Latest update: 13/05/2022

Framework agreement on digitalisation

The European Social Partners Framework Agreement on Digitalisation, signed in June 2020 by the EU’s cross-sectoral social partners, reflects its signatories’ shared commitment to optimising the benefits of digitalisation in the world of work and addressing its challenges.

The Framework Agreement on Digitalisation was signed by the EU cross-sectoral social partners: BusinessEurope, ETUC, CEEP and SMEunited. It covers all workers and employers in both the public and private sectors and across all economic activities. It is designed to foster the integration of digital technologies into the workplace, investment in digital skills and the continuous employability of the workforce.

Digitalisation partnership process
The Framework Agreement contemplates a dynamic digitalisation partnership process for ensuring the smooth implementation of digitalisation in the workplace whilst also respecting the roles and responsibilities of the different actors involved including workers’ representatives. This process encompasses a number of interrelated topics impacted by digitalisation and that need to be taken into account:

  • Work content/skills;
  • Working conditions (employment terms and conditions, the work environment, health and safety, the work-life balance, etc.);
  • Work relations;
  • Work organisation.

The digitalisation partnership process can be tailored to different settings and workplaces irrespective of their size. At its core is a shared commitment by employers, workers and their representatives to jointly manage the process's successive stages, starting with the creation of a support base and a climate of trust to be able to openly discuss the opportunities, challenges and risks presented by digitalisation. 

Main issues
The framework identifies four main issues with regard to digitalisation:

  • Digital skills and securing employment: the need to prepare the workforce and businesses for the digital transformation by upskilling or reskilling workers, re-designing jobs and improving mobility between jobs and sectors.
  • Ways of connecting and disconnecting: taking measures to address the potential risks of the introduction of digital tools in the workplace, which may compromise the demarcation of work and private time, both in and outside of working hours.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and guaranteeing the human in control principle: the use of AI systems should be based on the 'human in control principle' and be safe, fair and transparent. 
  • Respect for human dignity and surveillance issues: addressing risks arising from digital technologies and data processing that may compromise people's dignity, through the  establishment of clear rules on the processing of personal data and guaranteeing transparency.

The Framework Agreement on Digitalisation commits the members of BusinessEurope, SMEunited, CEEP and ETUC to promoting and implementing tools and measures at European, national, sectoral and individual enterprise levels. 

Publication details
Published by: EU cross-sectoral social partners: BusinessEurope, ETUC, CEEP and SMEunited
Publication date: June 2020
Number of pages: 16 pp.

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