Today, the European Commission presents Guidelines to ensure the protection of seasonal workers in the EU in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. It provides guidance to national authorities, labour inspectorates, and social partners to guarantee the rights, health and safety of seasonal workers, and to ensure that seasonal workers are aware of their rights. Cross-border seasonal workers enjoy a broad set of rights, but given the temporary nature of their work, they can be more vulnerable to precarious working and living conditions. 

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In recent months, much attention has turned to what can and should be done about homelessness during this crisis period. It bears reminding that this level of urgency and attention should arguably be the norm, and the issues exposed by COVID-19 are by no means new for those directly affected or those working in the sector.  However, the kinds of responses required by the outbreak have revealed gaps in our social protection systems to a wider public.

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In December 2019 the European Commission announced that it would put forward a proposal for an EU minimum wage. Six months later, the need for a European initiative on minimum wages is more evident than ever as the COVID-19 crisis makes us re-evaluate the value of work and highlights that essential workers are often left underappreciated, underpaid and with precarious contracts.

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A panel will discuss how COVID-19 is affecting the European labour market, how Europeans are experiencing the current crisis, as well as the policy responses of EU Member States and social partners to the pandemic. The panelists will analyse which sectors and groups of workers are most affected and explore how the global situation compares to that of the EU. They will also reflect on possible solutions to mitigate labour market disruption in the wake of COVID-19. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A.

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Political discourse vs policy reality: the relationship between migrants and social protection in the EU

It’s been proposed, probed and pushed to the margins of the European Union for more than two decades.

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A minimum income provision is an essential building block in the third pillar - social protection – of the Caritas Social Model. It constitutes a last safety net when people temporarily are unable to generate an income from their economic activity or benefits to which they are entitled. Despite this, analysis of the CARES! Country reports 2019 shows that not all European countries have a minimum income provision and that some of the existing ones are inadequate. It is crucial to improve this situation in order to ensure a dignified life to all.

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Growing numbers of workers experiencing the symptoms of coronavirus face a stark choice: self-isolate and lose income or keep going to work. So, as the COVID-19 crisis deepens, countries including Ireland, Germany and Denmark are introducing emergency measures to help.

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BLOG: Access to social and health services plays a key role in guaranteeing quality of life. This is particularly relevant for the most vulnerable in society, such as homeless people—for whom access may be particularly difficult even when services are potentially available. Studies show that strategies based on the presumption that the needs of homeless people can be met with standard services are proving ineffective. Successful policies are centred on individual needs and preferences.

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The European Union adopted a new €297 million assistance package to support refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon via the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis. The EU has also decided to extend the mandate of the Trust Fund which will allow the Trust Fund's projects to run until the end of 2023.

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