European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association

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)

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

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)

HOSPEEM Statement on COVID-19 outbreak

The impact on the health services and the need to support joint measures across Europe

The European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association’s thoughts are with the millions of health professional and health workers across Europe and others globally that, under these exceptional circumstances daily provide services to take care of patients at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, while national governments are taking different levels of confinement and containment measures.

Like in no other sector, the COVID-19 pandemic has a tremendous impact on the provision of health services and care, experienced in hospitals and healthcare facilities around the globe, and particularly in Europe. This is adding to the already existing strains of the healthcare system such as recruitment and retention, the ageing and health and safety at the workplace.

Employers in the health sector are facing exceptional challenges that can only be tackled by joint initiatives from social partners, Member States’ governments, and the European institutions. Furthermore, the sector welcomes the potential opportunities and lessons learned as a result of the global pandemic.

Among others, HOSPEEM welcomes the statement of the Members of the European Council2, which “commend[s] the dedication and tireless efforts of the healthcare professionals” and ”the adoption of the decision on the authorisation for export of personal protective equipment” as well as “to increase testing capacities”.

We are standing with our European cross-sectoral social partners’ organisation CEEP, which, together with fellow European sectoral social partner organisations, set up the “SGIs facing COVID-19” Platform3 to help facilitate and share practices between European and national social partners in the public services sector.

Following the measures taken by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the Members of the European Council, HOSPEEM stresses the importance of:

  • The availability of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and other medical equipment such as ventilators and testing supplies;
  • The availability of adequately trained staff which is essential to providing appropriate care under extreme circumstances such as that of COVID-19;
  • The availability and development of crash courses for staff working in ICU’s in the COVID-19 context as already launched by the World Health Organization;
  • Exchange of practices and information between national governments and national social partners regarding measures that have been both successful and those that show limited benefits;
  • Organizing the health assistance to provide appropriate care to the people affected by pre-existing health conditions requiring chronic or acute treatment

Looking ahead HOSPEEM would like to echo the statement made by the European Council that we must “reflect on the resilience of our societies”, among others the resilience of services of general interest. In times like these, it becomes evident that investments in healthcare need to be further strengthened to withstand similar potential public health emergencies. HOSPEEM is concerned with the structural long-term effect on the healthcare system and its labour market.

At the moment Member States’ economies are under enormous pressure to perform. Already now, many countries are preparing for financial restructuring to recover from the economic losses caused by the virus and to adjust national budgets towards the different sectors. Even if the current measures as foreseen by the European institutions such as investing in European Member States’ healthcare system are well intended, it is of vital importance that these investments remain in the long-term to indeed sustain a resilient healthcare system and society as a whole, considering to include health prevention activities within the objectives of these investments.

References

  1. Eurostat. European Union Labour Force Survey.
  2. European Council. Joint statement of the Members of the European Council. (2020).
  3. CEEP. Services of General Interest facing COVID-19. https://www.ceep.eu/sgis-facing-covid-19 (2020).

Download the HOSPEEM statement on COVID-19 outbreak

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

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector: Main activities and outcomes in 2018

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 2018 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

Kick-off meeting of the HOSPEEM-EPSU Project 2019-2020 on strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector

On 28 March 2019, HOSPEEM, EPSU and the project partners, Sanitas (EPSU affiliate, Romania), ARAN (HOSPEEM member, Italy) and HSSMS-MT (EPSU affiliate, Croatia) hosted the kick-off meeting of their new joint project in the field of sectoral social dialogue capacity building: “Strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector in the East, South and Central Europe”.

The meeting was the occasion to discuss the capacity building needs of sectoral social partners in the hospital sector in the three targeted regions as well their involvement in the European agenda, including the European Semester.

The need to strengthen representativeness of the sectoral social partners’ activities also by sharing best practices, ensuring a bottom up approach and the need to foster the capacities of social partner organisations for social dialogue to be successful were among the topics discussed.

The importance of guaranteeing the link between the sectoral social partners’ national priorities and the European Semester process was raised by the participants.  It was highlighted how social partners should be supported in creating and ensuring a social dialogue infrastructure, an enabling political and social environment where they can identify their priorities and bring them to the EU level.

The event gathered around 20 participants, governments’ representatives from the Permanent Missions to the EU, and DG EMPL representatives from the Social Dialogue Unit and from the Unit on Employment and social aspects of the European Semester.

The agenda of the meeting, the presentation of the project and the overview of the main HOSPEEM and EPSU joint activities in the European Sectoral Social Dialogue are now available.

EPSU has also published an event page for this meeting.

***Back to main project page***

This project has received financial support from the European Union

Final report 2019 – follow-up on the Directive 2010/32/EU on the prevention from sharps injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector

On 13 February 2019, during the first meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector, HOSPEEM and EPSU adopted the final report on the “Follow-up on the Directive 2010/32/EU on the prevention from sharps injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector” as part of the current HOSPEEM-EPSU Work Programme 2017 – 2019.

The report provides information on the role and impact of the national social partners during relevant stages of the transposition and implementation of the Directive.

The report builds on 30 replies from HOSPEEM members and EPSU affiliates (in 3 cases joint replies) from 20 countries, including from outside the EU also from Norway and Serbia. It also contains recommendations to the national and EU-level social partners, to European institutions (in particular to the European Commission and EU-OSHA) as well as to EU MS.

The report published in 2019 is the second follow-up activity carried out by HOSPEEM and EPSU in relation to the Directive 2010/32/EU after their joint project in 2012 and 2013. More information on the project and the project report from 2012-2013 is also available.

 Final report 2019

 Sharps report summary brochure for Social partners

 Sharps report summary brochure for EU institutions and agencies

 Sharps report summary brochure for Member States