New labour relations in the digital age

A seminar entitled ”New labour relations in the digital age” took place between May 27th and May 30th 2021, in Băile Felix / Romania, organized by CSDR / Departamentul Educare - Formare al CSDR (Confederaţia Sindicatelor Democratice din România / Departamentul Educare - Formare al Confederaţiei Sindicatelor Democratice din România), with the support of EZA and of the European Union.

The seminar, that was organized and held in a hybrid format, was attended by 34 representatives of workers’ organisations from Romania, Bulgaria, Ireland, Portugal and Slovakia: 26 attendees on site and 8 online attendees.

Important aspects highlighted during the seminar

  • Fast evolution of digitalization brings about major changes on the labour market;
  • Atypical labour forms are more and more present on the labour market;
  • The phenomenon of population ageing visible at European level, the increase of life expectancy and reduction of birth rate;
  • Social security systems which cannot cope with current challenges.

Findings of the seminar

  • The digitalization of public services at national level is a must;
  • Organise campaigns to increase awareness on the importance of life-learning capacity considering the future of labour;
  • Enhance access of workers to digital technologies, including via adapting hardware and software to their specific needs;
  • Grant fiscal incentives for companies to invest in the employees’ lifelong learning and development program;
  • Organise awareness-raising campaigns regarding the importance of lifelong learning concerning the importance of lifelong learning and digital training offered to workers;
  • Develop a coherent, multi-annual training programme based on new learning methods (remote teaching, e-learning), as well as provide training course for developing digital skills (on levels).
  • The need to introduce special provisions in the collective bargaining agreements to stipulate:
    • Right to leisure;
    • Remote work, mobile work and work on digital platforms;
    • Flexible working hours – time, place, contracts – considering the family life / work balance;
    • Guarantees regarding health insurance and social security.
  • Reform the national social protection system so as to make it sustainable and fair;
  • Promote a joint statement on the effects of digital technology in the work area to signal the major challenges European decision-makers and social partners are facing.

A work visit was organized at Emanoil Gojdu National College during which the seminar attendees watched a demonstration of applications based on the activity of robots built by the college students. The seminar attendees and students discussed with a focus on the students’ preparedness for the future trends of the labour market in the digital era.