UNIPSO, Belgian member of the Federation of European Social Employers, co-organised a conference on 14th January 2020 on the effects of digitalisation in the personal services sector, particularly on employment, on organisational processes, and on the nature and quality of services.
The conference was based on inter-university work, the main finding is that digitalisation carries an important potential in the personal services sector. The stakes of digitalisation in the sector are numerous and include the recognition and enhancement of professions, an increased demand to be expected and the impact on the quality of services. However, innovations such as the cloud, mobile connectivity, robotics or artificial intelligence are beginning to transform the sector.
The project has been structured in four stages.
1. Emerging controversies in the digitalisation of personal services
2. Twelve case studies, highlighting how the identified controversies emerge and identifying the specific issues facing social enterprises.
3. The diversity of initiatives to digitise services to people through an online survey that identified 5 company profiles with regard to their attitude to digitalisation.
4. The positioning of social enterprises with regard to digital technologies and the identification of possible courses of action to promote a digital transition in the sector: public financing, labelling and approval; taxation and solidarity; training and coordination; administrative simplification, awareness and information, consultation and social dialogue.
The Social Employers intervened on this last point to present their common position on digitalisation signed with the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). The common position paper outlines the major effects digitalisation has on employment in the social services sector and explores the role of collective bargaining and social dialogue to regulate the introduction and use of new technologies.
For more information on this initiative (in French), see the dedicated website: https://www.digitalwallonia.be/fr/publications/digi-serv