PERC/CGSLB workshop on OHS in times of pandemic

The workshop “Occupational Health and Safety during times of pandemic; return to work measures and gender perspective” took place on 16 December.

It was organized together with the Belgium trade union CGSLB through a project with the Belgium Federal Public Service for Employment, Labor and Social Dialogue. Some seventy participants both from Western and Eastern European countries took part in the meeting. The main issues discussed were ensuring safety and health at work during the pandemic; establishing safe return to work; Belgium example of generic guide negotiated with social partners, COVID -19 as occupational disease; gender perspective in tackling work-life balance, teleworking and flexible working arrangements. The meeting was moderated by Olivier Valentin, National Secretary CGSLB Belgium.

The prevention of the third wave of COVID -19 pandemic depends on reaching agreements between social partners on work organization with strong attention to occupational health and safety. Now in most European countries we can see a re-opening of workplaces and we can notice cases of violation of Occupational Health and Safety regulations; the workshop participants discussed the trade union responses to present crisis and made an exchange of best practices in the region. At the same time Occupational Health and Safety has a series of gender aspects linked with remote work and balancing work and family and participants discussed trade union strategies in this respect.

The following experts made presentations during the meeting; Ursula Kulke, Senior Social Protection Specialist, ILO-ACTRAV referred to ILO perspective as concerns the return to work policies; Maresa Le Roux, National Coordinator, CGSLB presented the role of social dialogue in return to work policies; Belgian example - Belgian generic guide; ITUC policy was presented by Owen Tudor, Deputy General Secretary, ITUC ; PERC policy was presented by Anton Leppik, Executive Secretary, Psychosocial risks were presented by Paula Franklin, Senior Researcher Health & Safety and Working Conditions Unit, ETUI and Aude Cefaliello , Researcher Health & Safety and Working Conditions Unit, ETUI. The two experts referred to gender aspects in Occupational Health and Safety, teleworking, flexible arrangements, digitalization, consequences for work-life balance.

OSH presentation ACTRAV (Ursula Kulke)
CGSLB presentation
Gender WLB Covid Telework ETUI (Paula and Aude)