European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association

10-year anniversary of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention

MEDIA RELEASE

In their first Working Group meeting of the European Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector, on 04 April 2018 HOSPEEM and EPSU looked back to the signing of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention on 8 April 2008 and renewed their commitment to promote, guarantee and defend decent recruitment and working conditions for migrant workers, from the EU and from outside the EU, in hospitals and healthcare facilities across Europe. 

HOSPEEM and EPSU issued a Joint Media Release on the 10 years anniversary of the Code of Conduct. It represents an important instrument to support the free movement of workers across the European Union while preventing unethical competition between the Member States and employers in terms of cross-country recruitment process, fair and transparent contracting and the induction of migrant workers at the new workplace. This also holds for their equal and non-discriminatory treatment regarding labour law, social protection provisions and the access to training and career progression and the freedom of association.  

The EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention was inspired by social partner-based or/and public policy tools already in use in different European Union Member States. At international level, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 21 May 2010 adopted and set into practice the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. The Global Code, non-binding in nature, addresses a number of similar issues already covered with in the EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct. 

In the meeting on 4 April 2018, HOSPEEM and EPSU members reiterated their commitment to the 12 key principles of their 2008 Code of Conduct and to the promotion of ethical recruitment and retention practices at European, national, regional and local level in the upcoming years, both in their own work and in the broader context of the European Pillar of Social Rights. 

Tjitte Alkema, Secretary General of HOSPEEM reflected on the impact of the Code of Conduct: “10 years ago, our Code of Conduct was an inspiration for the work of the World Health Organisation. Nowadays, given the migration flows to and within the European Member States, it is still very relevant. 

EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan welcomed the constructive dialogue there has been with the European employers since the Code of Conduct. “We sought to ensure decent working conditions for all, to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers and to make sure public health systems are not undermined by unfair recruitment practices. Our Code was and is a significant contribution to achieve sustainable quality care for all.”  

At the meeting on 4 April 2018, several HOSPEEM members and EPSU affiliates commented on the use and positive effects of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention. They also referred to different models of how the 12 principles of the Code of Conduct have been incorporated in their national contexts, either into legislation, by means of collective agreements and/or by using enterprise-based agreements. 

Kate Ling, NHS Confederation, United Kingdom, gave an overview on the use by the employers in the NHS and about the effects of the Code of Conduct in the United Kingdom, showcasing some good practice examples: “NHS organisations should only use recruitment agencies that comply with the Code, which includes guarantees to give overseas recruits good induction, training and employment protection. A key tenet of the UK Code is that recruitment of staff from abroad should not damage healthcare systems in developing countries.  Active recruitment from developing countries shouldn’t take place unless there is a government-to-government agreement. For example, the UK and India have a scheme called Earn Learn and Return where staff from India can come to the UK to fill shortages in specialist areas, and in return they get the opportunity to gain specialist expertise and develop skills that they can then take back with them after they leave the UK to improve healthcare in India. So, both countries benefit.” 

Tjitte Alkema wrapped up the Working Group meeting, reflecting on the freedom of movement of persons in the European Union and the respective aim of the Code of Conduct: “We are in the European Union: one of the fundamental rights is the freedom of movement of people within the European Union. Our Code of Conduct is trying to establish a fair system of mobility in which people are not exploited and countries are not suffering from the mobility of workers. The Code of Conduct is however only as strong as the partners that support it. It only works if we also identify incorrect application, put them on the table and make them transparent. The WHO Code and the Code of Conduct of the Social Partners are complementary in the European setting.”

PDF - 304.4 koMedia release

HOSPEEM has also published an article on the event and the 10-year anniversary celebration.

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector: Main activities and outcomes in 2017

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 2017 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.

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HOSPEEM Activity Report 2017

The HOSPEEM Activity Report 2017 is published. This activity report presents basic information on the history of HOSPEEM, on the membership structure as well as on the main activities carried out during the year.

2017 has been a productive year with a number of achievements: the start of the new joint HOSPEEM-EPSU project on effective recruitment and retention policies including the June conference “Working together, learning together – Switching to the learning mode”, the start of the HOSPEEM-EPSU new work programme 2017-2019 for the European social dialogue, the high-level metings with European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis and the Bulgarian Minister of Health Prof. Nikolai Petrov, the joint HOSPEEM-HOPE workshop “AMR and workplace learning – The case for a multi-professional approach in hospitals” at the European Parliament.

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VADEMECUM – A Practical Guide for EU Social Partner Organisations and their National Affiliates to Commission support to EU Social Dialogue.

The “VADEMECUM – A Practical Guide for EU Social Partner Organisations and their National Affiliates to Commission support to EU Social Dialogue -2017” provides basic information on the instruments related to EU support to social dialogue and includes the existing rules to be respected when using these tools.  Download the guide.

 

HOSPEEM-EPSU Meeting with Commissioner Andriukaitis

Brussels, 3 May 2017

Joint Statement

“Health has social, environmental and behaviour determinants. We need to address public health with ambition: prevent deterioration of health and avoidable deaths, invest in health promotion and prevention. The EU together with Member States could save thousands of lives each year. Social partners can play a central role in this process. Be sure that I am one of you.” said European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis. This passionate response came in a meeting with HOSPEEM and EPSU Secretary Generals, Mr. Tjitte Alkema and Mr. Jan Willem Goudriaan.

The representatives of the employers and trade unions met with the Commissioner responsible for health and food safety to discuss their joint work on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) that culminated in the signing of the Joint Declaration by HOSPEEM and EPSU in November 2016. EPSU and HOSPEEM informed the Commissioner about their joint upcoming conference on CPD in June 2017 and invited him to their second conference scheduled to take place in April or May 2018 in Vilnius dealing with the two most widespread health and safety hazards in the health care sector, namely musculoskeletal disorders and psycho-social risks and stress at the workplace as well as on patient safety. The Commissioner expressed his support for the Joint Declaration and more generally also for the work of the EU-level sectoral social dialogue partners for the hospital/health care sector that recently adopted their work programme. He added that social partners should keep the Joint Declaration on CPD for All Health Workers in the EU on the agenda of EU Member States and of the Council of the European Union.

Other issues addressed were

  • the effectiveness of guidance on cross-border ethical recruitment and retention,
  • how best to tackle changing demands for the health workforce and the managers in hospitals linked to the digitalisation of health care and the need for up-to-date digital skills in the health care sector as a key priority of comprehensive vocational education and training policies,
  • activities of the hospital employers and hospital associations to reduce risks linked to antimicrobial resistance,
  • the challenges of the demographic changes – such as higher incidence of multi-morbidity, chronical diseases and dementia as well as
  • the importance of using European Reference Networks in the field of rare diseases as good practice approaches

EPSU and HOSPEEM also exchanged on the possibilities to coordinate or join up forces to follow-up to the recommendations of the Report of the UN Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth and on the need for more public investment in health care.

The meeting took place on 24 April 2017. The Commissioner was accompanied by Annika Nowak, Member of Cabinet and Concetta Cultrera, DG SANTE.

HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Work Programme 2017-2019 for the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector

At the first meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC-HS) in 2017, HOSPEEM and EPSU reached a final agreement of the Joint Work-Programme 2017-2019. It is structured around four major thematic priorities, i.e. recruitment and retention of health workforce, Continuing Professional Development and Life-Long Learning, Occupational Health and Safety and well-being, and Health care policy. Each sub-theme is presented with specific objectives, deliverables and a timeline.

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the Joint Work Programme – EN

 

10th anniversary of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector

HOSPEEM and EPSU celebrated the 10th anniversary of their Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector on the occasion of their plenary meeting organised in Brussels on 2 December 2016.

The Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector was set up in September 2006 at the joint request of the hospital sector social partners. The inaugural meeting of the Committee was held on 20 September 2006.

HOSPEEM and EPSU were honoured and delighted to host Mr. Xavier Prats Monné, Director General of DG SANTE, and Mr. Michel Servoz, Director General of DG EMPL, on the occasion of this celebration that was attended by more than 70 participants.

HOSPEEM and EPSU have established fruitful cooperation and close working relations with DG EMPL and DG SANTE over the years and appreciate their presence as an expression of interest and support for their work and activities.

This celebration provided the opportunity to stress the crucial role played by the hospital sector social partners and the importance of the hospital sector social dialogue.

This event also offered an excellent opportunity to highlight the major achievements of HOSPEEM and EPSU over the last decade as well as to exchange on future challenges and priorities.

Xavier Prats Monné underlined in his speech the positive changes taking place in the health sector, made possible thanks to the quality, skills and dedication of health professionals. Looking at the challenges for the next decade, he stated that none of them would be addressed without looking at the workforce and without a strengthened effort on recruitment and retention.

Michel Servoz stressed the good functioning and efficiency of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector. He also emphasized the crucial dimension of this sector for the quality of life and focused on three major challenges faced by this sector, i.e. skills, job creation and innovation, on which social partners have a major role to play.

The Secretary Generals of EPSU and HOSPEEM also respectively delivered a speech to celebrate 10 years of successful European social dialogue in the hospital sector.

Jan-Willem Goudriaan, EPSU General Secretary, underlined the importance of the principle of autonomy of social partners and put the emphasis on the need to further build up and strengthen the capacities of national employers’ and trade union organisations.

In his speech, Tjitte Alkema, HOSPEEM Secretary General, paid tribute to the commitment and active involvement of HOSPEEM and EPSU members in the hospital social dialogue, saying that it had been, and would always be, fundamental in achieving great results.

HOSPEEM 10th Anniversary, 2006-2016

The 10th anniversary of HOSPEEM was celebrated at the occasion of the General Assembly on December 1st 2016 at the European Economic and Social Committee.

 

Tjitte Alkema, Secretary General of HOSPEEM stated that:

“In 2016 HOSPEEM celebrates ten years of commitment to represent the interests of hospital and healthcare employers across Europe. HOSPEEM is now a structured platform of employers supplying services of general interest, with a unique expertise in the field of workforce and industrial relations’ issues for the hospital and healthcare sector and a distinct voice influencing EU policy-making.

This 10th anniversary is an opportunity to look back at our major achievements and to look at future challenges. Since 2006 HOSPEEM has been working closely with the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) to establish and sustain a fruitful Hospital Sector European Social Dialogue. In this context we have been able to build a climate of mutual respect and trust also leading to the signature of a number of significant agreements and guidelines. As a European independent, membership-based organisation HOSPEEM has effectively supported its members to implement outcomes of Social Dialogue through exchanges of good practices and innovative capacity building activities.

As a recognised social partner HOSPEEM has been a key player in the European Social Dialogue for the last ten years. HOSPEEM is successfully ensuring that the views of employers are being heard at the highest level in the European institutions. In the years to come, HOSPEEM is looking forward to further build the future of hospital care empowering on-the-ground hospital employers and managers.”

The first HOSPEEM brochure was published at the occasion of the 10th anniversary.

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Social partners also celebrated 10 years of fruitful social dialogue at the plenary meeting of the HOSPEEM-EPSU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector on December 2nd.

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the presentation “highlights of 10 years of social dialogue”
Watch the video “celebrating 10 years of Social Dialogue 2006-2016”


Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector: Main activities and outcomes in 2014-2015

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 2014-2015 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:

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High participation at the High-level conference “A new start for social dialogue”

On 5 March 2015, the European Commission organised in Brussels the high-level conference A New Start for Social Dialogue, intended to give a new impetus to social dialogue at EU level, 30 years after Val Duchesse.

This first key event of the new European Commission gathered leaders of European and national social partners’ organisations (both cross-industry and sectoral) to discuss with the European Commission concrete ways to strengthen social dialogue and to ensure a more substantial involvement of social partners in EU policy-making. The European Commission was represented by President Jean-Claude Juncker, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis and several Commissioners, among which Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs.

The HOSPEEM Secretary General Tjitte Alkema was invited to participate in a workshop on social dialogue and better regulation and to deliver a presentation to present his views on this topic.

At this occasion, the Public Services Employers’ Forum, an informal forum of European employers’ organisations cooperating on matters of joint interest, released a Joint Declaration.