Protecting an evolving workforce: The case for agile protection

Deepening the EU data economy and investments in AI are top priorities on the agenda of the von der Leyen Commission. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, the digital transformation in all sectors is speeding up, intensifying our reliance on software, data and AI.

Digitalisation has created many opportunities, transforming business landscapes and the world of work, but has also created threats. In the EU, approximately 30% of workers think they could become jobless by automation by 2024. Social protection needs to be adapted to ensure that emerging risks are managed efficiently.

Responsibility for insurance, savings and pensions choices is increasingly falling to individuals themselves, as financial support from traditional sources – including employers and governments – shrinks. Surveys and studies have shown that platform workers face many challenges such as low wages, limited ability to save or to invest in pensions, and limited access to social protection schemes.

The European Commission has sought to strengthen and modernise social protection in the EU through its European Pillar of Social Right. The policy measures of the pillar show that the problem is not only the social protection of platform workers but of all non-standard workers and self-employed people.

EURACTIV organised this Virtual Conference to discuss how business in a post-COVID world will require a new way of thinking to protect their workforces who face new challenges with strained social protection systems, new skills and shifting employment relationships.

Questions included:

  • How can we protect workforces at a time of profound change so that no-one is left behind?
  • What does COVID tell us about collective responsibility and managing risk in a changing world?
  • What are the effects of digitalisation and AI on the social protection of workers?
  • How are changes to traditional employment models driving the need for agile protection?
  • How to empower workers to build individual resilience?

Listen to the full event here:


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