On 17 November 2019, the Social Dialogue Committee for central/federal governments approved the checklist of dos and don’ts on digitalisation and work/life balance, the key outcome of a two-year EC funded project.
The checklist makes recommendations to managers in central government administrations on how to ensure that the introduction or deepening of digitalisation of services or ways of working in governments improves work/life balance of employees throughout their career.
It is based on discussions between employers and trade union delegates which took place at three meetings in Rome, Madrid and Paris in the course of 2019 with the participation of the ILO and Commission.
It also draws upon a background study on the national and EU legal frameworks and collective agreements of work/life balance, gender equality, telework arrangements, working time and the right to disconnect and how they should better guide developments with digitalisation in Europe.
One of the key recommendations to managers and central government authorities is to frame digitalisation in a strong collective bargaining culture based on trust, gender equality, and regular consultation of employees and civil servants and their trade union representatives .
Importantly, the checklist recognises that the ‘Brave new world’ of digital work can underestimate the health and safety risks associated with digital workplaces, such as isolation, unpaid overtime, and stress, and neglect the need to better protect personal data of employees.
The checklist contributes to EPSU’s overall work on digitalisation.
It provides a good basis for further discussions in the EU social dialogue committee on the relevance of negotiating a new agreement.