News ELA

ELA Opening Conference 9 November 2021

On 16 September 2021, the European Labour Authority (ELA) reached a new important step in its journey, namely the move to its headquarters in Bratislava, Slovakia. This milestone means that the first European Union Agency has its permanent seat in the Slovak Republic. To celebrate this occasion, ELA is inviting to an opening conference on 9 November 2021.

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The ELA Opening Conference will take place in Bratislava and online on 9 November 2021. The conference will feature two very interesting panel discussions with top experts in the field: 

The first panel will discuss the expected changes on the European labour markets and its impact on labour mobility, as well as the already given and possible policy response at EU and Member State level. Panelists will also bring forward their considerations on the role of the European Labour Authority. 

The second panel will explore the issues discussed in the first panel in more practical terms. The panelists will discuss the main opportunities and risks related to labour mobility in a changing world of work. In particular, they will discuss workers’ employment and working conditions and the processes and procedures applied by competent authorities for implementing and enforcing regulations. Furthermore, it will be explored whether there are already solutions tackling the emerging issues that could be scaled up to other Member States, sectors or occupations, and where there are still gaps to fill. 

The ELA Opening Conference on 9 November starts at 11:30 in Bratislava and online. Visit https://ela2021conference.b2match.io to register to the streaming of the conference.  

Background 

The EU Labour Authority was established to contribute to fair labour mobility within the EU by supporting Member States and the social partners in enforcing EU legislation, promoting information, and improving cooperation in the field of mobility and social security coordination. 

The labour markets in Europe and beyond are affected by four so-called ‘megatrends’: digitalisation, climate change, globalisation and demographic change. While these developments are not new, their increasing mutual influence on the society, economy, work and employment have received emphasised policy attention at EU and national levels in the last few years, and even more so more recently, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating and aggravating some of the structural trends. 

During the last decade, the European labour markets have seen increasing flexibilisation, such as lower-hours part-time work, shorter-duration fixed-term contracts, or increasing importance of some new forms of employment like casual work, ICT-based mobile work or platform work which are characterised by a more flexible work organisation, notably related to working time and the place of work. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spatial flexibility inherent to telework proved beneficial for all jobs/tasks that could be realised remotely and turned out to be an important element to cushion the negative impact of the health crisis on European labour markets.  

Both the structural labour market developments and the more recent events like Brexit or the COVID-19 pandemic, are having an impact on labour mobility – its scale, directions, and characteristics of employment and working conditions.  

Policy at EU and Member State level aims to ensure decent work and fair employment conditions, as well as a just recovery and transition to a digital and green economy. While substantial emphasis is devoted to maintain and further improve employment standards in the future labour markets, public and policy debate on fair labour mobility in a changing world of work is less common.