EPSU and Social Employers Webinar: COVID-19 and the Role of Social Partners in ensuring Health and Safety in Social Services
(9 June 2020) As states across Europe gradually ease their confinement measures, many social services are facing new challenges related to the safety and health of workers. Before this background, on Tuesday, June 9th, EPSU and FESE co-organised a webinar with the aim to highlight the key role of social partners to achieve safe and healthy workplaces.
To kick off the meeting, Elke Schneider from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA) presented their recommendations for safe work as well as for specific risk assessment tools on the workplace. She stressed the importance of mental health in OSH, which has often not received sufficient attention. EPSU organized a webinar on this topic on May 15.
The second part of the webinar was dedicated to representatives of both employers and trade unions. Social partners have played a central role in promoting safe and healthy workplaces and in improving the preparedness of the sector. The panelists presented their initiatives as well as their involvement in the promotion of safe working practices in the field of social services.
Giancarlo Go from FPCGIL and Jonas Nilsson from Kommunal explained their unions’ work to protect workers during the pandemic. Italian unions negotiated an agreement with the ministry to cover a broad range of OSH matters and set up a committee to further monitor the situation. Swedish unions already in 2018 set in place a general collective agreement for emergency situations, which can be activated in times of need.