Insurance sector welcomes digitalisation as a united front

The employer and employee organisations in the European insurance sector have committed to collaboration as they face the changes brought by digitalisation. Shared views lay down an important foundation for further work at the national level.

The work environment is changing. Employees need to adopt new skills, and management and leadership must modernise. Key elements to tackling this change include further training and adequate focus on telework, for example.

The European social partners in the Insurance Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (ISSDC), which include Insurance Europe and UNI Europa Finance, signed a joint declaration on the social effects of digitalisation, drawing attention to how the new ways of working will affect the insurance sector. The Finnish insurance sector’s representatives in drafting the declaration were Tarja Kallonen, Research Manager at the Federation of Finnish Financial Services, and Liisa Halme, President of the Union of Insurance Employees in Finland. ISSDC is a forum established by the European Commission.

Less control, more trust

The declaration emphasises the safeguarding of jobs as the top priority. Employers must provide training for the constantly changing duties, and employees must keep themselves up to date with changes in the sector. The forms of training are also changing: in the future, much of it may be solely online based.

Telework calls for good communication and mutual trust at the workplace. The employer must have confidence in that employees carry out their duties without constant monitoring. Employees, in turn, must be able to rely on their employer’s support and training opportunities.

“It is important that employers and employees are engaged in dialogue on the future of financial work on a European level. Shared views form an important foundation that can be further applied at the national level. The Finnish Healthy Financial Sector project is one of the best national examples of precisely this kind of cooperation between social partners”, Tarja Kallonen notes.

“The progress of technology and digitalisation could definitely be utilised even more in telework and local collective bargaining, for example. If employees could opt to work from home, they might in response be more flexible in terms of working times”, Liisa Halme suggests.