Ministers on the importance of safe and healthy work for all

Met dank overgenomen van Sloveens voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2021 i, gepubliceerd op donderdag 14 oktober 2021.

On 15 October 2021, Minister Janez Cigler Kralj will chair the Employment and Social Policy Council configuration in Luxembourg. The ministers will discuss the future of the European Semester, which should include both social and economic aspects, and health and safety at work in the context of the green, digital and demographic transition.

The ministers will discuss the challenges in a changing world and the key role of health and safety at work in ensuring sustainable work throughout a person's life cycle, focusing on the implementation of the main objectives of the new EU strategic framework on health and safety at work for 2021‍-‍2027. Sustainable work is one of the main priorities of the Slovenian Presidency relating to employment, social affairs and equal opportunities.

It is important that all of us shaping and participating in the changing world of work are aware that the negative effects of unsustainable work accumulate throughout a person’s life cycle. The impact of working conditions on employees' health and well-being can either be seen immediately or only in the long run. Workers can only work longer if they are healthy, properly trained, motivated to work and to take part in lifelong learning, and if the working conditions are adequate and humane.

Janez Cigler KraljMinister for Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

Janez Cigler KraljMinister for Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

The debate on the future of the European Semester will also be important. Over the last year, the European Semester has been adapted to the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and, due to extraordinary circumstances, has been limited to fiscal aspects. The employment and social affairs ministers will discuss ways to ensure that in the future, the focus of the European Semester process is once again on social dimension.

Under the item on the European Semester, ministers are expected to approve key messages from the Employment and Social Protection Committees and adopt guidelines for the employment policies of EU member states.

Minister Cigler Kralj will propose the adoption of Council conclusions on gender mainstreaming in the EU budget. This means that the European Union will have to seek to eliminate inequalities and promote equality between men and women in all its activities.

The Slovenian Presidency will also organise a working lunch where the ministers will discuss long‑term strategies for adapting social protection systems to an ageing population in order to ensure their sustainability and adequacy.