This page lists the 6 policy domains under "Equal opportunities on the labour market", part of the European pillar of social rights.

Skills, education and lifelong learning

Basic skills in language, literacy, numeracy and ICT, which are the first building blocks for learning, remain a challenge for a significant share of the population, from children to adults. To increase quality and relevance of education outcomes, education and training systems need to become more effective, equitable and responsive to labour market and societal needs.

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Flexible and secure labour contracts

Flexible contracts can facilitate entry to the labour market and promote career transitions, while allowing employers to respond to shifts in demand. However, large differences in employment conditions persist across different employment contracts.  Moving towards types of contracts that have comparable guarantees and costs can allow temporary employment to become a stepping stone towards stable and secure employment, while increasing the resilience of labour markets to shocks.

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Secure professional transitions

Working lives are becoming more diverse, including multiple jobs and forms of employment, career interruptions, increased mobility and professional changes within one's lifetime. Making the most of technological change and fast-changing labour markets requires faster and improved support for job and professional transitions, as well as support for regular up-skilling throughout the working life.

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Active support to employment

Persistent, recurrent as well as long-term unemployment, in particular for young people and people with low skills, calls for adequate and targeted support for (re)entering work. Rapid and effective access to such measures can prevent labour market and social exclusion.

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Gender equality and work-life balance

Women continue to be underrepresented in employment, overrepresented in part-time work and lower-paid sectors, and receive lower hourly wages. Supporting their labour market participation is fundamental for ensuring equality of opportunities. Barriers to female  participation in the labour market include lack of adequate work-life balance policies, fiscal disincentives for second earners or excessive taxation of labour, and stereotypes on fields of study and occupation. Flexible working arrangements can help facilitate work-life balance by allowing both people in employment and firms to adapt working schedules and patterns to their needs.

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Equal opportunities

Discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation is illegal throughout the Union. However certain groups, such as third country nationals and ethnic minorities, face difficulties in accessing the world of work. Supporting their labour market participation is fundamental for ensuring equality of opportunities, and becomes an economic imperative in a context of ageing workforce.

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