Social standards in aviation must improve – report

social standards in aviation
© iStock/den-belitsky

A report published today by the European Commission details a range of recommendations to maintain “high social standards” for the EU’s air crews.

The report sets out the EU’s agenda on social standards in aviation, highlighting the primary challenges currently faced by pilots and cabin crew; and clarifying the protections currently available to air crews under existing EU legislation. It notes the impact on the aviation sector of recent developments in technology and increased market competition, which has in turn contributed to what the Commission called “atypical forms of employment” and a subsequent lack of clarity on the part of employees over their rights.

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “The European Parliament, Member States, the aviation industry and social partners have called on the Commission to tackle the challenges aircrews in Europe face today. I am glad that we are delivering on this by putting forward a report that identifies concrete actions to maintain and promote high social standards in the aviation sector.”

The recommendations issued in the Commission’s report include:

  • The establishment of a group of aviation industry experts and labour rights advocates to advise authorities on relevant labour laws;
  • Further investigation into ways to address undeclared work in the industry, particularly bogus self-employment, where workers are registered as self-employed but locked in to an exclusive contract;
  • Ensuring that aviation bodies’ safety management protocols are inclusive of non-traditional working arrangements, including self-employment and agency workers; and
  • Continuing to work towards increasing the proportion of women employed in air crews in line with the principles of the EU Platform for Change.

Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “Determining and enforcing the applicable labour and social security rules for aircrews is not always an easy exercise. But the internal aviation market is not a jungle. There are European rules on fair labour mobility, ensuring worker protection and a level playing field. The Commission remains committed to continue to improve legal certainty and to support enforcement at national level.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here