After more than a year of negotiations, the European social partners representing state and federal administrations signed a new agreement on digitalisation on 6 October.
This agreement sets out common minimum requirements for regulating the use of digital technology in the workplace and in particular to:
- Ensure that digitalisation is accompanied by social progress and tangible benefits for workers, employers and users alike;
- Improve and promote equal opportunities and treatment, work-life balance, work organisation and meaningful jobs;
- Encourage and promote constructive and effective social dialogue and trade union rights at national level (in different sectors and workplaces), and ensure satisfactory levels of administrative efficiency;
- Prevent and mitigate risks to workers’ health and safety;
- Implement human-controlled digitalisation, including the use of artificial intelligence.
The agreement builds on the cross-sectoral agreements on digitalisation (2020) and telework (2002). The revision of the latter is due to start soon and will serve as a basis for negotiations. The objective for the signatories (TUNED and EUPAE) of the new agreement is that it becomes legally binding. They are thus in line with MEPs who, in a Resolution of 5 July, called for legislative action to guarantee all workers the effective right to disconnect and to regulate the use of digital tools for work purposes.