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The European Pillar of Social Rights, presented by the European Commission in April 2017, is a general framework for addressing employment and social performance in the EU. The European Pillar of Social Rights sets out key principles and rights in order to support fair and well-functioning labour markets throughout the EU. It is aimed at achieving convergence between Member States towards better working and living conditions by taking into account the current changes in the world of work.

Within the framework of the European Pillar of Social Rights, the revision and modification of the Written Statement Directive, which confers upon employees starting a new job the right to be notified in writing of the main aspects of their employment relationship, is on the agenda. The Commission promotes to broaden the scope of the Directive by adding the new forms of employment, such as on-demand workers and voucher-based workers. As a second change, the revision could reinforce the principle of providing information in writing to the employees about the applicable working conditions, therefore they would be better aware of their rights and would be able to enforce these rights more effectively. Third, the modernisation of the provisions of the Directive would encompass the establishment of new rights for employees, such as the right to predictability of work even in case of flexible employment contracts. The Commission aims to submit a legislative proposal on this issue before the end of 2017.

Furthermore, in relation to the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Commission presented a legislative proposal for a Directive on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers. The European Commission has also launched consultations with the trade unions and employers’ organisation on the modernisation of rules on employment contracts, as well as on the efficient access to social protection for all workers. It must be noted however that the means to achieve the goals specified in the European Pillar of Social Rights are in the hands of national authorities and social partners, since the competences of the EU are limited in this field: it can only set up the framework and give direction to the future developments.