The COVID-19 pandemic is a tipping point for technology dissemination and for the digital transformation of our working environment. In the context of the pandemic, the acceleration of digitalisation is most visible in the sudden and massive shift towards telework.

IndustriAll Europe recognizes the urgency to react to the sudden developments on telework. It has adopted an initial trade union position on this topic (link) with several key demands to ensure that telework is an option and not an imposition by employers.

Telework proved to be an important tool that allowed work to continue in professions suited to telework, thereby protecting workers from exposure to the Corona virus. Understandably, in many cases it was implemented without pre-established working arrangements or agreements regarding the provision of equipment, working conditions, working time, data protection, social protection including insurances, or training. 

IndustriAll Europe believes that 9 months after the start of the pandemic and introduction of lockdowns and social distancing requirements it is high time for telework to be regulated. This is necessary because telework will continue until the pandemic is brought under control. Furthermore, it can be expected to become a more permanent feature of working life since many employers have started to recognise its advantages. 

Our position highlights the need to negotiate the conditions for telework. Through collective agreements, unions want to ensure that telework works to the advantage for workers and does not become a mere cost reduction strategy of business.

Postion paper on telework: EN, FR, DE

Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication)