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Health and Safety Representation

In most companies with at least 50 employees and in some with fewer, employees have the right to elect representatives with health and safety responsibilities to a joint employee/employer health and safety committee. Many of the details of how they work – such as the precise number to be elected or their time-off rights – are left to be agreed between employees and employer in the company or collective agreements.

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Trade Unions

Union density is high in Denmark, at around two-thirds of the workforce, although it has fallen in recent years. Most union members are in unions associated with the three main confederations – LO, FTF and Akademikerne (previously known as AC). These are organised on occupational and educational lines, although the boundaries between the three are not precise.

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Collective Bargaining

The key level for collective bargaining is the company level. There is also protection for those not covered by collective bargaining through a series of wage orders for specific industries that set minimum terms, and a system of partial pay indexation through “cost-of-living” adjustments”.

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Trade Unions

Union membership in Lithuania is low – about 9% of all employees. The unions are divided into three main confederations, LPSK, LDF and Solidarumas, divided – historically at least – on ideological grounds. However, the unions are now working together more closely.

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Board-level Representation

Employee representatives in companies at board level have now largely disappeared in Malta, and are now only found in companies belonging to the union or the Malta Labour Party.

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European-level Representation

The cooperation committee chooses most employee representatives for European level bodies. The one exception relates to board level representatives in a European Company – they must be elected by the workforce.

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Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining in the private sector in Italy primarily takes place at two levels – industry level and company level. However, changes to the system – agreed by some union confederations but not the largest – have altered the balance between the two. This has led to divisions between the unions, although the most recent developments suggest that these may be diminishing.

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European-level Representation

Italian representatives on European level bodies are generally chosen by the unions and the local union body at the workplace, the RSU, although the rules vary slightly depending on the body on which the representatives sit.

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European-level Representation

UK representatives on most of the bodies linked to European Works Councils and the European Company are to be elected by the whole workforce, unless there is an existing body which represents and in some cases has already been elected by the whole workforce, which then has appointment rights. But the UK government has chosen not to draw up specific rules on the choice of UK members of some of the European Company structures, leaving the choice to lower level representative bodies.

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Health and Safety Representation

Safety representatives, chosen directly by the employees in smaller organisations, and by the existing trade union structures in those with more than 15 employees, provide representation for employees in the area of health and safety in Italy. There is no structure of joint employer/employee safety committees, other than a meeting with the employer and health and safety staff once a year or when there are major changes. However, Italy does have a structure of area safety representatives who cover smaller companies without their own safety representatives.

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