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.

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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)

Press Release on the Representativeness of the European Social Partner Organisations: Human Health Sector

PRESS RELEASE

Brussels, 12 November 2020

HOSPEEM welcomes the findings of the Eurofound representativeness study for the human health sector.

HOSPEEM calls for political support by the European Union and the Member States to promote social dialogue at the national level and to create an enabling environment for sectoral social partners in fostering capacity building processes.

HOSPEEM continues to be the most representative European hospital employers’ association, a leading voice in the EU sectoral social dialogue also initiating Council decision’s[1]. HOSPEEM’s members facilitate the most efficient provision of services while ensuring healthcare professionals and patients’ safety alike. Unlike any other sector, the COVID-19 pandemic is massively impacting the hospital sector, ranging from reorganising healthcare services and putting mental and physical strains on the health workforce and hospital employers, as highlighted in HOSPEEM’s statement on COVID-19. The European Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC HS) continues to be the primary European forum for sectoral social partners to address these and other relevant and challenging topics on both national and EU health agendas.

HOSPEEM believes that the political support by European institutions and Members States is needed to deliver on the envisaged Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights, in particular, the capacity building of social partners to promote social dialogue as well as on the Country-Specific Recommendations of the European Semester.

The European Commission and European Parliament indeed recognise the increasing importance of health, by proposing to build a European Health Union, to include health services in the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection and the Critical Infrastructure Directive. Together with the European Council, the institutions also agreed on a EUR 5.07 billion EU4Health budget[2].

The role and active involvement of sectoral social partners at EU level are therefore essential to ensure that their voice is heard.

[1] Eurofound (2020) European sectoral social partner organisations and their representativeness https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/fr/observatories/eurwork/representativeness-studies

[2] Amount in 2018 prices

Download the Press Release (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

HOSPEEM July newsletter is published

In this July 2020 edition, you will find the Joint Statement on the 10th anniversary of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work as well as the latest COVID-19 related news. This newsletter includes also other relevant news,  Member’s news, EU news, events and publications for hospital employers.

27 July 2020 HOSPEEM Newsletter 2020 – Issue 3

HOSPEEM April newsletter is published

In this April 2020 edition, you will find the HOSPEEM statement on the COVID-19 outbreak and on the CEEP launch of the EU platform “SGIs facing COVID-19” as well as information on the latest HOSPEEM General Assembly, and HOSPEEM-EPSU Social Dialogue meeting and project.

This newsletter includes also other relevant news, EU news, events and publications for hospital employers.

HOSPEEM Newsletter 2020– Issue 2 (29 April 2020)

The year 2019 at a glance: HOSPEEM Activity report

The HOSPEEM Activity Report 2019 is published. This activity report presents key information on HOSPEEM and the main activities carried out during the year.

2019 has been a year rich in achievements for HOSPEEM ensuring that the views of hospital and healthcare employers are being heard at the highest level.

Firstly, the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on “Strengthening Social Dialogue in the hospital sector in the East, South and Central Europe” has successfully started with regional workshops taking place in Bucharest in June 2019 and in Rome in November 2019.

Secondly, several HOSPEEM experts and representatives shared their knowledge across Europe joining their efforts to actively represent members’ views in the European arena.

Thirdly, a new work programme 2020-2022 for the European sectoral social dialogue was successfully adopted.

Download the report

HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Work Programme 2020-2023 for the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector

In December 2019, the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC-HS), HOSPEEM and EPSU reached a final agreement of the Joint Work-Programme 2020-2022.

In November 2021 at the plenary meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee, HOSPEEM and EPSU extended the Work Programme until 2023.

It is structured around four major thematic priorities, i.e Occupational Safety and health, recruitment and retention of the health workforce,  Continuing Professional Development and Life-Long Learning, European/ EU-level healthcare policy. Each sub-theme is presented with specific objectives, deliverables and a timeline.

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the Joint Work Programme 2020-2022- EN

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the Joint Work Programme 2020-2022 – streamlined version – EN

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the extended Joint Work Programme 2020-2023 – EN

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector: Main activities and outcomes in 2019

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 2019 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.

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the document

Regional Workshop 2: Southern Europe

The second Regional Workshop of the HOSPEEMEPSU joint project “Strengthening Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector in the East, South and Central Europe”, took place on 15 November 2019 in Rome, Italy. The workshop was organised by ARAN (HOSPEEM member, Italy) and co-organised by HOSPEEM.

The geographical focus of this second workshop is on Southern Europe, specifically targeted at Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain. The event aimed to gather EPSU affiliates and HOSPEEM members as well as representatives from trade unions and employers from the six targeted countries and from beyond as well as academia. HOSPEEM and EPSU members from other EU Member States were invited to participate to share their experiences.

Agenda and media release

Agenda (As of 04.11.2019)
Media release

Presentations (As of 20.11.2019)

Welcome, Antonio Bartolini (Agenzia per la Rappresentanza Negoziale delle Pubbliche Amministrazioni-ARAN)
Presentation of the project, Luca Scarpiello (European Federation of Public Service Unions-EPSU)
Introduction to the European Social Dialogue, Kristine Krivmane (European Commission)
Relevant activities of the Hospital Sector, Sara Fasoli (European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association-HOSPEEM)
Survey findings for Italy, Portugal and Spain, Marta Kahancová (Central European Labour Studies Institute-CELSI)
Survey findings for Cyprus, Greece and Malta, Barbora Holubová (Central European Labour Studies Institute-CELSI)
Social dialogue and involvement of national social partners, Simone Mohrs (European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association-HOSPEEM),
The Swedish social partners involvement in the European Semester, Sandra Bergendorff (Swedish Association of Local Authorities-SALAR) and Göran Zettergren (The Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees-TCO)

Report and fact sheets

Fact Sheet Cyprus EN CY
Fact Sheet Greece EN EL
Fact Sheet Italy EN IT
Fact Sheet Malta EN 
Fact Sheet Portugal EN PT
Fact Sheet Spain EN ES
Regional Workshop report – Southern Europe

Photos and graphics
Photo Gallery
Graphics: View Gallery or download in PDF or JPEG

General

Workshop 1: Eastern Europe, Bucharest, Romania (14.06.2019)
Workshop 3: Central Europe, Zagreb, Croatia (20.04.2021)
Strengthening Social Dialogue project description (2019-2021)
European Sectoral Social Dialogue activities overview (2006-2019)

#EUSocDia

The event is organised with the support of ARAN in collaboration with FIASO and INMI.

EPSU has also published an article on this topic.

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This project has received financial support from the European Union