Joint Statement of HOSPEEM and EPSU on the new EU Occupational Safety and Health Policy Framework

On 31 May 2013, the European Commission launched a public consultation further to results of the evaluation of the European Strategy on Safety and Health at Work 2007-2012. This was aimed at gathering contributions from the public for the new EU policy framework. Welcoming this initiative, HOSPEEM and EPSU responded to the consultation (see HOSPEEM response).

At the Plenary meeting of the sectoral social dialogue for the hospital sector held on 11 December 2013 HOSPEEM and EPSU approved a joint statement. With this document, HOSPEEM and EPSU aim to highlight common priorities and views for the new EU policy framework on occupational safety and health at work.

Download the Joint Statement

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector: Main activities and outcomes in 2013

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 2013 the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector dealt with a range of topics, carried out project-related activities and agreed on several documents.

Download the document

Adoption of the implementation report of the multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle work-related third-party violence

At the the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector Plenary Meeting of 11 December 2013, HOSPEEM and EPSU members adopted the report on the use and implementation of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work including recommendations. 

The joint evaluation and implementation report contains examples on how the multi-sectoral guidelines have been promoted and implemented by the member organisations of the signatory parties in the framework of projects and campaigns.

The report also contains recommendations for further steps and summarise the main challenges, whereof the main highlights are the following:

• A social partner agreement on preventing third-party violence could be a further step to a more stringent implementation of the guidelines if there is consensus between the social partners to start any negotiations.
• Further projects, conferences, and training for the social partners’ affiliates at local, regional and national level should be considered to implement the guidelines, with financial support of the European Commission.
• National projects could receive financial support from the European Social Fund.
• The implementation of the multi-sectoral guidelines should become an integral part of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Work programmes of the respective social dialogue committees who signed the guidelines. A follow-up report should be conducted by 2015 to evaluate progress on the implementation of the guidelines and identify the potential need for further action.

Download the report

EPSU-HOSPEEM Guidelines and examples of good practice to address the challenges of an ageing workforce in the healthcare sector

Brussels, 11 December 2013: Signature of the EPSU-HOSPEEM guidelines and examples of good practice to address the challenges of an ageing workforce in the healthcare sector.

In the context of the Plenary Meeting 2013 of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector, the Secretary General of HOSPEEM, Tjitte Alkema, and the Chair of EPSU’s Standing Committee “Health and Social Services”, Liza di Paolo Sandberg, signed the joint guidelines and examples of good practice to address the challenges of an ageing workforce in the healthcare sector. The document had been agreed upon in October 2013, following nearly two years of negotiations.

The aim of the document is to provide guidance to support social partners as well as decision makers, managers, workers and other stakeholders at national, regional and local and level, addressing different aspects related to age management policies such as flexible working arrangements, talent management and training, health and safety at work, workforce planning and retirement planning. It is for the social partners at all levels to work in partnership and to consider how this guidance can complement their own systems, initiatives and measures.

Read and download the press release

EPSU-HOSPEEM Guidelines to address the challenges of an ageing workforce in the healthcare sector:

 Download in ENG  Download in FR  Download in DE








Background: HOSPEEM-EPSU work on ageing workforce 2006-2013

HOSPEEM-EPSU Study (2006) “Promoting realistic active ageing policies in the hospital sector” : Download in EN  Download in FR

Technical Seminar HOSPEEM-EPSU “Managing the ageing workforce: Challenges, opportunities and experiences” (Brussels, 27 April 2012)  Download the programme

Documents provided by HOSPEEM members and EPSU affiliates


Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH): Working time + Occupational health – EN
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH): Shift planning + Ergonomics – EN
Public Works Department: Helsinki case study in good health age programme – EN


Berufsgenossenschaft für Gesundheitsdienst und Wohlfahrtspflege (BGW): Älter werden im Pflegeberuf – DE
Initiative Neue Qualität der Arbeit (INQA)-Ratgeber Demographie: Angebote für Unternehmen im demographischen Wandel – DE
Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Securing the Future with Prevention: Strategies for a World of Work aligned to Demographic Change – EN

The Netherlands
StAZ: Memo “Active Ageing + Dutch Ageing Workforce Policies” – EN

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Ireland
DWP: Health Sector: Tackling Ageing Workforce Issues: Resource Pack – EN
DWP/NHS: Managing Ageing Workforce Health & Social Care – EN
Agewell Initiative – Sandwell Primary Care Trust (NHS) – EN
Guide Employers Performance & Retirement Practices (UK) – EN
RCN: Protecting employment for older nurses – EN
RCN: Nurses later stage careers – EN

Background documents collected by HOSPEEM and EPSU Secretariats 

DG EMPL: Integration Ageing Workforce (2001) – EN
CEEP: Valuing Age (2003) – EN
EFILWC: Working conditions ageing workforce (2008) – EN
EFILWC: Search engine for good practices in ageing management of Eurofound
OSHA: Thematic Webpage “Ageing Workers – Safety and Health”
OSHA: Thematic Webpage “Ageing Workers – Safety and Health”
EU Trio Presidency: Assessing Future Health Workforce Needs (2010) – EN
HOPE: Ageing Workforce and Ageing Patients (2010)
ETUI: Occupations and Ageing@Work (2010): Download in EN Download in FR
Eurofound: Sustainable Work and the Ageing Workforce – Report on the basis of the 5th European Working Conditions Survey (2012)
DG EMPL: EEO Review – Employment Policies to Promote Active Ageing 2012 (2012): Download in EN, Download in FR and Download in DE
Andrea Winkelmann-Gleed: Demographic change and implications for workforce ageing in Europe: Raising awareness and improving practice (WLRI Working Paper 5)

Research Papers and Presentations at Technical Review Seminar “Employment policies to promote active ageing” in the framework of the Mutual Learning Programme under the European Employment Strategy, 11 June 2012, Brussels 

Paper “Globalization and the Labour Market Situation of Older Workers: Exploring Trends, Challenges and Strategies for Adaptation”, Dirk Hofäcker, MZES, Mannheim (Germany)
Paper “Living Longer – Working Better”, Donald Storie, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND), Dublin
Presentation “Elaborating guidance and good practice in relation to various challenges of an ageing health care workforce: Flashlights on work in progress between EPSU and HOSPEEM”, Mathias Maucher, EPSU
Presentation “The role of measures to encourage older workers to stay longer in the labour process”, Jan Schugk, Confederation of Finnish Industries

Liaison Forum Social Dialogue, 27 May 2013, Brussels

Presentation “Managing the Ageing Workforce:-A joint priority of HOSPEEM and EPSU, the European Social Partners in the hospital sector: Guidelines and examples of good practice to address the challenges of an agein workforce”, Elisa Benedetti, HOSPEEM



The Dutch Federation of University Medical Centers (NFU) has recently joined HOSPEEM as an observer member.

NFU is the employers’ association representing eight University Medical Centres in the Netherlands. The organisation aims to promote the centers’ shared interests, represent them and reinforce their position through cooperation in areas such as finance, working conditions, politics, research, teaching and patient care.

Except for NFU,  the Dutch healthcare sector is represented in HOSPEEM by NVZ which has a full member status.

NFU official website:

HOSPEEM replies to the EC public consultation on occupational health & safety

HOSPEEM has replied to the public consultation launched by the European Commission further to the results of the evaluation of the European Strategy on Safety and Health at Work 2007-2012 (

The aim of the consultation is to identify current and future challenges in the occupational safety and health area and instruments to tackle these challenges.

In its reply HOSPEEM supported the approach to define common general objectives for the future health and safety policies at European level. However, the organisation stated that actions in this field have to be targeted on each national situation, legislation, organisation and practice. HOSPEEM emphasised also the importance of social partners’ involvement in the future health and safety-related initiatives.

HOSPEEM_reply_EC_public consultation_on_OSH

Tjitte Alkema speaks at the WHO meeting on mobility and recruitment of healthcare workers

2–3 May 2013, Amsterdam

World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, in cooperation with the Western Pacific Region and the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, organised a meeting on policy dialogue on International health worker mobility and recruitment challenges.

The meeting took place at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam on 2-3 May, 2013. It aimed at analysing the challenges in implementing the WHO Code of Practice on International Recruitment of Health Personnel and identifying policy options, areas of technical cooperation to these challenges.

Among the participants invited for the second day session was Tjitte Alkema, Secretary General of HOSPEEM, who gave a presentation in the panel on “International recruitment and integration of migrant health workers”. It concerned HOSPEEM’s experience in implementation of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct on Cross-border Recruitment and Retention and the context of the Netherlands. The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss future WHO–HOSPEEM cooperation on the recruitment and retention issues.

The technical report of the WHO policy dialogue on international health workforce mobility and recruitment challenges is now avaible online.

Healthcare employers & employees share their experience on implementation of the Sharps directive

The European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) organised the first regional seminar to promote and support the implementation of Directive 2010/32/EU on the prevention of sharps injuries in the hospital and health care sector. This project is funded by the European Commission.

The seminar took place on 31 January in Dublin and was hosted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) representing the Irish health employers and IMPACT, the Irish Trade Union. The seminar was attended by 90 representatives of employers, employees, national authorities and other stakeholders from 10 countries.

During the seminar a presentation by ICF GHK was made to outline the first result of the survey on the progress so far in the implementation of the directive.

There were also presentations about the transposition of the directive in Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom from practitioners and academia representatives. The speakers underlined the importance of continued work on the issue, investment in protective safety equipment, better training and reporting, and the role social partners should play at local, national and European level to prevent sharps injuries.

The presentations were followed by working groups who discussed how best to implement the directive. The groups comprised of employers and employees’ representatives from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The findings gathered at the seminar will be published in the event report in mid-February on the webpage devoted to the project.

Further seminars in the framework of the project will take place on 7 March in Rome and on 16 April in Vienna. The final conference will be held on 20 June in Barcelona.
For further information, please contact:

Elisa Benedetti +32 2 229 21 58
Ewelina Pysklo +32 2 229 21 57

Mathias Maucher +32 2 250 10 93

HOSPEEM is the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association. It regroups at European level national , regional and local employers’ associations operating in the hospital and health care sector and delivering services of general interest, in order to co-ordinate their views and actions with regard to a sector and a market in constant evolution. HOSPEEM is an individual member of CEEP.

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions and the second largest federation of the ETUC, with 8 million public service workers from over 200 trade unions in 45 countries. They organise workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration. In health and social services EPSU members affiliate about 3.5 million workers.

This project is supported with funds from the European Commission

Tjitte Alkema elected Secretary General of HOSPEEM

Tjitte Alkema was elected Secretary General of HOSPEEM for a three-year mandate period, starting as of 1 January 2013.

Mr Alkema has been involved in HOSPEEM’s activities since 2008 as a member of General Assembly on behalf of NVZ Dutch Association of Hospitals. In 2010 he was elected for the Vice Secretary General position at HOSPEEM which he fulfilled until the end of 2012.

At national level Mr Alkema works as the Manager of Industrial Relations & Education at NVZ Dutch Association of Hospitals, Chairman of the Foundation of Hospital labour market activities (StAZ), and Chairman of the consultative body on collective bargaining in the Dutch Hospital sector on behalf of NVZ Dutch Association of Hospitals (ROZ). Before that he worked at several managerial positions in a Dutch trade union association.

Ulrike Neuhauser (Austrian Hospital and Health Services Platform) and Elvira Gentile (ARAN, Agenzia per la Rappresentanza Negoziale delle Pubbliche Amministrazioni) were appointed Vice Secretaries General of HOSPEEM.