Marta Branca speaking at the EESC Hearing on The European Care Strategy

On 7 December 2022, HOSPEEM Secretary General, Marta BRANCA delivered comprehensive remarks to a European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) public hearing on “The European Care Strategy: challenges and the way forward”.

07.12.2022 hybrid EESC hearing

“Longterm care is important to the smooth-running of the hospital sector. Different challenges await but funding and social dialogue are important everywhere” stated Marta Branca.

After the European Commission published a proposal for a European Care Strategy on 08 September 2022, the Council adopted the Care Strategy on 08 December 2022. It consists of a communication, accompanied by (1) a proposal for a Council Recommendation on long-term care as well (2) a proposal for a Council Recommendation to revise the Barcelona targets. The Council recommendation focuses on access to affordable high-quality long-term care and asks Member States to improve adequacy of social protection, increase and develop quality long term care services, ensure fair working conditions, and strengthen professional standards addressing the challenges of skills needs and occupational health and safety. Member States are recommended to communicate to the European Commission a set of measures taken or planned to implement within 18 months of adoption.

Read the full-speech (pdf)

HOSPEEM October Newsletter is published

In this October 2022 Newsletter edition, you will read about the newly HOSPEEM-EPSU updated Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention, as the social partners are encouraging initiatives across Europe to strengthen the health workforce.

You will find also more information on:

  • EU Social Partners Cross-ectoral Work Programme 2022-2024
  • EC European Care Strategy
  • Prevention of third-party violence and harassment in the heath sector
  • Upskilling and reskilling the European healthcare workforce
  • International recruitment of health staff (UK)
  • Guidance to access health data (DK)

This newsletter also includes events and publications relevant for hospital employers:

4 October 2022: HOSPEEM Newsletter 2022 – Issue 3

Social Partners in hospital and healthcare sign framework for the future of the sector

PRESS RELEASE

Brussels, 1st June 2022

Yesterday, the EU sectoral social partners in the hospital and healthcare sector, the European Public Services Union (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM), signed the updated Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention (FoA R&R).

The original text was over a decade old; the revised text now better reflects the changes Europe’s health services have undergone in recent years.

Marta Branca, Secretary General of HOSPEEM, says: “Health staff shortages continue to be an issue for the hospital and healthcare sector across Europe. With the updated Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention, we social partners re-commit to initiatives that can strengthen the resilience of the health workforce.”

Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU, says: “The COVID-19 pandemic shows the importance of adequate workforce levels and protection from Psychosocial Risks at work. In the updated Framework of Actions, we underline that!  Forus workforce planning mechanisms must take present and future needs into account to ensure that an adequate number of staff with the requisite skills are available in the right place at the right time.

The updated FoA includes aspects related to COVID-19, work-life balance, gender equality and digitalisation, focusing on the increasing Occupational Health and Safety issues which are important for health workers. These include psycho-social risks and stress, carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxic substances (Hazardous Medicinal Products), musculoskeletal diseases and thirdparty violence.

Social partners are calling to urgently strengthen public health services in order to adequately deliver quality care, ensure equal access and make these services more resilient towards future health emergencies.

They also call on Member States and the European Commission to support social partners in  sectoral social dialogue and  collective bargaining processes, in particular in Southern and Eastern Europe, within the framework of the ongoing Social Dialogue review process of the European Commission.

The updated text stresses social partners’ commitment to strengthen the attractiveness of the sector and to support a rights-based approach for recruiting migrant workers.

It also includes references to existing initiatives for retention, e.g., an active ageing policy and addressing occupational safety and health risk factors together. The signatories also emphasise that social partners must be involved in workforce planning (worker’s needs, skills needs and skills mix) on all levels. The new framework of actions promotes diversity and gender equality in the workforce to reflect the diversity of the society it cares for.

For more information contact:  Leonie Martin, HOSPEEM or Pablo Sanchez, EPSU 

Notes to editors:

About the Framework on Actions on Recruitment and Retention

The initial Framework of Actions was adopted on 17 December 2010. Following a first implementation report in 2016, social partners have been negotiating an updated version between 2021 and 2022. The actions include supporting the recruitment and retention of workers in the hospital sector, improving work organization, developing, and implementing workforce planning mechanism, encouraging diversity and gender equality, continuous professional development for all workers in the sector, and achieving the safest possible working environment.

HOSPEEM and EPSU participate in the European Social Dialogue as the recognised European Social Partners in the Hospital and Healthcare Sector since 2006. A range of joint documents (declarations, code of conduct, framework of actions, framework agreements) have been adopted and multiple projects and activities have been successfully completed ever since.

European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association https://hospeem.org/

European Federation of Public Service Unions www.epsu.org

Press Release in .pdf

*** EPSU also have published an article ***

HOSPEEM-EPSU Solidarity message with Ukraine employers and trade unions

               

Brussels, 11.03.2022

The social partners involved in the European sectoral social dialogue – Hospital and Healthcare, HOSPEEM and EPSU, strongly deplore and condemn the unprovoked attack of the Russian government on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Furthermore, we are horrified by the reported attack on a maternity and children hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine on March 9. As of March 10, the WHO has confirmed 25 other attacks¹.  Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure such as hospitals must stop immediately. Furthermore, we are calling on all to respect and protect in all circumstances health facilities, civilian and military medical units in line with International Humanitarian Law. Reiterating the words of the WHO, the social partners stress that health providers must be protected so they are allowed to treat the injured, and to save lives. We express our solidarity with fellow employers, trade unions and workers in the hospital and healthcare sector, who continue to provide medical care to people in Ukraine in the direst circumstances. Our member organisations across Europe are collecting medical equipment and similar resources to support healthcare provision.

¹ https://twitter.com/WHOUkraine/status/1501975933841920011

***

Лист солідарності з роботодавцями та профспілками України

 Соціальні партнери, які беруть участь у європейському секторальному соціальному діалозі – Hospital and Healthcare, HOSPEEM і EPSU, висловлюють скорботу і рішуче засуджують безпричинний напад російського уряду на територіальну цілісність України. Крім того, ми в жаху від повідомлення про напад на родинний будинок і на дитячу лікарню в Маріуполі 9 березня. Станом на 10 березня ВООЗ підтвердила ще 25 нападів. Напади на цивільне населення та цивільну інфраструктуру, такі як лікарні, повинні негайно припинитися. Крім того, ми закликаємо всіх поважати і захищати за  будь-яких обставин медичні установи, цивільні та військові медичні формування відповідно до міжнародного гуманітарного права. Повторюючи слова ВООЗ, соціальні партнери підкреслюють, що медичні працівники повинні бути захищені, щоб вони могли лікувати поранених і рятувати життя. Ми висловлюємо солідарність з іншими роботодавцями, профспілками та працівниками лікарень та усіх закладів охорони здоров’я, які продовжують надавати медичну допомогу людям в Україні в складних умовах. Наші організації-члени по всій Європі збирають медичне обладнання та аналогічні ресурси для підтримки надання медичної допомоги.

EPSU also published this message.

Unions and Employers discuss European Health Data Space with a representative of the European Commission

On February 3, 2022, EPSU and HOSPEEM jointly organised an online informative session on the European Health Data Space (EHDS), with the purpose of providing a space  for the exchange of information between the European Commission (EC) and social partners in the healthcare sector. The aim of the meeting was to give the EC the platform to introduce the topic and discuss what implications the EHDS will have for health workers and the health sector.

The session started with a brief introduction by Jan-Willem Goudriaan, EPSU General Secretary, who welcomed expert Barbara Susec from ver.di, experts from HOSPEEM. and Hugo van Haastert, of DG Sante. (Unit B.3, European Reference Networks and Digital Health). He presented the initiative and stressed that the framework of the EHDS should serve the public and strengthen the quality of care.

Hugo van Haastert also  explained the legal proposal EC  has been working on and provided  insight into the existing European data infrastructure. He highlighted the role of the EHDS to simplify and connect primary and secondary health data to make them more accessible for workers and patients.

The presentation was followed by a discussion, in which data protection and the importance of equal access to data and digitisation, also via targeted training tools, were highlighted. Participants also emphasised that the role and involvement of health care workers within the framework of the EHDS should be more accentuated.

The session was concluded by Marta Branca, HOSPEEM General Secretary, who stressed the relevance of the informative session in the framework of the the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee and thanked the organisers and participants for their input.

Download the European Commission’s presentation (.pdf)

EPSU also published an article on this topic

HOSPEEM January newsletter is published

In this January Newsletter edition, you find a collection of challenges and lessons learnt in light of the COVID-19 outbreak by hospital and healthcare employers  well as a call for political support from European institutions to strengthen capacity building of sectoral social partners to be represented in the European sectoral social dialogue in the light of the recent publication of the Eurofound representativeness study for the Hospital Sector.

This newsletter also includes news from our Members in the U.K. and in the Netherlands, EU news, events and publications relevant for hospital employers.

15 January 2021: HOSPEEM Newsletter 2021 – Issue 1

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)

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)

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