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

Regional Workshop 3: Central Europe

The third Regional Workshop of the HOSPEEMEPSU joint project “Strengthening Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector in the East, South and Central Europe” will take place online on 20 April 2021. The workshop is organised by HSSMS-MT (EPSU affiliate, Croatia) and co-organised by EPSU.

The geographical focus of this third workshop is on Central Europe, specifically targeted at Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided from and into English, Croatian, Czech and Slovenian. Registration is open until 15 April 2021.

Agenda and media release

Draft agenda, as of 17.03.2021

General

Strengthening Social Dialogue project description (2019-2021)
European Sectoral Social Dialogue activities overview (2006-2019)

***This workshop was originally planned in Zagreb on 15 May 2020. Due to exceptional circumstances, the workshopwas postponed.***

#EUSocDia

EPSU has also published a webpage on this topic.

***Back to main project page***

This project has received financial support from the European Union

NHS Employers and HOSPEEM to speak on Ethical international recruitment of skilled workers in the healthcare sector 

On 21 April 2021, HOSPEEM’s UK member, together with the UK Department of Health and Social Care, the King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, will speak on Ethical international recruitment of skilled workers in the healthcare sector online seminar series hosted by the German institute EBB Bildung.

Like many other countries worldwide, Germany is affected by a shortage of skilled labour, especially in the healthcare sector. As a result, healthcare facilities, employers, and agencies aim to close the skills gap by recruiting international skilled workers, mostly from lower-income countries. Simultaneously, the outflow of skilled workers impacts the economies of these countries of origin with already fragile health systems. Regardless of the disparities that arisen, health worker migration has increased over the past decades. How could these inequalities be addressed, knowing that migrants belong to the most vulnerable groups on the job market, especially in the healthcare sector? Which instruments are needed to guarantee sustainable and ethical recruitment practices from abroad and equal rights and ethical treatment of skilled workers in their new workplace?

To address these challenges, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel in 2010.

How a Global Code finds implementation on the European, national, local level and then workplace level will focus on the IQ online-seminar. Altogether, the IQ online-seminar will allow attendees to understand how several international ethical recruitment codes are implemented on different policy levels. Finally, as a practical example, King’s College Hospital London will present their international recruitment practices.

Speakers: 
The webinar concept note is available in English – EN and German – DE

Please register via mail by 16 April 2021 at hospeem@hospeem.eu.

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 replies to the European Commission public consultation on the EU Strategic Framework for Occupational Safety and Health (2021 – 2027)

In the joint response to the public consultation, HOSPEEM and SGI Europe stressed that the Framework needs to grasp opportunities and anticipate challenges for working life in constant development, for the common good of employees, employers, citizens, and the operations, for long-term sustainable workplaces and society. It is to consider the role of digitalisation: While it could enhance productivity and create safer work processes’, its associated risks need to be assessed. Risks range from mental health due to adaptation to new working methods and increased work-related diseases due to a shift to sedentary work.

Download the HOSPEEM-SGI Response to the European Commission public consultation on the EU Strategic Framework for Occupational Safety and Health 2021 – 2027 (.Pdf)

HOSPEEM-EPSU response to road map consultation on Cross-border healthcare – evaluation of patients’ rights (Directive 2011/24) 

HOSPEEM and EPSU were active in the process leading to the establishment of the Directive 2011/24, which regulates parts of the fundamental cornerstones of Member States’ health systems, such as the capacity to plan for the current as well as future needs within their respective systems. Reiterating the main messages from our joint letter from 15 December 2010, we would like to take the opportunity to underline that the Directive should aim to contribute to the quality and accessibility of patients’ care. Equal access to health care is a fundamental human right, which must be facilitated – to the extent possible – in the proximity of patients’ living surroundings or directly at the patient’s home, including through the use of digital solutions.

 It is paramount to support Member States to strengthen their national health systems, address the existing challenges and identify opportunities to create resilient health systems to improve patients’ cross-border healthcare access: This includes investment in health workforce and healthcare infrastructure comprising investment in working conditions to address health workforce shortages and medical deserts, access to continued professional development and life-long learning, coherent occupational safety and health prevention practices and guidelines as well as to reinforce equality in the access to healthcare between Member States and within them, taking into account the concept of integrated care. 

Download the HOSPEEM-EPSU response to road map consultation on Cross-border healthcare – evaluation of patients’ rights (Directive 2011/24) 

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector: Main activities and outcomes in 2020

In this document you can find the highlights of the work of the HOSPEEM-EPSU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector. In 2020 the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector  dealt with a wide range of topics in the framework of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Joint Work Programme and carried out project-related activities.

Download the document

Input for new initiatives at EU, national, regional or local level in the frame of the Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights

Brussels, 13 November 2020

The European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the envisioned Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights, in particular on Principle 8, which encourages the EU Member States to support the increased capacity of social partners to promote social dialogue.

Since HOSPEEM’s recognition as European sectoral social partner in 2006, we have been active in capacity building of national employers’ organisation in forms of EU-funded projects, focusing among others on East Central and Southern Europe, including accession countries [1],[2],[3] and by participating in the Eurofound research study on capacity building for effective social dialogue in the European Union. Besides HOSPEEM’s recruitment efforts, we met with former European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen’s cabinet staff, raising awareness and inquiring support from the European institutions. Likewise, we have sent meeting requests to various Permanent Representations to the EU to discuss this very topic.

As the recently published Eurofound representativeness study for the human health sector revealed, there are nine EU Member States[4] where employer organisations exist and active in collective bargaining but are not affiliated to HOSPEEM. As a direct consequence, those organisations and countries do not have the opportunity to represent their national interest and contribute to the agenda-setting and decision-making in the frame of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees. Additionally, their voices are not being heard when, for example, European sectoral social partners close framework agreements which can be transposed in binding legislation across the EU (cf. Council Directive 2010/32/EU). The study also noted that there are seven EU Member States[5] where “there is no sectoral employer organisation”.

Whereas HOSPEEM sees Eurofound’s findings as an excellent opportunity to increase its membership and hence its representation at European level, we also believe that European institutions and Members States miss the opportunity to draw on the full potential of EU legislation, such as TFEU Art. 154, further strengthening the delivery of a strong social Europe for just transitions.

We are aware that the existence of autonomous employer organisations, with the mandate to negotiate collective bargaining at the national level, is still limited in various EU Member States among others due to historical and organisational national structures. We, therefore, welcome the European Commission Communication on the 2020 European Semester: Country-specific recommendations highlighting that “a well-functioning social dialogue is key to ensure that measures taken are successful, inclusive and sustainable” and that “in some Member States there is clearly room for a better functioning social dialogue”.

To echo the quadripartite statement on the Relaunch of Social Dialogue[6], HOSPEEM would like to stress that trust, formal and timely consultation with the social partners as well as support through robust EU-funding is a pre-requisite for a well-functioning social dialogue. Furthermore, the independence of social dialogue and social partners from the national government and political influence is essential, to fully representing the interest of workers and employers alike.

We, therefore, call upon the European Commission, in collaboration with EU Member States and consultation with European social partners to develop coherent structures and implement robust mechanisms as well as initiatives for:

  • the formation of employer organisations on a national level; and
  • encourage already established employer organisations to become actively involved in European sectoral social dialogue structures while respecting national specificities and autonomy.
[1] HOSPEEM (2008) HOSPEEM-EPSU Project on Strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector in the new Member States and candidate countries https://hospeem.org/activities/projects/strengthening-social-dialogue-in-the-hospital-sector-in-the-new-member-states-and-candidate-countries/
[2] HOSPEEM (2011) HOSPEEM-EPSU Project on Strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector in the Baltic countries https://hospeem.org/activities/projects/strengthening-social-dialogue-in-the-hospital-sector-in-the-baltic-countries/
[3] HOSPEEM (2019) HOSPEEM-EPSU Project on Strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector https://hospeem.org/activities/hospeem-epsu-project-2019-2020-on-strengthening-social-dialogue-in-the-hospital-sector-in-the-east-south-and-central-europe/
[4] Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, and Portugal (The Bulgarian employers’ organisation left HOSPEEM in beginning of 2020 and the Belgian employers’ organisation joined HOSPEEM mid-2020.)
[5] Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Malta, and Poland
[6] co-signed by the European Commission, the European Council, and the cross-sectoral social partners in June 2016

Download the HOSPEEM response to the EPSRS (Pdf)

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