Liberties in Lockdown 9 – Back to what future: Work and COVID-19


We are all hoping that the worst of this crisis is now over. From an employment perspective, the unpredictability created by the coronavirus pandemic has deeply shaken the certainties of workers and enterprises across the globe, many of whom have had to face serious financial consequences.

As the European institutions strive to develop systemic tools to boost economic resilience across member states, many workers are finding themselves in precarious situations, none more so than seasonal workers, small entrepreneurs, professionals from the world of sport and culture, and those working in tourism.

For some, it is not difficult to imagine what the future of work will be like. Many companies have already begun to avail of digital systems and smart-working tools during this period of heightened technological dependency and they may continue with these practices going forward. Concerns have been raised, however, that the introduction of more digitally focused systems could threaten the job stability of some groups.

On the contrary, others have argued that the experience of COVID-19 could also act as a catalyst for embracing new ‘work-from-home’ models and more sophisticated teleworking software. How will this experience affect traditional views of work? Will national governments protect the working population? When faced with the costs/benefits dilemma, what can be said of safeguarding people’s fundamental right to work while at the same time protecting the health of the community?

These questions, and many more, will be tackled by our distinguished speakers during the ninth online event of ELF’s new series – Liberties in Lockdown.

Time: 14:00 – 15:00 (CEST)

Speakers include: 

Martina Dlabajová, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe Group

Esther Lynch, Deputy General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation

Sandra Parthie, Head of Brussels Office / Head of European Affairs, German Economic Institute (IW Köln)

Moderated by: 

Mathias Wouters, PhD Researcher, Institute for Labour Law, KU Leuven

Opening remarks by:

Daniel Kaddik, Executive Director, European Liberal Forum

This event will be live-streamed on the European Liberal Forum Facebook page.

Organised by the European Liberal Forum.

It’s clear that COVID-19 will reshape our societies, and indeed our lives, in many ways. What will our world look like once the lockdowns have ended and the travel restrictions are lifted? Will we recognise our countries and cities; our neighbourhoods and friends? Will we recognise ourselves? For the next few weeks, each installment of the Liberties in Lockdown series will have a particular focus, looking at, among other things, the economy, digital privacy and healthcare. We hope you can join us for these important discussions.

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