How to ensure decent work and job quality for essential workers (ILO)

Date: Tuesday 10 October, 09:30 – 12:30, followed by a networking lunch
Venue: Thon Hotel, Rue de la Loi 75, B-1040 Brussels

Eurofound and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are pleased to invite you to their joint half-day, in-person event in Brussels on How to ensure decent work and job quality for essential workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic put the spotlight on groups of workers crucial to the functioning of our societies. Many of those, known as essential workers, experience several difficulties, including insufficient pay, precarious contracts, long or very short working hours and psychosocial risks. At the same time, they work in sectors which are experiencing acute labour shortages. The improvement of their working conditions is crucial for building EU’s economic and social resilience to future shocks and poly-crisis.

Following an introduction by Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and Evelyn Regner, Vice-President of the European Parliament, this timely event will be an opportunity to hear both a global and a European perspective from the ILO and Eurofound drawing on their latest findings from the ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook 2023 – “The value of essential work”, and Eurofound’s forthcoming policy brief on Job quality of critical workers in the EU.

Moderated by Journalist Shona Murray, a panel of social partners from essential sectors will provide a platform for an exchange and discussion about the main challenges they are currently facing, and how they are preparing for the future. Bringing together up to 60 participants including EU policymakers, interest groups and social partners, the event will be followed by a light networking lunch.


Onsite places are limited so register here now



Registration and coffee


Welcome by Shona Murray, Journalist

Introductory remarks

  • Ivailo Kalfin, Executive Director Eurofound
  • Lieve Verboven, Director ILO Office for the EU and the Benelux countries


Opening remarks by Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights



Evelyn Regner, Vice-President of the European Parliament


Presentation by Eurofound and ILO experts:

  • Janine Berg, Senior Economist, International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Jorge Cabrita, Research manager, Eurofound


Discussion with social partner panel, moderated by Shona Murray, Journalist

The role of social dialogue in ensuring decent work and job quality for essential workers:

  • Marta Branca, Secretary General, European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM)
  • Adam Rogalewski, Policy Officer – Health and Social Services, European Public Service Union (EPSU)
  • Matteo Matarazzo, Director General, European Cleaning and Facility Services Industry (EFCI)
  • Mark Bergfeld, Director of Property Services & UNICARE at UNI Global Union


Q&A with the audience moderated by Shona Murray, Journalist


Key takeaway points from panellists


Wrap-up by moderator and closing


End of event – Networking lunch