Social Affairs

Background

In 1998, the European Commission decided to launch Sectoral Dialogue Committees promoting dialogue between the social partners (employers and employees) in different sectors at EU level. The Insurance Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (ISSDC), which is an informal working group composed of organisations representing employees and employers, was established in 1999. The BIPAR EU Social Affairs Committee, chaired by Mr. Didier Pissoort, takes an active role in participating in the EU Social Dialogue in order to protect the interests of intermediaries. Moreover, BIPAR regularly informs and consults its members before proceeding with the signature of any formal statement.

The ISSDC partners meet around 4 times per year. These meetings are the occasion to discuss and analyse topics relevant to the insurance sector at European level. At the meetings, the European Commission also regularly provides updates such as on the state of play on the implementation of the EU Pillar of Social Rights.

2018/19 activities of the ISSDC partners in the insurance sector

In February 2019, European social partners in the ISSDC Committee, including BIPAR, signed a Joint Statement on the effects of regulatory requirements and compliance on employees. In this Joint Statement, the social partners note that, while they support the new European rules aimed at ensuring a higher level of customer protection in financial services, such reforms have an impact on operators, customers and financial sector employees who witness disproportionate, burdensome and duplicative legal requirements. The social partners warn that information overload may lead to confusion, resulting thereby in a decision-making process which is difficult and stressful for the customers. Moreover, the significant increase in regulatory requirements has led to a substantial rise in insurance employees’ workloads. The social partners call, therefore, for employees to be given enough time to assimilate the latest changes in legislation and to apply them.In this Joint Statement, the social partners further highlight that the negative effects have a disproportionate impact on small and medium-sized entities, which contribute significantly to local economies but face a heavy burden keeping up with constant regulatory changes.

The social partners also signed a follow-up to the joint declaration on “the social effects of digitalisation” adopted in October 2016. By signing this follow-up, the social partners aim to make employees ready for the digital age through underlining the importance of continuous training as well as the need for employees to engage in further training opportunities, by addressing the issue of work-life balance of employees and by encouraging mobility of employees.

In view of the ISSDC work programme 2019-2020, the EU social partners are exploring the possibility of adopting a joint declaration on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and a joint declaration on gender equality, diversity and inclusion. In addition, at their meetings, the EU social partners will continue to share new developments and initiatives at sectoral and company level in relation to demographic challenges in the insurance sector and digitalisation. This particularly includes qualifications, lifelong learning, work-life balance, etc. The next plenary meeting is scheduled to take place in October 2020.

- Published in June 2020 -

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