is another proposal of the European Commission that a majority of Member States is currently striving to enforce.
The European White Paper drawn up by EFFE between 2017 and 2019 connects on several aspects with the European Commission’s strategy considering the proposals made on the need to establish new prospects for professionalization and certification of home employees’ skills. Home employment sector is largely composed of low-skilled workers, and the increasing demand for a guarantee of quality of services by employer households requires that adequate measures be taken to increase the possibilities to provide these workers an adequate training to the tasks they ought to be asked to carry out.
Whether talking about education and early childhood care, caring for the elderly or disabled, but also about daily domestic tasks – sometimes requiring handling of toxic products or to carry out repetitive, physical and potentially harmful tasks, home employment thus proves it is a demanding employment sector, yet suffering from low possibilities of training as well as a lack of overall professional recognition.
Professionalization of home employees is therefore essential to guarantee their specialization as much as an undeniable means to increase their productivity and employability. A step towards higher quality of service and greater security when carrying out the service, it is a determining factor of HR and technological sector-based progress and furthermore provides an interesting response to poverty, risk of unemployment and social exclusion, and shall be able to participate in the professional and social integration of immigrant populations as these are making up the majority of domestic workers in the European Union.
For a very large amount of these workers, professionalization is also a privileged tool to grant them recognition and a professional status – thus enabling them to get out of undeclared work and informal economy. Lastly, it will be an outstanding means to train people to a whole range of skills that mostly suffer nowadays from overall social neglect and that are yet essential to ensure a quality relationship between home employer and their employee e.g. use of digital technologies, increase of relational skills and the needs expressed by the household employer, development of “green” and OSH (Occupational safety and health) compatible skills.
A question we are now likely to ask is how to fund professionalization. Facilitating declarative procedures for domestic jobs will eventually lead to the financing of their professionalization through social security contributions and will consequently allow the production of skills more widely recognized by employers, helping these jobs to reach out from informal economy. This virtuous circle is precisely what Member States must put on emphasis on so as to enforce them in their national legislation.
This is why EFFE, thanks to its European White Paper, seeks to raise awareness and interest over the skills’ potential of domestic workers. To this respect, it lists the following propositions: