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Key Facts

Collective Bargaining Coverage 80%
Proportion of Employees in Unions 35%
Principal Level of Collective Bargaining


Workplace Representation


Board-level Representation


Company Board Structure

monistic or dualistic (choice)

Sources: see individual country sections; where a range of figures has been quoted, the lower number has been taken


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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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 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 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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Implementation of the European framework agreement on telework

As foreseen in the framework agreement a joint European report was prepared in 2006 in order to get a picture of the actual implementation of the agreement on telework.

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Implementation of framework agreement on work-related stress (Status January 2007)

The implementation scoreboard looks quite dynamic – in most EU member states implementation started with the (joint) translation of the agreement, followed by dissemination actions such as awareness-raising campaigns involving, in most Member States, websites, brochures, guides and training schemes.

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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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EWC court cases (jurisprudence)

In 2008 the Workers' Participation Unit of the ETUI started researching and collecting EWC-related court cases and included this collection into the existing database of European Works Councils ( The jurisprudence database grown since and currently contains a collection of more than 70 various court cases and numerous articles. All of them are linked to EWCs registered in the EWC database and searchable via an efficient search engine.

This section features information related to the EWC and SE-related jurisprudence.

For all questions or suggestions in this regard please contact Romek Jagodziński, Senior Researcher, ETUI.

We welcome any tips or information about the relevant court judgements/cases (please contact R. Jagodziński).

[Currently in construction, will be updated soon]