Labour and Social Affairs

Trainee at a milling machine

Trainee at a milling machine, © picture alliance / Keystone

12.02.2024 - Article

The Unit for Labor and Social Affairs represents the Federal Government within the committees and working groups of the Council of the European Union (Council Working Group on Social Affairs) that are relevant to the labor market and social policies and which prepare the meetings of the Council of Ministers (Formation Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Protection). It mainly covers the topics that are the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Germany. These include initiatives in the areas of the labor market, labor law, social security, policy for people with disabilities and occupational health and safety.

We accompany European legislative projects, i.e. directives and regulations, which are negotiated based on Art. 153 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, for example:

- Revision of the Regulations on the Coordination of Social Security Systems (883/04 and 987/09)

- Revision of the Directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work (Asbestos Directive)

- Directive on greater transparency and improvement of the working conditions of platform workers

- Directive on adequate minimum wages in the EU

- Among the legal acts we accompany is also the Commission's proposal on corporate due diligence (so-called EU Supply Chain Directive).

We regularly accompany topics such as:

  • Minimum income (incl. the Council Recommendation on adequate minimum income)
  • Safety and health at work (incl. home office)
  • Reconciliation of work and private life
  • Fair pay and adequate social protection for employees
  • Promotion of continuing professional and vocational training
  • Promotion of sustainable, inclusive and ecological sustainable work
  • Implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (ESSR) within the European Semester
  • Combating youth unemployment by means of the Youth Guarantee
  • European Social Dialogue
  • Implementation of the strategy for the rights of people with disabilities (2021 - 2030)

We (especially the Social Affairs Officer) maintain industrial relations as well as contact with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and are in exchange with the social partners in addition to associations and institutions.

Further information may be found at:

Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs

Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council
Labor and Social Affairs within the European Commission (DG EMPL)
Labor and Social Affairs within the European Parliament (EMPL Committee)

The unit is headed by Thomas Rogowski.


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