EU Social Partners agreement on digitalisation

The digital transformation of the economy is a multifaceted topic with large implications for labour markets, the world of work and society at large. It is dealt with in a variety of ways by EU member states, due to different social and economic situations, labour markets and industrial relations systems and existing initiatives, practices and collective agreements.

The digital transformation brings clear benefits for employers, workers and jobseekers alike, in terms of new job opportunities, increased productivity, improvements in working conditions and new ways of organising work and improved quality of services and products. Overall, with the right strategies, it can lead to employment growth and job retention.

The transition also comes with challenges and risks for workers and enterprises, as some tasks will disappear and many others will change. This requires the anticipation of change, the delivery of skills needed for workers and enterprises to succeed in the digital age. Others include work organisation and working conditions, work life balance and accessibility of technology, including infrastructure, across the economy and regions. Specific approaches are also needed for SMEs to embrace digitalisation in a way that is tailored to their specific circumstances.

Since the gains are not automatic, we need to adapt our labour markets, education and training, and
social protection systems to make sure the transition is mutually beneficial for employers and workers.
The EU and national governments have an important role to play, by ensuring that the framework
conditions allow and support employers and workers to grasp the opportunities and leave them space to
find appropriate solutions to deal with the challenges, bearing in mind that they know best the situation
on the ground and what measures are needed to benefit enterprises and workers.

It is also important to take into account the climate and environmental impacts. Furthermore, a shared commitment is needed on the part of employers, workers and their representatives to make the most of the opportunities and deal with the challenges in a partnership approach, whilst respecting the different roles of those involved.

This framework agreement is the shared commitment of the European cross-sectoral social partners.