The 20th October 2017 marked the launch of the Federation of European Social Employers, representing major employer organisations in the field of social services in Europe.
The Social Services sector is a major job creator in Europe,
employing over 10 million staff and creating over 1.8 million new jobs
in Europe since 2008. Together with health services, the social services
sector represents 7% of the total economic output in the EU 28. With
changing demographics and family patterns, the social services sector is
expected to grow significantly over the next few decades.
The newly established Federation of European Social Employers will aim at setting-up, together with workers’ representatives, a sectoral European social dialogue committee, with participation in EU cross-sectoral social dialogue (through pre-existing structures) being an important objective.
In his opening speech at the European Economic and Social Committee, the newly elected President of the Social Employers, Gregor Tomschizek, announced that “the creation of sectoral social dialogue structures for social services at European level is a must for Europe! It will allow employer and employee representatives in the sector to lay down on the table issues of concern and provide a space for collective assessment of the challenges faced. This will help the sector improve its attractiveness for staff, especially for young people, and improve the quality of the care and support services we provide”.
The Social Employers will also strive to provide a voice to social services Employers’ at European level. The objective is to help the European Union take full advantage of the sector’s opportunities and contribution towards social cohesion, job creation and inclusive growth in the years to come.
Stéphane Racz, Vice President of the Social Employers, stated that “Social Services are the biggest job creators in Europe today. FESE will help provide a direct line between the European institutions, their policies and the thousands of Social Services Employers in Europe. That is our ambition. Helping to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, for instance, could be a great start.”
The creation of the Social Employers was achieved through the “Promoting Employers’ Social Services in Social dialogue III” project, supported by the European Union and coordinated by the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD). The PESSIS III project also included important research on how social dialogue structures were set-up in the sector throughout Europe.
Jiri Horecky, Vice President of the Social Employers, stressed that the “PESSIS III project demonstrates that there are still large differences as to how social dialogue structures are set-up throughout Europe. FESE also wants to work at national level to help strengthen Employers’ structures for the sector. Stronger Employers’ structures in social services at national and European level are essential if Europe is to maximise the potential of social service providers in supporting and empowering elderly people, persons with disabilities, children and other disadvantaged groups”