Take-aways from the launching event of the EU-funded project

On 19th -20th of September 2019 in Palermo CESI Academy and its member organisations launch the EU-funded project on #noprecariouswork: promoting ways to empower trade unions to address the new challenges.

Since 2007 in Europe we witness a rapid increase of the use of atypical work contracts. In March 2019, CESI addresses this issue at the kick-off meeting of the project where a full panel of experts address the indicators for precariousness (duration, working conditions/ equal treatment, remuneration, entitlements linked to contracts, interest representation) and conclude that precarious work can be addressed by better enforcement of labour law, social protection and interest representation.

The conversation on #noprecariouswork restarts in Palermo, with the help of the moderator Pierre Baussand, Head of the Eurofound Brussels office and long-time expert on labour conditions. Contributions are made by leading trade unionists from six EU member states and one candidate-country Serbia, top lawyers (Nicola Zampieri, Sergio Galleano, Vincenzo de Michele), judges (Paolo Coppola, Judge, Napoli Court & Michele de Luca, Judge at the Italian High Court of Cassation) and experts (Dr. Antonio Garcia-Munoz, European Centre of Expertise in the field of Labour Law Employment and Labour Market Policies, Prof. Dr. Monika Schlachter-Voll, Council of Europe). They take stock of the current situation on precarious work and collectively they look for solutions to address it.

Evidence collected from CESI member organisations through a non-representative online survey and during the presentations at the event in Palermo (Dolores Martinéz – SAE, Bernd Sauer – dbb, Luc Viehé – SPELC, to name a few) showcases the following:

  • Extensive use of abusive fixed-term work contracts in Italy and Germany for the teaching profession:
    • “As a representative of the association, I look after the precarious employment conditions of many teachers in Baden-Württemberg, who are regularly dismissed for the summer holidays and are recruited after the summer holidays.”
    • “The share of fixed-term employment contracts in Germany has been rising for years. In 2017, the fixed-term rate was 8.3 percent. Of this, 7.2 percent came to the private sector, 9.5 percent to the civil service.”
  • Abusive use of temporary work contracts:
    • “As a temporary agency worker I was not equally treated in terms of remuneration, benefits, entitlements and working conditions in relation to those working in similar position under standard contracts.”
  • Discrimination in temporary employment in the public sector;
  • Youngsters and migrants have been identified as vulnerable groups facing less access to standard forms of employment.
  • Wage discrimination has been identified as another factor of precariousness, affecting heavily the medical sector in countries like Spain and Eastern Europe; the phenomenon is causing skills-drainage in these regions;
  • A general feeling of insecurity (precariousness) for multiple sectors, regardless of the type of employment contracts despite full-time/ standard work contracts;


Some of the take-aways of the two half-day event on #noprecariouswork and solutions to be pursued in the context of the project include:

  • Precarious work is not a choice. An economy based on the use of precarious work contracts is not a sustainable solution for any European society (Romain Wolff, CESI President).
  • Legislative loopholes and abusive contracts need to be closed. They undermine the principle of equal treatment of fair working conditions. (Nicola Zampieri, Italian lawyer)
  • EU jurisprudence and the ECJ sentences on atypical contracts can be used as an advocacy tool at national level.
  • EU legislation on fixed-term/ part-time/ temporary work need to be checked for their fitness-for-purpose and their implementation/ enforcement at national level needs to be checked.
  • All contributions support the following solutions to end precarious work at EU level: more interest representation, social dialogue and a statutory minimum wage EU-wide.

This project is mainly financed by funds from the European Union


© 2019 CESI