EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT IN THE POSTCRISIS EUROPE
BENCHMARKING THE COMMERCE AND SERVICE SECTORS
Social dialogue, collective bargaining and employee participation cannot be seen as separate and independent practices. They are interlinked. Changes in one of the three areas automatically influence the others.
Aware of this reality, ProEFP partners launched a new action whose aim is to explore how employee participation and collective bargaining support each other. In the aftermath of the economic crisis, the project wants to revitalise the nexus between statutory rules and collectively agreed rules to boost employee participation in European companies. It will do it going through the current EU acquis in the field of information, consultation and participation rights of employees and exploring how changes in collective bargaining national systems have impacted a correct implementation of these rights at national and European level. The focus is therefore on the legal tools which set a clear nexus between collective bargaining and information, consultation and participation rights.
At the end of the project, a Report will advance policy options for a better use of information, consultation and participation rights. It will elaborate on options like statutory regulation vs. negotiated rules, national regulation vs. European regulation, hard regulation vs. soft regulation. It will be supported by an in-depth analysis of the status quo of the industrial relation perspectives in the post crisis socio-economic environment. The benchmark with the commerce and service sector will tell how the policy option may be of use in concrete terms.
Exchange of practices will be supported by two events:
- A study event will be organized to ensure an in-depth exchange of views among project partners and selected experts/stakeholders
- A European Conference for a larger dissemination of project results with social partners, EU and national institutions and other stakeholders
The added value of the project resides in the fact that information and consultation practices and procedure will be studied in depth against the social and economic context in which they are developed. Further development of industrial relations cannot be planned without considering the main economic and societal challenges that companies have to deal with in different sectors. Considering that the legal analysis of the European acquis has been widely studied, this study will focus on operational aspects of enforcement of the acquis trying to point out obstacles and factor of success to a stronger implementation of such rights through collective bargaining. The Commerce and Service sector will work as benchmark. The project will point out common European trends and challenges in the economic and social field in order to make employee involvement a point of strength for the SMEs in Europe according to the objectives set in EU 2020 Strategy, the enhancement of the Single Market while preserving social cohesion. This methodology has already been used by PROEFP partners when a benchmark study on the automotive sector and one on the construction sector has been finalised in the past years (see www.proefp.eu). The European dimension works in two directions: it will improve the collection and analyses of practices and, on the way around sill deliver policy options to be pursued at European level. The active participation of both employee and employer side will make the project contributing to the definition of join transnational trade union strategies in this field.
The researchactivity will keep into account different levels and perspectives of analysis and exchange. Several countries will be featured for the information collection and analysis of the good practices. However, the national approach will only be the starting point in order to enhance cross-border knowledge and a transnational approach to industrial relations. The findings related to the featured countries will be put in a comparative perspective, and will represent the ground for the transnational exchange. The active engagement of UniEurope, ETUC and DIESIS will ensure a direct involvement of their affiliates in the target countries from both employers and trade union side.
Syndex and Scuola Nazionale Servizi will be in charge with the drafting of the entire study under the supervision of CONFESAL.
In terms of benchmark analysis Syndex will perform the analysis of the Commerce sector while SNS will analyse the Private Service sector with a focus on facility management and personal and household services.
They will perform a desk-research investigation on the EU economic outlook, and economic and social policies related to employee involvement and nexus with collective bargaining. They will also in charge with the supervision and editing of the entire study.
In each Country European and national organisation will have the task to support experts, give them access to information, to point out best practices and contacts to run interviews.
The group of experts will provide an intermediate report “Taking stock of employee involvement in Europe and future challenges. Benchmarking the commerce and service sector”.
The research activity will be enriched by the results of 2 study events that will allow the partnership to confront and discuss with National and European stakeholders.
The research group will collect findings from the study events and will advance proposals for conclusions. Findings will be supported by, at least, 5 case studies in the commerce sector in 5 different countries and 5 case studies in private service sector in 5 different countries.
Case studies will be identified during the Study events and be exemplificative of the main trends recorded during the first stage of desk-research investigation activity. Case studies will be developed through interviews with company and employee representatives and access to company documents (balance sheet, collective agreements, social reports, others)
The study and the results reached by the partnership will be presented on the occasion of a final conference that will be held in Bussels.
The project enjoys a large and qualified partnership composed by the following organisations