The ability to engage in telework could make the insurance sector a better place to work, while also increasing productivity within the sector, according to a joint declaration signed by Insurance Europe, the European insurance and reinsurance federation, and other European bodies representing employers and trade unions in the European insurance sector.
The declaration, signed yesterday, builds on the last cross-sectoral Framework Agreement on Telework signed in 2002. Telework allows employees to work remotely from outside of their place of work and, due to significant technological advances, is now far more commonplace than when the last Framework Agreement was signed.
Telework has many advantages for both employers and employees. Employers can benefit from increased productivity from satisfied and better motivated staff, while employees gain greater flexibility in working hours and savings in time, money and stress due to reduced commutes. In turn, this has a positive effect on the environment due to less people commuting to work. Telework is, of course, voluntary for both employers and employees, and there are some jobs where it is not suitable.
William Vidonja, head of conduct of business at Insurance Europe, said: “This declaration recognises the importance of ensuring a good work-life balance and the role that teleworking can play in making the insurance industry a more attractive and productive place to work.”
The declaration is the result of debates in the Insurance Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (ISSDC), a unique platform at EU level in which insurance employer and employee representatives can discuss topics of common interest with the support of the European Commission.
Sebastian Hopfner, chairman of Insurance Europe’s Social Dialogue Platform, added: “The European insurance social partners call upon their members, as well as interested parties in the insurance sector, to consider their own practices in light of the following joint declaration.”
The Committee’s employers’ delegation is composed of Insurance Europe, the Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe (AMICE) and the European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries (BIPAR). The European trade union federation (UNI-Europa) also signed, representing employees.