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Framework agreements

Framework agreements are negotiated between the social partners at European level, and are contractually binding on the signatory parties and their members. They are transposed either by a European Directive – in which case the primary responsibility for implementation lies with the Member States in the first instance – or by the social partners at national level, who have an obligation for such transposition, while the signatory parties have an obligation to influence their members.

Framework agreement on inclusive labour markets (2010)

Achieving an inclusive labour market is a multi-faceted challenge and a key concern for European social partners. Employers’ and workers’ representatives at all levels, as well as social dialogue, have an important role to play to address this challenge. In the context of their European Social Dialogue work programmes for 2006-2008 and for 2009-2010, and on the basis of their Joint Labour Market Analysis, European social partners have negotiated an autonomous framework agreement on “inclusive labour markets”.

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Revised Framework agreement on parental leave (2009)

The 1995 Framework agreement on parental leave marked an important turning point for European Social Dialogue. It was the first agreement reached between the EU-level social partners under the Maastricht social policy procedure. Consequently, it was also the first agreement that was given force by a Council Directive, on 3 June 1996. Despite the successful transposition of the directive in all of the EU Member States and the fact that this first framework agreement promoted common ground for improving work-life balance in Europe, the effects it could have had on better reconciliation of work and family duties, which also undoubtedly have a positive impact on the inclusion of women in the labour market, were not entirely achieved. The revised framework agreement on parental leave tries to address some of the challenges by revising existing provisions or introducing new ones. The revised Framework agreement on parental leave has in the meantime been incorporated into EU Directive 2010/18/EU of 8 March 2010.

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Framework agreement on harassment and violence at the workplace (2007)

This framework agreement on harassment and violence at the workplace was negotiated in 2006 between the European social partners. On 26 April 2007, in the presence of Commissioner Spidla, the secretaries general of ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME and CEEP officially signed the autonomous framework agreement. The text commits the members of the signatory parties to combat all unacceptable behaviour that can lead to harassment and violence at the workplace.

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Framework agreement on stress at work (2004)

This framework agreement negotiated in 2003 by the European social partners, covering issues such as how to identify and prevent, eliminate or reduce work-related stress, as well as the responsibility of both employers and workers (and their representatives), will surely help to combat this detrimental and growing phenomenon which potentially can affect any workplace.

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Framework agreement on telework (2002)

The framework agreement on telework was negotiated in 2001/2002 and is the first agreement to be implemented by the social partners at national level (see Procedures). The social partners see telework both as a way for companies and public service organisations to modernise work organisation and as a way for workers to reconcile work and social life, giving them greater autonomy in the accomplishment of their tasks.

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Framework agreement on fixed-term work – Directive 1999/70/EC (1999)

The purpose of the agreement on fixed-term work as negotiated by the social partners in 1999 is to improve the quality of fixed-term work by ensuring the application of the principle of non-discrimination and to prevent abuses arising from the use of successive fixed-term employment contracts.

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Framework agreement on part-time work – Directive 1997/81/EC (1997)

The purpose of the agreement on part-time work as negotiated by the social partners in 1997 is to provide for the removal of discrimination against part-time workers and to improve the quality of part-time work. It is also intended to facilitate the development of part-time work on a voluntary basis and to contribute to the flexible organisation of working time in a manner which takes into account the needs of employers and workers.

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Framework agreement on parental leave – Directive 1996/34/EC (1996)

The intention of the framework agreement on parental leave as negotiated between the social partners in 1995 is to facilitate the reconciliation of parental and professional life and to encourage fathers to play a more active role in the care and upbringing of their children by providing a right to parental leave of at least three months.

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