In early December, the Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs reached a unanimous political agreement on a draft recommendation by the Council concerning salaried and self-employed workers’ access to welfare benefits.
According to the Commission, this is a breakthrough for four out of ten people who have an atypical or self-employed job and who do not always have good social protection.
The recommendation comes within the framework of implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. It aims to allow all workers, including the self-employed, to subscribe to social welfare schemes, and to promote adequate and effective coverage. It applies to all branches of the social security system: unemployment, health and medical care, maternity and paternity, disability, pensions and spousal benefits, and occupational injuries and diseases.
The recommendations are non-binding. This facilitates the process of enactment and respects Member States’ national competencies and the functioning of their social security systems. Nevertheless, the progress made by the Member States in the application of this legislation will be analysed within the framework of the “European Semester”, a cycle of coordination of economic and budgetary policies in the EU.