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5 online courses for the period April - July 2020

Faced with the disruption of face-to-face training caused by the COVID-19, the ETUI Education director decided to accelerate the original workplan for digital learning and training and increase the range and volume of online learning activities as much as possible. This includes the accelerating of the development of new online courses and creating new forms of online learning experience on new topics.

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The COVID-19 crisis and short-time work in Germany in a European context

Short-time work (STW) is one of the most frequently used tools in times of economic crisis. It involves the temporary reduction of working time in order to secure employment and employees’ income, while at the same time enabling companies to reduce labour costs through state support.

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How the COVID-19 crisis offers lessons for dealing with the climate crisis

The unprecedented pandemic that has changed our daily lives, our work and the entire economy from one day to another is, and will remain, the number one priority for policymakers and social partners in the foreseeable future. Everything needs to be done now to slow down the exponential spread of the virus and empower our healthcare systems to cope with the health emergency. At the same time, urgent measures are needed to fend off the damage caused by the shutdown of the economy and to protect workers in this extraordinary situation.

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England: rise in poor-quality work a key factor in the deterioration of public health

“England is faltering,” declares the opening lines of the Marmot Review of Health Equity in England, published in February 2020 and coordinated by esteemed epidemiologist Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the Institute of Health Equity. The life expectancy rate, which, alongside continuous improvements in health, had been rising steadily since the beginning of the twentieth century, has been slowing down since 2011 to an extent not witnessed for 120 years: a phenomenon not seen anywhere else in Europe. In the most deprived communities outside London it actually fell for part of the decade 2010-2020.

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Twenty years of European social policy: a “long and winding road”

The recently published Social Policy in the European Union is the twentieth edition of this joint ETUI and European Social Observatory (OSE) publication. A conference took place on 12 March 2020 at the ETUI to celebrate the occasion. The publication has had different editors since its first edition in 1999 but it has always delivered an invaluable analysis of social policy at the European level, according to Bart Vanhercke, Director of the OSE and one of the editors of the current edition. Philippe Pochet, General Director of the ETUI and the first editor of the series, added that the publication not only looks at social policy in the strict sense but also at the social implications of economic policy and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). It is important to understand how something that happens in one domain at EU level influences other policies, he said. Dalila Ghailani, senior researcher at OSE and co-editor of this publication, gave a presentation of the content of this year’s volume.

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Revising the machinery directive: beware of visionary projections

Experts who have an interest in safety at work welcome the European Commission's current efforts to analyse and possibly improve the performance of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC as part of its regulatory fitness and performance (REFIT) programme. The Machinery Directive is a very important and successful instrument for European industry, and many believe its basic approach must be left unchanged. While everybody agrees that some changes are needed, massive changes of the Machinery Directive, in particular to the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) in Annex I, might have a deep negative impact on the work of developing harmonised standards and should be avoided.

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France: Uber drivers are employees, says the French Court of Cassation

Cour de cassation

On 4 March 2020, the French Court of Cassation ruled in favour of reclassifying the contractual relationship between Uber and one of its drivers. This is the second court ruling in France in favour of platform workers, coming in the wake of the one concerning Take Eat Easy, a former food delivery company.

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Collective Bargaining newsletter February 2020

Please find below the highlights of the February issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter with the most important developments at European and member state level over the past month.

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Climate change: a trade union issue, also in south-east Europe

The latest issue of the SEER Journal for Labour and Social Afffairs in Eastern Europe takes up for the first time the topic of climate change and related policy initiatives in the region. This subject has not been at the centre of policy debates in this part of Europe but given the priority of the matter in global, and more specifically, the European context, its policy relevance will certainly grow.

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Platform work: much ado about nothing?

Platform and internet work have attracted a lot of attention in recent years and have been identified as key evidence of the changing nature of the labour market. It was therefore not surprising that the ETUI Monthly Forum devoted to this subject attracted considerable attention. At the event, which took place on 18 February 2020, ETUI senior researchers Agnieszka Piasna and Jan Drahokoupil presented the results of their Internet and Platform Work Survey, which maps the extent of digital labour in central and eastern Europe (CEE). The survey was conducted in Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia in the period 2018–2019.

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