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Access to social protection

EESC opinion: Access to social protection

The EESC supports the proposal for a Council Recommendation on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed. A proper coverage of workers in non-standard forms of work and the self-employed would be in line with the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Access to social protection systems is key for fairer societies. The main outcomes would be: increasing the mutualisation of risk, income security, labour market dynamism, higher productivity, better allocation of resources, and reducing insecurity and poverty for individuals.


Key points

The EESC:

  • believes that each person should have the right to a decent life, social protection and protection against all major risks at work and throughout life, including healthcare and the right to a dignified retirement. A proper coverage of workers in non-standard forms of work and the self-employed would contribute to this objective in line with the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights;
  • recalls that access to social protection systems is a key element for fairer societies and a fundamental component of a productive, healthy and active workforce;
  • recommends that Member States implement the Recommendation, and where needed report on the gaps outlined by the impact assessment supporting the Recommendation and with full participation of social partners and organised civil society;
  • welcomes the key expected impacts of the implementation of the Recommendation: increasing the mutualisation of risk, income security, labour market dynamism, higher productivity, better allocation of resources, and reducing insecurity and poverty for individuals;
  • recommends that initiatives undertaken in the framework of the Recommendation provide adequate benefits and provisions, including safety nets for those who are not able to reach minimum entitlement thresholds, in particular for those who are unable to work and their families;
  • recommends that age and gender be particularly taken into account when defining actions in the spectrum of the Recommendation;
  • finds that transferability of social rights should be taken into account when individuals transit between different labour market employment relationships, and across schemes and rights aggregations;
  • finally, believes the regulatory complexity and other administrative aspects should be addressed in order to ensure full transparency. This includes enhancing the quality of statistical data (disaggregated by type of employment relationship, age, gender, disability status, nationality etc.).