The year 2020 at a glance : HOSPEEM Activity report

2020 has been an eventful year ensuring that the views of hospital and healthcare employers are being heard at the highest level. The HOSPEEM Activity Report 2020 is published and presents the main activities carried out during the year (page 3,4,5) as well as relevant information on the structure and membership of HOSPEEM.

Firstly, HOSPEEM published a collection of challenges and lessons learnt in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, providing a first insight into hospital and healthcare employers’ experiences. HOSPEEM believes that long-term investments are of vital importance to sustaining a resilient healthcare system and society as a whole.

Secondly, the Eurofound representativeness study for the Hospital Sector was published, confirming that HOSPEEM remains the most representative hospital employer association on the EU level. HOSPEEM called for political support from European institutions to strengthen capacity building of sectoral social partners to be represented in the European sectoral social dialogue.

Thirdly, HOSPEEM and the signatories of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence (TPV) and harassment related to work published a statement on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the guidelines in 2020.

Download the report 2020

CALL FOR TENDER – Subcontracting external expertise

Open call for tender for research on the role of social partners in preventing third-party violence and harassment at work

Date of publication on the project partners’ website: 02 March 2021
Deadline for submissions: 02 April 2021

Download the Call for Tender

TENDER SPECIFICATIONS FOR SUBCONTRACTING EXTERNAL EXPERTISE

1. Background

The research being contracted is part of a project entitled The role of social partners in preventing third-party violence and harassment at work, which has received financial support from the European Commission under budget line 04.03.01.08 and which runs until 28 February 2023.

The project is coordinated by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and involves HOSPEEM, CEMR, CESI as co-applicants and ETF, ETNO, ETUCE, EUPAE, UITP as associated organisations. The project aims to assess the effectiveness at the national level of the EU Multi-sectoral social partners’ guidelines to tackle and prevent third-party violence and harassment related to work (2010), hereafter the Guidelines.

It will identify areas for improvements and explore possibilities for reviewing the Guidelines’ content and nature considering recent legislative developments and the ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment (2019). It will also aim to be an awareness-raising tool on a gender-sensitive approach to violence and harassment at the workplace.

It will include a mix of capacity-building among EU sectoral social partners and evidence-based policy recommendations addressed to the project partners, their members, and public authorities. It will consist of two European conferences with sectoral break-out discussions and seven webinars. The project focuses on public services, i.e., government, hospitals, education, public transport, supported by examples drawn from the private sector (telecoms), allowing to compare sectoral specificities and produce general policy recommendations. All are signatories to the Guidelines except public transport and telecoms, which have their sectoral agreements.

2. Purpose of the contract

Support is being sought from a researcher or a team of researchers to help facilitate the project run by the EU social partners EPSU, HOSPEEM, CEMR and CESI (project applicants). The contractor(s) will carry out comparative research on the prevalence and causes of third-party violence and harassment in the targeted sectors across the EU, legislative and social partner responses and assessment of the Guidelines’ effectiveness. The research will help social partners draw up their conclusions on how to improve the Guidelines’ implementation and, if necessary, based upon evidence, the guidelines’ content and nature. They will be in close contact with the project applicants via the Steering Group to ensure that the appropriate initial research is prepared and presented in due course. The final research report is useful for European organisations and their affiliates to improve preventive and response measures. The researchers will also assist with the organisation of the project webinars and conferences and with the coordination of the project to ensure practical outcomes.

3. Tasks to be performed by the contractor

The role and responsibilities of the researcher(s) and the preferred methodology for executing the tasks will be described in the following sections:

3.1 Research outline

The research will provide an overview of the current situation and draw up recommendations in close consultation with the project partners. It will examine:

  • Effectiveness and usefulness of the Guidelines in the abovementioned sectors and comparing with the situation in the two sectors which apply other sectoral instruments;
  • Relevant legislative, collective agreements and other instruments such as the ILO Convention 190;
  • The relationship between external and internal violence and harassment and whether both should be tackled separately;
  • Risk factors, e.g., human and material resources, dealing with vulnerable citizens, handling cash, quality and availability of services, discrimination (real or perceived), type of employment contracts, social cohesion at the workplace, working alone, digitalisation, sparse social dialogue, outsourcing, broader socio-economic factors;
  • Protection of and compensation for victims of violence and harassment and sanctions of perpetrators;
  • Preventive instruments, such as legislation, collective bargaining, data collection, risk assessments, reporting and follow-up, training of workers and management, health and safety and labour-related bodies.

3.2 Description of tasks

  • Participating in the project partners’ Steering Group meetings, the seven webinars and two conferences;
  • Assisting in the organisation of the webinars and conferences. This may include the moderation of various sessions during the events.
  • Liaising with the project partners in exploring and finding direct or indirect potential contacts from relevant employers’ organisations and trade unions in targeted countries and sectors to conduct comparative research;
  • Contacting representatives from national social partner organisations in the targeted sector and providing information on the project in cooperation with the respective project partners;
  • Drafting the survey addressed to national social partner organisations in the sector in the targeted countries after liaising with the project partners;
  • Identifying good practices from national social partners after liaising with the project partners;
  • Conducting targeted interviews/ testimonials with key opinion leaders of targeted sectors after liaising with the project partners;
  • Collecting and organising responses to the survey;
  • Drafting the content of the research report based on three main outcomes: 1.) responses collected via the survey, 2) information provided by participants and speakers during the webinars and conferences and 3) desk research;
  • Presenting the draft research report at the first conference;
  • Finalising the research report in coordination with project partners;
  • Presenting the final research report at the second conference.

3.3 Guidance and indications on tasks execution and methodology

The project will consist of comparative research on the prevalence and causes of third-party violence and harassment at work in the targeted sectors across the EU, legislative and social

partner responses and assessment of the Guidelines’ effectiveness. The researchers are expected to conduct quantitative research, such as a working-population based survey taking into account national specificities of the various sectors, as well as already

existing European databases, such as the European Working Conditions Survey and the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks.

The project partners foresee that the targeted countries be spread across the European Union, with two countries per region (North, East, South, Central and West). The targeted sectors correspond with those covered by the project partners, such as education (i.e. secondary schools), hospitals, prisons, employment services, urban public transport and administrative functions in local regional governments, after consultation with the researchers. Further to the quantitative analysis, the researcher should conduct at least four semi-structured or open-ended interviews with key opinion leaders in their respective sectors, which will provide direct examples of affected sectors. The interviews will be for communication purposes of the project applicants.

4. Expertise required

  • At least three years of experience in the fields of occupational safety and health, including psychosocial risks, third-party violence and harassment at work, and gender equality, preferably with an understanding of national and European social dialogue;
  • Familiar with the Multi-sectoral Guidelines, ILO Convention 190 and other relevant  European and international instruments regarding prevention of violence and harassment at work;
  • The researchers should be or be able to become familiar with the project partners’ publications on third-party violence.

5. Timetable

The project duration is from 1 March 2021 until 28 February 2023. The draft research report must be made available no less than two weeks before the first conference. The researchers will present and test initial findings at the mid-term technical conference on 19 November 2021 (date TBC). They will use them to finetune research angles and carry out targeted interviews of project delegates. The researcher should finalise the draft of the research four weeks before the political conference on 25 November 2022 and finalise the report by 1 December 2022, taking into account the proceedings of the webinars and both conferences.

6. Price

The total budget for the research is 35 000,00 EUR (all taxes and charges included). The contractor’s travel and accommodation expenses to attend any of the project events and meet with the project partners will be covered separately from the project’s overall travel and accommodation budget.

7. Payments

EPSU will sign a contract with the subcontracted researcher(s). Payments will be made in three instalments depending on the contractors carrying out the relevant stages of the work in accordance with the contract. The first payment of 20% of the contract value on the contract’s signature, a further payment of 40% of the contract value on completion of initial findings of the research two weeks before the mid-term technical conference on 19 November 2021, and a final payment of 40% upon completion of the research report by 1 December 2022.

8. Selection criteria:

  • Verifiable expertise, experience and skills, as required and described above;
  • Proven knowledge/ evidence/track record of research (supported by publications, academic articles etc.) on sectoral social dialogue, in particular focusing on the targeted sectors;
  • Respect of the budgetary constraints and timeline.

9. Award criteria

The contract will be awarded to the tenderer whose offer represents the best value for money – taking into account the selection criteria. The principles of transparency and equal treatment to avoid any conflict of interest will be respected. It should be noted that the contract will not be awarded to a tenderer who receives less than 70% on the selection criteria.

10. Content and presentation of the bids

Tenders must be written in English. They must be signed by the tenderer or duly authorised representative and legible so that there can be no doubt about words and figures. Tenders must be clear and concise, demonstrating that they are able to meet the requirements of the specifications. All tenders must include at least two sections:

i) Technical proposal

The technical proposal must provide all the information needed for awarding the contract, including:

  • Description of relevant professional experience with an emphasis on the specific fields covered by invitation to tender;
  • All information and documents necessary to enable the project partners to appraise the bid based on the selection and award criteria set out above;
  • A detailed CV of the expert(s) involved in the project activities;
  • Specific information concerning the proposed methodology for delivering the tasks listed in part 2.

ii) Financial proposal

Prices of the financial proposal must be quoted in euros, including if the sub-contractor is based in a country that is not in the euro-area. As far as the tenderers of those countries are concerned, they cannot change the bid’s amount because of the exchange rate evolution. The tenderers choose the exchange rate and assume all risks or opportunities relating to the rate fluctuation. Prices shall be fixed and not subject to revision during the performance of the contract.

11. Selection of the bids

Offers must be received within 30 days of the date of publication of this call for tender by EPSU, i.e., by 2 April 2021. Applicants may be invited for an interview with the project partners on the afternoon of 12 April 2021. Offers must be sent to EPSU by e-mail to Mounia Boudhan mboudhan@epsu.org

EPSU also has set up a page for this call for tender.

This project has received financial support from the European Union

*** Back to the main project webpage ***

Multi-sectoral project on “the role of social partners in preventing third-party violence and harassment at work

HOSPEEM, EPSU, CEMR, CESI as co-applicants and ETF, ETNO, ETUCE, EUPAE, UITP as associated organisations have been provided with financial support from the European Commission for a joint project in the field of social dialogue: “The role of social partners in preventing third-party violence and harassment at work” in the years 2021 and 2023.

Aims and objectives

The project aims to assess the effectiveness at the national level of the EU Multi-sectoral social partners’ guidelines to tackle and prevent third-party violence and harassment related to work (2010), hereafter the Guidelines. It will identify areas for improvements and explore possibilities for reviewing the Guidelines’ content and nature considering recent legislative developments and the ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment (2019). It will also aim to be an awareness-raising tool on a gender-sensitive approach to violence and harassment at the workplace.

It will include a mix of capacity-building among EU sectoral social partners and evidence-based policy recommendations addressed to the project partners, their members, and public authorities. It will consist of two European conferences with sectoral break-out discussions, seven webinars.

The project focuses on the public services sector, i.e., government, hospitals, education, public transport, supported by examples drawn from the private sector, allowing to compare sectoral specificities and produce general policy recommendations.

Implementation of the action

The project will run for 24 months. This will allow the delivery of a full project cycle, including preparatory activities, implementing the work plan, and disseminating results. The project foresees the organisation of seven webinars and two conferences.

Documentation

Call for tender open until 02/04/2021

Press release (Coming soon)

Project description (Coming soon)

EPSU also has set up a page with the project-related information.

This project has received financial support from the European Union

HOSPEEM-EPSU Webinar on MSD in the health sector

From evidence to practice – Exchange between social partners and the way forward, 25 February 2021, 11:00 – 13:00 CET

The Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector put its work and commitment on occupational safety and health (OSH) and in particular musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the top and centre of its Work Programme 2020-2022. Firstly, by updating its Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention with findings and practices from national social partners in the field of OSH, secondly by becoming EU-OSHA Healthy Workplace Campaign partners focusing on MSD; and thirdly by continuing to exchange on the relevance of the current regulatory framework on MSD at European level. Besides, HOSPEEM and EPSU have facilitated the development of the EU-OSHA discussion paper on MSD in the healthcare sector, which outlines the latest findings on MSD in the sector.

The webinar, organised jointly by HOSPEEM and EPSU, aims to exchange practices and discuss ideas with national sectoral social partners from the health sector across Europe to prevent MSD at the workplace. It will also look into the future, by enabling participants to provide input to the EU level social partners on the envisioned update on the Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention.

Watch the webinar video

Draft agenda (.pdf)

Presentation and background material:

Keynote on the discussion paper “Musculoskeletal disorders in the healthcare sector.” Lars L. Andersen, Professor, National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Denmark

Presentation of EU-OSHA Healthy Workplaces Campaign: Lighten the Load (2020 – 2022) Lorenzo Munar, Project Manager, EU-OSHA

Interactive break: how to use the TilThermometer – Nico Knibbe, Co-founder, LOCOmotion, Netherlands

Interventions from national social partners

Manual handling policy and training for the reduction of MSD in health care workers Nick Parkinson, National Health and Safety Manager, HSE, Ireland

Sotergo project – Anne Ranta, Work Environment Officer, JHL, Finland

ERGOPAR – Yolanda Gil Alonso, International and Youth Secretary, FSS-CCOO, Spain – in ES

Development and evaluation of risk assessment and interventions promoting safe patient manual handling in the Swedish healthcare sector – Strategies to prevent MSD – Charlotte Wåhlin, Associate Professor, Ergonomist, Linköping University, Sweden.

Collection of challenges and lessons learnt by hospital and healthcare employers on COVID-19

The document provides a first insight into challenges and lessons learnt by hospital and healthcare employers, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. First commonalities between HOSPEEM Members are presented, followed by detailed information on the respective countries. The information collected ranged from May 2020 – 16 December 2020. Links to resources and references can be found in the footnotes.

The challenges and lessons learnt are clustered around four areas:

  1. Organisational challenges in terms of health workforce and shortages;
  2. Organisational challenges related to Personal Protective Equipment;
  3. The organisation of training for health workforce usually not working in the ICU setting;
  4. Risk assessment for the health workforce to assess their health status and “being fit for work”.

Commitment to the WHO Charter on Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety

Brussels, 16 November

HOSPEEM expresses its commitment to the World Health Organizations’ Charter on Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety. We agree that the health, safety, and well-being of health workers is a prerequisite for an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides the already mentioned key measures, HOSPEEM commits to the following:

1. Establish synergies between health worker safety and patient safety policies and strategies.

Aim to ensure the health workers’ safety when implementing the HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Declaration on CPD and LLL for All Health Workers in the EU, which has been adopted in 2016.

2. Develop and implement national programmes for better occupational health and safety of health workers.

Updating the HOSPEEM-EPSU Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention (2010) with lessons’ learnt from COVID-19 and previous joint projects on occupational safety and health.

3. Protect health workers from violence in the workplace.

Promote the implementation of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work, signed in 2010 and reaffirmed in 2020.

4. Improve mental health and psychological well-being of the health workforce.

Collect lessons learnt from national sectoral social partners in the hospital sector in the context of COVID-19 and create space for the exchange of good practices on improving mental health and the psychological well-being of the health workforce.

5. Protect health workers from physical and biological hazards.

Monitoring the developments of the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive 2004/37/EC concerning the inclusion of hazardous medicinal products and cytotoxic substances as well as the development of non-binding measures in this regard.

Active participation as Official Campaign Partner in the EU-OSHA Healthy Workplace Campaign Lighten the Load (2020-2022).

Promoting the implementation of the Medical Sharps Directive 2010/32/EU in the European Member States by strengthening synergies with other relevant stakeholders.

Aim to ensure availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), relevant to the roles and tasks performed, in adequate quantity, of appropriate fit and acceptable quality.

Download the HOSPEEM committment to the WHOs’ Charter on Health Worker Safety (Pdf)

Nb: WHO invites all Member States, intergovernmental organizations, international organizations and relevant stakeholders to support and endorse this charter by signing up.

WHO technical resources – useful links:

Image credits: Courtesy of the World Health Organisation, 2020

HOSPEEM October Newsletter is published

In this October Newsletter edition, you find the HOSPEEM-EPSU joint position on the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products given the European Commission study on this topic as well as information on the launch of the EU-OSHA Campaign 2020-2022 Healthy Workplaces ‘Lighten the Load’. This newsletter includes our Member’s news, EU news, attended and future events and publications relevant for hospital employers.

29 October 2020 HOSPEEM Newsletter 2020 – Issue 4

EU-OSHA Campaign – Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load

Brussels, 29 October 2020

The EU-level Sectoral Social Partners for the Hospital Sector (SSDC HS), the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) became official campaign partner of the EU-OSHA Campaign 2020-2022 Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load.

Marta Branca, Vice-Secretary General of HOSPEEM, said: “Sustainable participation of all health professionals is the most direct contribution to dealing with potential workforce-related issues. HOSPEEM will continue to promote the creation and maintenance of the safest possible workplaces and to promote active participation in continuing professional development (CPD) and life-long learning (LLL) for all health professionals. Ergonomic design is needed to improve healthcare facilities and to overcome the possible future decline in numbers of healthcare workers. I am convinced that our work and initiatives in the field of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the framework of the EU SSDC HS will lead to safer and healthier workplaces across Europe.”

Jan-Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU, stressed that “MSDs are by far the most common work-related health problem among European workers. The social and economic consequences of this are now becoming abundantly clear. Millions of workers are no longer able to do certain tasks or even have to stop work altogether before retirement age. EPSU is strongly convinced that the wellbeing at work is a fundamental right, and we are ready to cooperate with employers to ensure it.”

Recent European statistics underline the need to address prevention of MSD in the health sector: The 2019 European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks showed that 59% establishments in the sector reported existing risk factors such as painful positions and 54% lifting or moving people or heavy loads. These findings are supported by results from the 6th European Working Conditions Survey, which highlighted that 47% of respondents working in the sector reported backache in the past 12 months.

To keep MSD high on the European and national agenda, coordinated responses from social partners are needed that are also in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights, the EU’s Framework Directive on OSH and the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work.
Next to becoming official campaign partners, we set out to:
1.) Update the existing HOSPEEM-EPSU Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention (2010);
2.) Continue the discussion among European social partners to exchange good practices and strategies in the field of MSD;
3.) Continue to exchange on the relevance of the current regulatory framework on MSD at European level.

Throughout the years, HOSPEEM and EPSU have considered MSD of great importance in the health sector, e.g. by carrying out a project on MSDs and psycho-social risks and stress at work. The cooperation of employers and trade unions is fundamental in successfully managing and preventing MSDs.

Download our Press Release published on 12 October

Webinar on musculoskeletal disorders in the health sector, 25 February 2021

HOSPEEM-EPSU position on the European Commission study supporting the assessment of different options concerning the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products

Brussels, 24/09/2020

Every year more than 12.7 million healthcare workers in Europe, including 7.3 million nurses, are potentially exposed to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic hazardous drugs. Studies show that hospital workers who handle cytotoxic drugs are three times more likely to develop malignancy and that nurses exposed to cytotoxic drugs are twice as likely to miscarry. The health hazard for handling these drugs is a significant concern as they are not only classified as potentially carcinogenic but also mutagenic (mutating genetic material) and reprotoxic (interfering with reproduction).

For HOSPEEM, it is particularly important to address handling techniques of hazardous medicinal products that are in line with national legislative specificities. While hospitals and healthcare employers are required to undertake risk assessments, it is clear that for example replacement of hazardous medicinal products is not an option for most cases, as patients still need these products for cancer and other treatments. Therefore, the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive need to clarify the terminology “technically possible” as stipulated in Article 5 (2, 3) “employers shall ensure that the carcinogen or mutagen is, in so far as is technically possible, manufactured and used in a closed system. Where a closed system is not technically possible, the employer shall ensure that the level of exposure of workers is reduced to as low a level as is technically possible.”

HOSPEEM and EPSU call the European Commission to include in its CMD4 report or accept parliamentary amendments for the revision of the CMD in 2020-2021 that include hazardous drugs, including cytotoxic drugs, as a category in Appendix I. Healthcare workers and patients deserve to be protected by legislation now through measures that are legally binding for all the actors in healthcare, with the best possible systems of work, technology as well as education and training to avoid the risk of toxic and genetic damage and associated diseases resulting from exposure to hazardous drugs.

FULL TEXT:

HOSPEEM-EPSU position on the European Commission study supporting the assessment of different options concerning the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products

Joint Statement on the 10th anniversary of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work

Brussels, 16 July 2020

A decade ago, the European Sectoral Social Partners, EPSU, UNI EUROPA, ETUCE, HOSPEEM, CEMR, EFEE, EuroCommerce, CoESS identified third-party violence and harassment at the workplace as one of the key health and safety challenges to face within the European Economic Area and signed the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence (TPV) and harassment related to work. In 2018, EUPAE and TUNED joined these organisations in their work to tackle this pressing issue.

To this date, the Guidelines remain the only instrument signed by multiple European sectoral Social Dialogue Committees and are considered one of the significant achievements of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue.

Today, the Guidelines’ signatories reaffirm that their respective sectors continue to address third-party violence and all forms of harassment related to work, ensuring that, in the upcoming years, each workplace has a targeted results-oriented policy, also in the context of initiatives of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Download the Joint statement