MEPs want new EU employment guidelines to protect young and vulnerable workers 


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  • New guidelines adjust to life during COVID-19, war, cost of living crisis
  • EU and memb­­­er states to work towards a coordinated strategy on national employment
  • Unpaid work should end; just remuneration for internships

MEPs voted to introduce new guidelines on national employment policies aimed at protecting vulnerable workers and creating a more inclusive European job market.

On Tuesday, Parliament approved a report by its Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) calling for a new set of recommendations to deal with the COVID-19 fallout, war in Ukraine, green transition and cost of living crisis. The resolution was carried by 333 in favour, 253 against and 52 abstentions.

The revised guidelines are aimed at boosting the demand for labour, enhancing supply and access to employment, and promoting equal opportunities, particularly for vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, the LGBTIQA+ community and people living in disadvantaged regions.

MEPs call for precarious and unpaid work to come to an end, including the abuse of undeclared, atypical and zero-hour contracts. All internships should offer fair remuneration, decent working conditions and access to social protection.

The right to disconnect should also be respected as it risks diluting the boundaries in the work-life balance.

The EU and member states should devise a common strategy aimed at improving the quality of employment, working conditions and wage standards through a sustainable model. Parliament reiterated its call for a greater involvement in establishing the guidelines with the Council and the Commission and work jointly towards the goals set out by EU leaders at the 2021 Porto Summit.


Parliament’s rapporteur, Alicia Homs Ginel (S&D, ES), said during the debate on Monday: “The European future will require quality jobs and protection of social investment. This is a package for social resilience which will allow assistance to workers and a social rescue measure for the most vulnerable while we are bringing in minimum income through all member states through a directive.

“It’s time to put an end to unpaid work: we need to stand alongside the people of Europe, the citizens of today and the citizens of tomorrow. For that reason, all young people who are doing internships should receive just remuneration, decent working conditions and access to the social security system.”


The guidelines for employment policies in member states serve as recommendations to create more and better jobs in the European market. The Commission proposed an amendment in May this year to adapt to the post COVID-19 environment, bringing in more elements related to fairness in the green transition, reflecting recent policy initiatives and adding policy elements of particular relevance in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.