Skip to main content

Fair working conditions

This page lists the four policy domains and their respective principles under "Fair working conditions".

Conditions of employment

New forms of flexible employment require additional care to specifying the nature, volume or duration of work. Decentralised, self-organised forms of work can increase worker autonomy and boost business development, but can also lead to lower awareness of rights and unclear information requirements for employers.

More on this policy domain


Minimum wages with an adequate level ensure a decent standard of leaving for workers and their families and contribute to tackle the incidence of in-work poverty. A wide coverage avoids distortions leading to a two-tier labour market. A predictable evolution of wages is important for a stable business environment. Minimum wages need to be set at a level maintaining employment prospects for the low skilled and make work pay for the unemployed and inactive. Maintaining an evolution of wages in line with productivity has proven crucial for competitiveness, particularly within the euro zone.

More on this policy domain

Health and safety at work

New challenges for health and safety at work have emerged in light of less stable employment relationships, new working patterns and an ageing workforce. Ensuring protection against occupational injuries and ill-health to all workers, irrespective of the form of employment and addressing "grey zones", such as 'dependent' and 'bogus' self-employment leading to unclear legal situations offers an important way to reduce precariousness, social costs and improve firms' productivity Reinforcing reintegration and rehabilitation efforts requires more involvement of the employers for re-training or workplace adaptation. However, enforcing preventive and corrective measures by small enterprises remains burdensome.

More on this policy domain

Social dialogue and involvement of workers

Well-functioning social dialogue requires autonomous and representative social partners with the capacities to reach collective agreements. Given the decreases in terms of organisational density and representativeness, social partners need to further build their capacities to engage in a better functioning and effective social dialogue. The engagement of social partners at EU and national level is crucial for the success of design and implementation of economic and social policies, including in efforts to safeguard employment in periods of economic downturns. Moreover, new forms of work organisation such as in the services sector and in the digital economy make the involvement of workers uneven, and their information and consultation more complex.

More on this policy domain