Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Insurance

  • National Contribution:

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Industrijski odnosi,
  • Representativeness,
  • Social partners,
  • Date of Publication: 13 svibnja 2012



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This study aims to provide the necessary information for encouraging sectoral social dialogue in the insurance sector. It identifies the relevant national organisations on both sides of industry and analyses the sector’s relevant European organisations. The study first explores the economic background of the sector and goes on to outline the social partner organisations in all the EU Member States (with the exception of Latvia), focussing on membership, role in collective bargaining and public policy, and national and European affiliations. The study concludes with an analysis of the relevant European organisations, particularly their membership composition and their capacity to negotiate. The EIRO series of representativeness studies aims to identify relevant national and supranational social partner organisations in selected sectors. They derive from the European Commission’s desire to recognise the representative social partner organisations to be consulted under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Hence, this study is designed to provide the basic information required to assist sectoral social dialogue.

The study was compiled on the basis of individual national reports submitted by the EIRO correspondents. The text of each of these national reports is available below. The national reports were drawn up in response to a questionnaire and should be read in conjunction with it.

Download the full report (478KB PDF)

National contributions may be available


Objectives of study

The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the relevant national and supranational associational actors – that is the trade unions and employer associations – in the field of industrial relations in the insurance sector, and show how these actors relate to the sector’s European interest associations of labour and business. The impetus for this study arises from the the European Commission’s aim to identify the representative social partner associations to be consulted under the provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (1.4Mb, PDF). Hence, this study seeks to provide basic information needed to support sectoral social dialogue. The effectiveness of the European social dialogue depends on whether its participants are sufficiently representative in terms of the sector’s relevant national actors across the EU Member States. Only European associations which meet this precondition will be admitted to the European social dialogue.

Against this background, the study will first identify the relevant national social partner organisations in the insurance sector, subsequently analysing the structure of the sector’s relevant European organisations, in particular their membership composition. This involves clarifying the unit of analysis at both the national and European level of interest representation. The study includes only organisations whose membership domain is ‘sector-related’ (Table 1).

Table 1: Determining the ‘sector-relatedness’ of an organisation

Scope

Question in the standardised questionnaire to all correspondents

Possible answers

Notes and explanations

Domain of the organisation within the sector

Does the union’s/employer organisation’s domain embrace potentially all employees in the Insurance sector?

Yes/No

This question has not been asked directly in the questionnaire, but is considered to be “Yes” if all of the five following sub-questions are “yes”. It is considered to be “No”, if at least one of the following sub-questions is answered with “no”.

 

…cover ‘basically all’ groups of employees (min.: blue collar, white collar) in the Insurance sector?

Yes/No

This question refers to the organisation’s scope in the sector with regard to different types of employment contracts etc. As the contractual forms are rather heterogeneous, the minimum requirement to answer this question with “yes” would be the fact that both blue-collar and white-collar workers are potentially covered by the organisation’s domain.

…cover the ‘whole’ Insurance sectorin terms of economic activities, (i.e. including all sub-activities)

Yes/No

This question refers to the economic sub-activities of the NACE code chosen. In the spreadsheet part of the questionnaire, correspondents have been provided a detailed breakdown of sub-activities down to the four-digit level.

… cover employees in all types of companies (all types of ownership: private, public) in the Insurance sector?

Yes/No

This question refers to ownership. Some organisations might limit for instance their domain to domestically owned, or to public sector companies/employees only.

… cover employees in enterprises of all sizes in the Insurance sector?

Yes/No

Often, organisations limit their domain to enterprises by size class (e.g. SMEs only).

…cover all occupations in the Insurance sector?

Yes/No

Some organisations (notably trade unions) delimit their domain to certain occupations only. This sub-question intends to identify these occupational organisations.

Domain of the organisation outside the sector

Does the union also represent members outside the Insurance sector?

Yes/No

This question is again being asked directly to the correspondents.

Source: Standardised Excel-based questionnaire, sent to EIRO National correspondents.

At both national and European levels, many associations are not considered as social partner organisations as they do not deal with industrial relations. Thus, there is a need for criteria to define clearly the social partner organisations.

As regards the national-level associations, classification as a sector-related social partner organisation implies fulfilling one of two criteria. The association must be either:

  • a party to ‘sector-related’ collective bargaining;
  • or a member of a ‘sector-related’ European association of business or labour on the Commission’s list of European social partner organisations consulted under Article 154 TFEU and/or which participates in the sector-related European social dialogue.

Taking affiliation to a European social partner organisation as a sufficient criterion for determining a national association as a social partner implies that such an association may not be involved at all in industrial relations in its own country. Hence, this selection criterion may seem odd at first glance. However, if a national association is a member of a European social partner organisation, it becomes involved in industrial relations matters through its membership in the European organisation.

Furthermore, it is important to assess whether the national affiliates to the European social partner organisations are engaged in industrial relations in their respective countries. Affiliation to a European social partner organisation and involvement in national collective bargaining are of utmost importance to the European social dialogue, since they are the two constituent mechanisms that can systematically connect the national and European levels.

In terms of the selection criteria for the European organisations, this report includes those sector-related European social partner organisations that are on the Commission’s list of consultation.

In addition, it considers any other sector-related European associations with sector-related national social partner organisations – as defined above – under its umbrella.

Thus, the aim of identifying the sector-related national and European social partner organisations applies both a ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approach.

Definitions

For the purpose of this study, the insurance sector is defined in terms of the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE), to ensure the cross-national comparability of the findings. More specifically, the insurance sector is defined as embracing NACE (Rev. 2) 65. This sector definition is also upheld by the European Commission report from 2010, European Sectoral Social Dialogue: Recent developments (p.115) (1.23Mb PDF).

This includes the following activities:

NACE Rev.2 Definition Description
65.1 Insurance

This group includes life insurance with or without a substantial savings element and non-life insurance.

65.11 Life insurance

This class includes:

underwriting annuities and life insurance policies, disability income insurance policies, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance policies (with or without a substantial savings element)

65.12 Non-life insurance

This class includes:

- provision of insurance services other than life insurance:

• accident and fire insurance

• health insurance

• travel insurance

• property insurance

• motor, marine, aviation and transport insurance

• pecuniary loss and liability insurance

65.2 Reinsurance  
65.20 Reinsurance

This class includes:

- activities of assuming all or part of the risk associated with existing insurance policies originally underwritten by other insurance carriers

65.3   Pension funding

 

65.30   Pension funding

This class includes legal entities (funds, plans and/or programmes) organised to provide retirement income benefits exclusively for the sponsor's employees or members. This includes pension plans with defined benefits, as well as individual plans where benefits are simply defined through the member’s contribution.

This class includes:

- employee benefit plans

- pension funds and plans

- retirement plans

The domains of the trade unions and employer organisations and the scope of the relevant collective agreements are likely to vary from this precise NACE definition. The study therefore includes all trade unions, employer organisations and multi-employer collective agreements which are ‘sector-related’ in terms of any of the following four aspects or patterns:

  • congruence – the domain of the organisation or scope of the collective agreement must be identical to the NACE demarcation, as specified above;
  • sectionalism – the domain or scope covers only a certain part of the sector, as defined by the NACE demarcation, while no group outside the sector is covered;
  • overlap – the domain or scope covers the entire sector along with parts of one or more other sectors. However, it is important to note that the study does not include general associations which do not deal with sector-specific matters;
  • sectional overlap – the domain or scope covers part of the sector plus parts of one or more other sectors.

Figure 1: Sector relatedness of social partner organisations: Domain patterns

Figure 1: Sector relatedness of social partner organisations: Domain patterns

Figure 1: Sector-relatedness of social partner organisations: Domain patterns

Table 2: Pattern and scope of the organisation’s domain
Domain pattern Domain of organisation within the sector Domain of organisation outside the sector
     
Congruence (C)    
Sectionalism (S)    
Overlap (O)    
Sectional overlap (SO)    

Note: The domain pattern results from the answers to the questions on the scope of the domain derived from Table 1

At European level, the European Commission established a Sectoral social dialogue committee for the insurance sector in 1999, although the social partners had been working together in an informal working party since 1987. The European Federation of National Insurance Associations (CEA), the European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries (BIPAR) and the Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe (AMICE) on the employer side as well as the UNI Global Union Europa-Section Finance (UNI Europa-Finance) on the employee side participate in the sector’s European social dialogue. Thus, affiliation to one of these European organisations is a sufficient criterion for classifying a national association as a social partner organisation for the purpose of this study. However, it should be noted that the constituent criterion is one of sector-related membership. This is important, in particular, in the case of UNI Europa due to its multi-sectoral domain. Thus, the study will include only the organisations affiliated to UNI Europa-Finance whose domain relates to the insurance sector.

It must be underlined that the composition of the Insurance Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee does not entirely correspond to the NACE demarcation of the present study. In fact, the main focus of the activities covered by the European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries (BIPAR) is actually outside the reference of this representativeness study. BIPAR, and its affiliates, are essentially covered by NACE 66.2 (Activities auxiliary to insurance and pension funding), whose definition includes the ‘activities of insurance agents and brokers (insurance intermediaries) in selling, negotiating or soliciting of annuities and insurance and reinsurance policies’. This has an important consequence deriving from the methodology applied for the representativeness studies. According to the top-down approach, we should include BIPAR national affiliates as members of a recognised EU level sectoral social partner. From the bottom-up perspective, however, we should only consider those national ‘sector-related’ organisations which relate to NACE Rev.2 65. In order to solve this contradiction, we will provide a complete picture of BIPAR’s affiliates, but we will include in this study only those affiliates which are effectively participating in collective bargaining covering the insurance sector as for NACE Rev.2 65.

Collection of data

The collection of quantitative data, such as those on membership, is essential for investigating the representativeness of the social partner organisations. Unless cited otherwise, this study draws on country studies provided by the EIRO national centres, based on a standard questionnaire in both Word and Excel formats, which they complete through contacting the sector-related social partner organisations in their countries. The contact is generally made via telephone interviews in the first place, but might also be established via email. In case of non-availability of any representative, the national correspondents are asked to fill out the relevant questionnaires based on secondary sources, such as information given on the social partner’s website, or derived from previous research studies.

It is often difficult to find precise quantitative data. In such cases, the EIRO national centres are requested to provide rough estimates rather than leaving a question blank, given the practical and political relevance of this study. However, if there is any doubt over the reliability of an estimate, this will be noted.

In principle, quantitative data may stem from three sources:

  • official statistics and representative survey studies;
  • administrative data, such as membership figures provided by the respective organisations, which are then used for calculating the density rates on the basis of available statistical figures on the potential membership of the organisations;
  • personal estimates made by representatives of the respective organisations.

While the data sources on the labour market and economic figures cited in the report are generally statistics from Eurostat or national statistical offices, the figures in respect of the organisations are usually either administrative data or estimates. Furthermore, it should be noted that several country studies also present data on trade unions and business associations that do not meet the above definition of a sector-related social partner organisation, in order to give a complete picture of the sector’s associational ‘landscape’. For the above substantive reasons, as well as for methodological reasons of cross-national comparability, such trade unions and business associations will not be considered in this overview report. However, these organisations can still be found in the national contributions, which will be published together with the overview report.

Quality assurance

In order to assure the quality of the information gathered, several verification procedures and feedback loops have been used.

  • First, staff of Eurofound together with the report’s author, check the figures provided for consistency, and make sure that the organisations listed correspond to the definition relevant for the scope of this study.
  • Second, Eurofound sends the national contributions to both their national members of governing board, as well as to the European-level sector-related social partners’ organisations. The peak-level organisations then ask their affiliates to verify the information. Feedback received from the sector-related organisations is then taken into account, if it is in line with the methodology of the study.
  • Third, the complete study is finally evaluated by the European-level sectoral social partners and Eurofound’s Advisory Committee on Industrial Relations, which consists of representatives from both sides of industry, governments and the European Commission.

Structure of report

The study consists of three main parts, beginning with a brief summary of the sector’s economic background. The report then analyses the relevant social partner organisations in all EU Member States. In the case of Latvia, only the top-down approach of including members of EU-level organisations could be followed, since it was not part of the EIRO network at the time of the data collection. The third part of the analysis considers the representative associations at European level.

Each section will contain a brief introduction explaining the concept of representativeness in greater detail, followed by the study findings. As representativeness is a complex issue, it requires separate consideration at national and European level for two reasons. Firstly, the method applied by national regulations and practices to capture representativeness has to be taken into account. Secondly, the national and European organisations differ in their tasks and scope of activities. The concept of representativeness must therefore be suited to this difference.

Finally, it is important to note the difference between the research and political aspects of this study. While providing data on the representativeness of the organisations under consideration, the report does not reach any definite conclusion on whether the representativeness of the European social partner organisations and their national affiliates is sufficient for admission to the European social dialogue. The reason for this is that defining criteria for adequate representativeness is a matter for political decision rather than an issue of research analysis.


Economic background

Mergers and acquisitions have characterised the European insurance sector in the 2000s (some of them started at the end of 1990s). For this reason, in the last decade, the number of insurance companies has gradually decreased. At the same time, the sector has grown in terms of total gross written premiums. Eurostat and other statistical institutes use the value of gross written premiums as the measure to indicate the size of insurance activity: this comprises all amounts due during the financial year in respect of insurance contracts, regardless of the fact that such amounts may relate in whole or in part to a later financial year.

The increase in gross written premiums stopped in 2008, as a result of the economic crisis. The total premiums decreased for the second time in the last decade in 2008–2009, ,particularly in 2008 when total premiums dropped by around 6% in comparison with the previous year (at constant exchange rates). However, according to the European insurance and reinsurance federation (CEA), 2009 was a year of slow recovery in comparison with 2008: total premiums grew by 2.9% (at constant exchange rates), mainly driven by the life insurance sector (which accounts for more than 60% of all premiums).

According to Swiss Re, a leading world reinsurer, between 2002–2007 the European share of the global market rose from 32% to 43% as premiums in Europe grew faster than total worldwide premium income. However, with the decline of European premiums in 2008 and 2009, Europe’s market share decreased to 40% of the worldwide market.

Insurance cover can be usually distinguished between life and non-life. With regard to life premiums, after a sharp decrease in 2008, European life premiums recovered to EUR 647bn in 2009, which corresponds, at constant exchange rates, to a 4.7% increase on the previous year. The largest markets are the UK, France, Germany and Italy, which together account for nearly 75% of European life premiums. According to CEA data, despite overall growth being positive in 2009, individual country growth rates ranged from -48% for Romania and -22% in Poland to +49% for Italy. Nevertheless, the disparity in growth rates was less marked in 2009 than in 2008.

Non-life insurance premiums showed a 2.7% increase in 2008, at constant exchange rates, but a decrease of -1.9% in 2009. It is the first time, after a decade of year-on-year growth, that the growth rate in this market segment is negative. According to CEA data, the top four non-life insurance markets in Europe are, in order of size, Germany, the UK, France and the Netherlands, which together account for more than 60% of European non-life premiums. With regard to the business areas, motor and health insurance are the two largest non-life business lines in Europe, with respective market shares of 30% and 25%.

As it has already been said, the merger and acquisitions processes that affected the European insurance sector during the last 15 years provoked a decline in the number of insurance companies. In 2008 there were around 4,700 companies operating in the sector in Europe, compared with around 4,950 in 2005. In the European Union, the UK is the country with more insurance companies (around 1,000), followed by Germany (more than 600 companies). France ranks third, while Sweden, which accounts for only 2% of premiums, ranks fourth in terms of number of companies. According to CEA, the number of insurance companies has slightly grown or remained stable in the New Member States in the last few years.

Figure 2. Total European gross written premiums: Nominal growth 2009/2008 and 2007/2002 (%)

Figure 2. Total European gross written premiums: Nominal growth 2009/2008 and 2007/2002 (%)

Notes: (*) At constant exchange rates.

DE figures include Pensionskassen and pension funds. For NL, foreign business is included. For MT, the 2009/2007 variation is not reliable since data prior to 2008 include cross-border business.

Source: Elaboration on CEA data, CEA Statistics No. 42: European Insurance in Figures, (2010).

Figure 3: Variation in number of companies by country: 2009/2007 and 2007/2000 (%)

Figure 3: Variation in number of companies by country: 2009/2007 and 2007/2000 (%)

Notes: DK data include life insurance companies and multi-employer pension funds as well as non-life insurance and foreign branches that are members of the Danish Insurance Association. For UK, there was a change in definition in 2004.

Source: Elaboration on CEA data, CEA Statistics No. 42, European Insurance in Figures, (2010).

Employment characteristics

The merger and acquisitions processes that affected the insurance sector in recent years had some impact on employment. In 2002–2006, employment in the European insurance sector declined, while in 2007 and 2008 the sectoral workforce slightly grew (between 0.4% and 0.8%). According to CEA data (European Insurance in Figures, 2010), in 2008 in the European Union there were around 920,000 workers employed in the insurance sector. It is important to notice that, after the liberalisation and privatisation processes, outsourcing became an important feature throughout the sector. As can be seen in Tables 3 and 4, Germany has the largest number of people employed in the insurance sector (more than 215,000 in 2008), followed by the UK (almost 179,000) and France (about 145,000). In 2008, nearly 87% of employees worked full-time; this proportion has been decreasing very slowly over the last 10 years (it was 89% in 1999).

Table 3: Number of companies in the insurance sector (2000-2009)
 

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

AT

77

75

73

72

71

73

72

71

71

72

BE

210

204

201

189

181

171

161

156

151

148

BG

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

41

45

45

CY

38

36

36

34

33

33

32

30

34

34

CZ

41

43

42

42

40

45

49

52

53

52

DE

659

640

645

640

633

632

613

609

607

604

DK

252

243

228

216

213

206

201

202

202

187

EE

14

14

13

13

13

12

16

19

20

20

ES

423

414

401

393

379

362

354

357

296

294

FI

65

69

68

68

68

67

66

63

63

63

FR

527

504

495

486

475

486

477

464

461

452

GR

110

107

102

100

99

95

90

86

85

82

HU

22

23

28

28

28

28

27

31

30

29

IE

191

196

199

224

217

226

229

233

236

n.a.

IT

244

246

245

236

235

230

235

234

239

234

LT

33

31

31

28

28

27

30

28

30

n.a.

LU

93

93

94

95

95

95

95

94

96

n.a.

LV

25

21

20

19

18

20

20

21

23

24

MT

23

19

18

18

20

25

37

41

44

54

NL

367

353

389

379

363

352

368

352

335

320

PL

65

71

74

77

74

74

72

76

66

65

PT

88

86

85

74

70

70

76

83

85

84

RO

n.a.

n.a.

42

46

39

37

36

42

43

45

SE

482

461

448

440

428

415

392

392

381

381

SI

14

14

14

15

16

18

18

20

21

21

SK

28

28

29

28

25

26

25

24

20

n.a.

UK

822

810

806

772

1177

1118

1050

1017

972

934

EU27

4,913

4,801

4,826

4,732

5,038

4,943

4,841

4,838

4,709

4,244

Notes: DK data include life insurance companies and multi-employer pension funds as well as non-life insurance and foreign branches that are members of the Danish Insurance Association. For the UK, there was a change in definition in 2004.

Source: CEA Statistics No. 42, European Insurance in Figures, (2010).

Table 4: Number of employees in the insurance sector (2000-2009)
 

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

AT

28,530

27,359

25,925

26,106

26,494

26,267

26,292

26,667

26,547

26,732

BE

24,298

26,293

25,912

24,722

24,506

24,004

23,752

24,048

24,300

23,964

BG

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CY

1,607

1,650

1,660

1,665

1,691

1,700

1,749

1,767

1,854

1,874

CZ

16,112

15,718

15,740

15,658

14,600

14,506

14,410

14,501

14,726

14,559

DE

240,200

245,400

248,100

244,300

240,800

233,300

225,700

218,900

216,300

216,500

DK

13,834

13,692

13,516

13,647

14,181

14,046

14,259

15,995

16,273

16,455

EE

1,669

1,623

1,552

1,458

1,444

1,364

1,458

1,458

1,536

1,737

ES

45,917

55,728

47,477

48,116

45,953

49,135

48,049

47,991

49,203

n.a.

FI

11,570

10,888

11,301

11,542

11,180

10,448

10,583

10,669

10,810

10,556

FR

136,500

138,600

139,200

138,500

138,000

143,700

143,750

143,950

145,200

147,400

GR

9,500

9,500

9,500

9,500

9,500

9,500

9,000

9,000

9,000

8,500

HU

27,478

27,762

27,587

28,069

27,226

26,001

26,131

26,242

26,125

n.a.

IE

12,289

12,842

15,000

15,227

14,989

14,303

14,256

14,762

15,033

n.a.

IT

42,264

41,746

39,980

39,291

40,105

39,924

39,795

46,278

46,831

47,369

LT

4,000

4,900

6,300

6,500

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

5,100

5,500

n.a.

LU

2,268

2,532

2,654

2,673

2,969

3,045

3,170

3,242

3,268

3,480

LV

1,587

1,799

1,786

2,837

2,988

3,333

3,800

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

MT

670

625

542

534

642

667

806

832

786

n.a.

NL

48,468

50,243

50,088

48,204

53,190

52,930

52,470

52,040

51,010

50,910

PL

32,764

32,595

29,521

28,946

28,677

28,864

28,474

30,251

29,623

29,129

PT

13,623

13,700

13,105

12,575

11,835

11,829

11,518

11,295

11,307

11,207

RO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

25,300

36,130

36,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SE

17,162

17,258

18,987

18,973

18,914

19,000

19,389

20,032

20,715

n.a.

SI

4,799

4,929

5,204

5,521

5,690

5,878

5,992

6,064

6,331

6,306

SK

7,783

7,916

7,622

6,743

6,484

6,304

6,300

6,300

6,640

n.a.

UK

228,300

223,900

217,475

211,300

208,100

176,100

179,300

177,500

178,700

171,500

EU27

973,192

989,198

975,734

987,907

986,288

952,148

910,403

914,884

917,618

788,178

Notes: DK data include all people employed in the Danish market. For FR, there was a break in the series in 2005. For IT, in 2007, the total number includes 4,554 employees of other entities controlled by insurance companies and roughly 2,000 additional dealers, following a large corporate restructuring. NL data do not include employees from some health insurers; there is also a break in the series in 2004.

Source: CEA Statistics No. 42: European Insurance in Figures, (2010).

Figure 4: Variation in number of employees by country 2009/2007 and 2007/2000 (%)

Figure 4: Variation in number of employees by country 2009/2007 and 2007/2000 (%)

 

Notes: DK data include all people employed in the Danish market. For FR, there was a break in the series in 2005. For IT, in 2007, the total number includes 4,554 employees of other entities controlled by insurance companies and roughly 2,000 additional dealers, following a large corporate restructuring. NL data do not include employees from some health insurers; there is also a break in the series in 2004.

Source: Elaboration on CEA data, CEA Statistics No. 42: European Insurance in Figures, (2010).


National level of interest representation

In many Member States, statutory regulations explicitly refer to the concept of representativeness when assigning certain rights of interest representation and public governance to trade unions and employer organisations. The most important rights addressed by such regulations include:

  • formal recognition as a party to collective bargaining;
  • extension of the scope of a multi-employer collective agreement to employers not affiliated to the signatory employer organisations;
  • participation in public policy and tripartite bodies of social dialogue.

Under these circumstances, representativeness is normally measured by the membership strength of the organisations. For instance, statutory extension provisions usually allow for extension of collective agreements to unaffiliated employers only when the signatory trade unions and employer associations represent 50% or more of the employees within the agreement’s domain.

As outlined, the representativeness of the national social partner organisations is of interest to this study in terms of the capacity of their European umbrella organisations for participation in European social dialogue. Hence, the role of the national actors in collective bargaining and public policy-making constitutes another important component of representativeness. The effectiveness of European social dialogue tends to increase with the growing ability of the national affiliates of the European organisations to regulate the employment terms and influence national public policies affecting the sector.

A cross-national comparative analysis shows a generally positive correlation between the bargaining role of the social partners and their involvement in public policy (Traxler, 2004). Social partner organisations that are engaged in multi-employer bargaining are incorporated in state policies to a significantly greater extent than their counterparts in countries where multi-employer bargaining is lacking. This can be attributed to the fact that only multi-employer agreements matter in macro-economic terms, setting an incentive for the governments persistently to seek the cooperation of the social partner organisations. If single-employer bargaining prevails in a country, none of the collective agreements will have a noticeable effect on the economy due to their limited scope. As a result, an important driver of generalised tripartite policy concertation will be absent.

In summary, representativeness is a multi-dimensional concept that embraces three basic elements:

  • the membership domain and strength of the social partner organisations;
  • their role in collective bargaining;
  • their role in public policymaking.

Membership domains and strength

The membership domain of an organisation, as formally established by its constitution or name, distinguishes its potential members from other groups which the organisation does not claim to represent. As already explained, this study considers only organisations whose domain relates to the insurance sector. However, there is insufficient room in this report to delineate the domain demarcations of all the organisations. Instead, the report notes how they relate to the sector by classifying them according to the four patterns of ‘sector-relatedness’, as specified earlier. A more detailed description of how an organisation may relate to the sector can be found in Figure 1 above.

Regarding membership strength, a differentiation exists between strength in terms of the absolute number of members and strength in relative terms. Research usually refers to relative membership strength as the density – in other words, the ratio of actual to potential members.

Furthermore, a difference also arises between trade unions and employer organisations in relation to measuring membership strength. Trade union membership simply means the number of unionised persons. However, in this context, a clarification of the concept of ‘member’ should be made. Whereas in most countries recorded membership includes both employees in jobs and members who are not in active employment (such as unemployed persons and retired workers) some countries provide information on employed membership only. Hence, two measures of trade union density have to be differentiated: gross union density (including inactive members) and net union density (referring to employed union members only). In addition to taking the total membership of a trade union as an indicator of its strength, it is also reasonable to break down this membership total according to sex.

Measuring the membership strength of employer organisations is more complex since they organise collective entities, namely companies that employ employees. In this case, therefore, two possible measures of membership strength may be used – one referring to the companies themselves, and the other to the employees working in the member companies of an employer organisation.

For a sector study such as this, measures of membership strength of both the trade unions and employer organisations have also to consider how the membership domains relate to the sector. If a domain is not congruent with the sector demarcation, the organisation’s total density, that is the density referring to its overall domain, may differ from sector-specific density that is the organisation’s density referring to the sector. This report will first present the data on the domains and membership strength of the trade unions and will then consider those of the employer organisations.

This report basically distinguishes between three types of organisational densities, as defined in the following table, which are – depending on data availability – also broken down into net and gross rates.

Table 5: Definition of organisational density figures
Type of density Definition Breakdown
Domain density

Number of employees (companies) organised by the organisation divided by total number of employees (companies) included in the organisation’s membership domain

Net and gross; Employees (for trade unions); Companies and employees (for employer organisations)

Sectoral density

Number of employees (companies) organised by the organisation in the insurance sector divided by total number of employees (companies) in the sector.

Net and gross; Employees (for trade unions); Companies and employees (for employer organisations)

Sectoral domain density

Number of employees (companies) organised by the organisation in the insurance sector divided by total number of employees (companies) in the insurance sector as demarcated by the organisation’s domain

Net and gross; Employees (for trade unions); Companies and employees (for employer organisations)

Trade unions

Tables 6 and 7 present trade union data on domains and membership strength. The tables list all trade unions which meet at least one of the two criteria for classification as a sector-related social partner organisation, as defined earlier (participation in sector-related collective bargaining and affiliation to EU-level sector-related organisations).

Table 6: Domain coverage and membership of trade unions in insurance, 2009/10
 

Trade union

Type of

membership

Domain coveragea

Membership

Members total

active

sector

Members sector active

Female members (%) of total member-ship

AT

GPA-djp*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

n.a.

180,000

n.a.

5,400

44

 

Vida*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

n.a.

155,049

n.a.

 

33

BE

CNE-CSC*

Voluntary

Overlap

155,000

100,000

n.a.

2,000

64

 

LBC-NVK*

Voluntary

Overlap

310,000

250,000

n.a.

2,750

60

 

BBTK-SETCA*

Voluntary

Overlap

385,000

230,000

n.a.

n.a.

62

 

ACLVB-CGSLB

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

260,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CY

PASEY/PEO*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

3,950

n.a.

87

63,8

 

OIYK/SEK*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

8,477

n.a.

450

60

 

ETYK*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

10,181

n.a.

901

57

CZ

OSPPP

Voluntary

Overlap

9,160

8,357

995

937

n.a.

DE

ver.di*

Voluntary

Overlap

2,140,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

51

 

DHV*

Voluntary

Overlap

77,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

DBV*

Voluntary

Overlap

20,000

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

DK

DFL

Voluntary

Congruence

n.a.

7,300

n.a.

n.a.

70

EE

EKTAÜL

Voluntary

Overlap

70

70

60

60

85

ES

FeS-UGT*

Voluntary

Overlap

135,000

101,250

3,500

3,500

45

 

COMFIA CCOO*

Voluntary

Overlap

118,447

105,268

8,600

8,600

45

 

ELA/STV*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

n.a.

24,909

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

CIG-BANCA*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

FI

SEFE*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

47,000

32,000

750

720

52

 

Suora*

Voluntary

Overlap

30,700

25,300

310

310

88

 

VVL**

Voluntary

Congruence

9,663

6,838

7,052

6,838

81

FR

CFE-CGC*

Voluntary

Sectionalism

4,000

3,800

4,000

3,800

30

 

CFDT-FDS

Voluntary

Overlap

83,000

83,000

8,200

8,200

n.a.

 

SN2A CFTC*

Voluntary

Congruence

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

FSBPA-CGT*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

FEC-FO*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

FGA-CFDT*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

1,500

1,500

n.a.

 

FA CFTC*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

UNSA*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

SNEEMA-CFE/CGC*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

GR

OASE

Voluntary

Congruence

2,800

2,800

2,800

2,800

60

HU

BBDSZ

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

BBDSZSZ

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

IE

IBOA*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

15,052

n.a.

200

n.a.

77

 

Unite*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

40,363

n.a.

5,000

n.a.

37

 

SIPTU*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

216,881

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

37

IT

FIDIA

Voluntary

Sectionalism

1,000

300

1,000

300

n.a.

 

FISAI*

Voluntary

Overlap

656

600

656

600

45

 

FIBA*

Voluntary

Overlap

90,000

90,000

6,000

6,000

 
 

UILCA*

Voluntary

Overlap

44,698

44,698

n.a.

n.a.

55

 

FISAC*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

FNA*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

SNFIA*

Voluntary

Sectional-ism

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

LT

FPS

Voluntary

Congruence

200

200

200

200

95

LU

SESF-LCGB*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

SBA-OGBL*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

ALEBA*

Voluntary

Overlap

14,000

13,000

1,100

1,000

n.a.

MT

GWU*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

34,543

150

150

n.a.

 

MUBE*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

NL

FNV Bondgenoten*

Voluntary

Overlap

470,000

470,000

4,725

4,725

12

 

De Unie*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

64,500

64,500

3,500

3,500

21

 

FNV ZZP*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

14,000

14,000

500

500

35

 

CNV Dienstenbond*

Voluntary

Overlap

37,200

37,200

2,200

2,200

n.a.

 

BBV*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

800

800

175

175

n.a.

PL

NSZZ "Solidarnosc"

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

3,800

n.a.

n.a.

PT

SISEP*

Voluntary

Congruence

500

400

500

400

n.a.

 

SINAPSA*

Voluntary

Overlap

1,800

1,500

1,800

1,500

 
 

STAS*

Voluntary

Overlap

3,938

3,308

3,700

3,000

44

SE

Civilekonomerna*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

n.a.

38,265

n.a.

500

52

 

Jusek*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

n.a.

79,837

n.a.

1,506

55

 

Sveriges Ingenjörer*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

129,000

110,000

n.a.

220

n.a.

 

FTF*

Voluntary

Congruence

n.a.

12,600

n.a.

11,900

55

 

Finansförbundet*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SI

SFOS

Voluntary

Overlap

6,500

6,500

2,700

2,700

62

SK

OZ PPaP

Voluntary

Overlap

7,000

6,000

1,500

1,000

70

UK

UFS*

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

2,592

2,592

2,219

2,219

53

 

Unite*

Voluntary

Overlap

n.a.

1,572,995

33,000

n.a.

24

 

Aegis*

Voluntary

Sectionalism

2,317

 

2,317

n.a.

54

* = Domain overlap with other sector-related trade unions.

n.a. = not available

Table 7: Density, collective bargaining, consultation and affiliations of trade unions in insurance, 2009/10

.

.

Trade union

Union densities (%)

CB*

SD**

National and European affiliations**

Domain total

Dom. active

Sector

Sect. active

Sect. domain

Sect. dom. active

AT

GPA-djp

n.a.

15.7

n.a.

19.5

n.a.

23.8

Yes

Yes

ÖGB; EPSU; EMCEF; EFFAT; EFJ; UNI Europa

 

vida

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

ÖGB; EFFAT; ETF; UNI Europa

BE

ACLVB-CGSLB

n.a.

9

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

UNI Europa

 

BBTK-SETCA

25

15

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

ABVV-FGTB; UNI Europa

 

CNE-CSC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

8

n.a.

20

Yes

Yes

ACV-CSC; UNI Europa

 

LBC-NVK

31

25

n.a.

11

n.a.

17

Yes

Yes

ACV-CSC; UNI Europa

CY

ETYK

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

45.8

n.a.

45.8

Yes

No

None; UNI Europa

 

OIYK/SEK

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

23

n.a.

23

Yes

No

SEK; UNI Europa

 

PASEY/PEO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

4.4

n.a.

4.4

Yes

No

PEO

CZ

OSPPP

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CMKOS; UNI Europa

DE

DBV

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

 

None

 

DHV

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

 

CGB

 

ver.di

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

DGB; UNI Europa

DK

DFL

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

FTF; UNI Europa; NFU

EE

EKTAÜL

0.8

0.7

3.8

3.3

3.8

3.3

Yes

Yes

ROTAL

ES

CIG-BANCA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

No

n.a.

 

COMFIA CCOO

n.a.

n.a.

7.2

7.2

7.2

7.2

Yes

Yes

CCOO; UNI Europa

 

ELA/STV

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

No

UNI Europa

 

FeS-UGT

n.a.

n.a.

2.9

2.9

2.9

2.9

Yes

Yes

UGT; UNI Europa

FI

SEFE

70

70

55

37

70

40

Yes

Yes

AKAVA; UNI Europa

 

Suora

75

75

70

70

70

50

Yes

Yes

STTK; NFU; UNI Europa

FI

VVL

78

78

78

78

78

78

Yes

Yes

STTK; NFU; UNI Europa

FR

CFDT-FDS

n.a.

16.6

n.a.

4.5

n.a.

4.5

Yes

Yes

CFDT; UNI Europa

 

CFE-CGC

2.2

2.1

2.2

2.1

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CFE-CGC; AECA

 

FA CFTC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

0

Yes

 

n.a.

 

FEC-FO

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CGT-FO; UNI Europa

 

FGA-CFDT

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CFDT; EFFAT; UNI Europa

 

FSBPA-CGT

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CGT; UNI Europa

 

SN2A CFTC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CFTC

 

SNEEMA-CFE/CGC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

10-25

n.a.

 

Yes

 

n.a.

 

UNSA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

10-25

n.a.

 

Yes

 

n.a.

GR

OASE

85

85

85

85

85

85

Yes

Yes

GSEE; UNI Europa

HU

BBDSZ

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

 

UNI Europa

 

BBDSZSZ

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

 

UNI Europa

IE

IBOA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

0-9

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

ICTU; UNI Europa

 

SIPTU

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

ICTU; UNI Europa

 

Unite

n.a.

n.a.

33.3

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

ICTU; UNI Europa-Finance

IT

FIBA

20.9

20.9

12.7

12.7

12.7

12.7

Yes

Yes

CISL; UNI Europa

 

FIDIA

83.3

25

2.1

0.6

83.3

25

Yes

Yes

CONFEDIR MIT 

 

FISAC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CGIL; UNI Europa

 

FISAI

0.7

0.6

1.4

1.3

0.7

0.6

Yes

Yes

 

 

FNA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

 

UNI Europa

 

SNFIA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

 

UNI Europa

 

UILCA

10.4

10.4

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

UIL; UNI Europa

LT

FPS

3.8

3.8

3.8

3.8

4

4

Yes

No

 
LU

ALEBA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

81-90

n.a.

76-90

Yes

Yes

None; UNI Europa

 

SBA-OGBL

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

12

n.a.

10-25

Yes

Yes

UNI Europa

 

SESF-LCGB

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

6.8

n.a.

0-9

Yes

Yes

UNI Europa

MT

GWU

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

None; EPSU; UNI Europa; EURO WEA; FERPA; Eurocadres; ETF; EFBWW; EMF; EFFAT

 

MUBE

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CMTU; UNI Europa

NL

BBV

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CMHP; 

 

CNV Dienstenbond

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CMHP; UNI Europa

 

De Unie

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CMHP; UNI Europa

 

FNV Bondgenoten

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

FNV; UNI Europa

 

FNV ZZP

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

Yes

FNV; UNI Europa

PL

NSZZ ‘Solidarnosc’

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

NSZZ; ‘Solidarnosc’

UNI Europa

PT

SINAPSA

10

8.3

15.5

12.9

15.5

12.9

Yes

No

None; UNI Europa

 

SISEP

4.3

3.4

4.3

3.4

4.3

3.4

Yes

No

FEBASE; UGT

None

 

STAS

2.4

2

31.8

25.8

31.8

25.8

Yes

No

FEBASE; UGT

UNI Europa

SE

Civilekonomerna

n.a.

26-50

n.a.

0-9

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

No

SACO; UNI Europa

 

Finansförbundet

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

 

TCO; UNI Europa; NFU

 

FTF

n.a.

66

n.a.

64

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

TCO; UNI Europa; NFU

 

Jusek

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

0-9

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

No

SACO; UNI Europa

 

Sveriges Ingenjörer

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

0-9

n.a.

26-50

Yes

 

SACO; UNI Europa

SI

SFOS

55

55

42

42

42

42

Yes

Yes

ZSSS

SK

OZ PPaP

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

22

15

Yes

Yes

KOZ SR; UNI Europa

UK

Aegis

70

n.a.

1

n.a.

70

n.a.

Yes

 

TUC; Alliance for Finance

 

UFS

n.a.

n.a.

1

1

n.a.

26-50

Yes

No

Alliance for Finance

 

Unite

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

10-25

n.a.

10-25

Yes

Yes

TUC; Alliance for Finance; UNI Europa

CB = collective bargaining, SD = Consultation

** = National affiliations put in italics; for the national level, only cross-sectoral (peak-level) associations are listed; for the European level sectoral associations only; affiliation put in parenthesis means indirect affiliation via higher-order unit

Note: The figures have rounded in all cases. Densities reported as 0% hence refer to a figure of up to 0.49% and always more than 0%.

n.a. = not available

The great majority of the countries included in the study record at least one sector-related trade union, with the exception of:

  • Bulgaria, where there is no sector-related trade union organisation;
  • Romania, where the only union mentioned in the national report, the Trade Union Federation for Insurance and Banking (FSAB) neither participates in national collective bargaining nor is affiliated to sector-related social partners at EU-level;
  • Latvia, which is not included in this study and does not have a national sector-related (that is covering the insurance sector) affiliate to UNI Europa-Finance.

In total, 69 sector-related trade unions could be identified. Of these, seven (10%) have demarcated their domain in a way which is congruent with the sector definition. This low proportion underscores the fact that statistical definitions of business activities rather differ from the lines along which employees identify common interests and band together in trade unions. Domain demarcations resulting in overlap in relation to the sector occur in 39 (or 56%) of the cases. This is the commonest situation in the insurance sector. Overlap by and large arises from two different modes of demarcation. The first one refers to general (for example, cross-sectoral) domains (such as ver.di in Germany, and Unite in the UK). The second mode in the sector relates to various forms of multi-sector domains, covering contiguous sectors, frequently in the broader financial services segments of the economy (such as ALEBA in Luxembourg, FIBA, FISAC and UILCA in Italy, and OSPPP in the Czech Republic). Sectional overlaps involve 19 trade unions (28%). This mode usually emanates from domain demarcations which focus on certain categories of employees which are then organised across several or all sectors. Typically it happens for white- and blue-collar unions.

Employee categories are specified by various parameters. These can be:

  • distinct qualifications such as graduate workers (The Finnish Association of Business School Graduates (SEFE) and the Swedisih Union of University Graduates (Jusek);
  • employment status such as. white-collar workers (GPA-DJP of Austria, De Unie in the Netherlands, and BBV in Belgium) or blue-collar employees (vida of Austria);
  • geographic region such as CIG-BANCA and ELA/STV of Spain which are active only in Galicia and the Basque Country respectively:
  • sectionalism, arising from the existence of sector-specific trade unions, such as technicians, managers and officers (CFE-CGC in France, FIDIA and SNFIA in Italy), or individual (groups of) companies (Aegis in the UK) can be found in four cases (6%).

Figure 5: Insurance sector-related trade unions and their domain patterns (N=69)

Figure 5: Insurance sector-related trade unions and their domain patterns (N=69)

Source: EIRO national contributions

As the domains of the trade unions often overlap with the demarcation of the sector, so do their domains with one another in those countries with a pluralist trade union ‘landscape’ in the insurance sector. Table 6 also shows these these inter-union domain overlaps. Inter-union overlaps of domains involve 57 organisations. In all countries with more than one sector-related trade union, the domain of any of them overlaps with the domain of all, or most, of the others. Depending on the scale of mutual overlap, this results in competition for members. However, inter-union competition is recorded for only 22 organisations, as many trade unions cooperate in collective bargaining at sectoral and decentralised levels. Rivalries are reported in Germany, France, Malta, Portugal, and Sweden, although this generally refers to competition for membership with cooperation prevailing in collective bargaining.

On average, female employees represent a slight majority of trade union members in the unions covered by this study (with a simple mean of 54% for the 36 cases where the information is available). Variations are wide across union organisations and they partly reflect the representational domain, with a higher presence of women if the latter is limited to service sectors. However, the distinct features of national insurance sectors and of single unions must also be taken into account. For instance, the Finnish trade unions VVL and Suora have both more than 80% female membership, while women represent less than one third of members in the Austrian blue-collar union vida, which is also the case in Unite-UK and in the Dutch unions De Unie and FNV Bondgenoten.

Membership of the sector-related trade unions is voluntary in all the Member States studied.

Numbers of trade union members differ widely, ranging from about 2.2 million (in the case of Germany’s ver.di) to only a few hundreds. This considerable variation reflects differences in the size of the economy and the comprehensiveness of the membership domain, rather than the ability to attract members. Therefore, density is the measure of membership strength which is more appropriate for a comparative analysis. In this context it should be noted that density figures in this section refer to net ratios, which means that they are calculated on the basis of active employees only, rather than taking all union members (those in a job and those who are not) into account. This is mainly because research usually considers net union densities as more informative compared to gross densities, since the former measure tends to reflect unionisation trends among the active workforce more quickly and accurately than the latter (only the active workforce is capable of taking industrial action).

Membership rates are available for only a number of the sector-related organisations. However, statistics show that sectoral density tends to be of a medium level, since 26 unions are under 20% and seven are above 40% (bearing in mind that that there are multiple unions in a majority of countries). The simple average of available sectoral density rates (36 cases) is 19%. Compared with their overall domain densities, the sector-related trade unions’ density in the insurance sector are lower, with a certain increase in the case of sectoral domain densities. The former is in fact 28% (23 cases) while the latter is 24% (29 cases).

In fact, when looking at sector density (again referring only to active members), it is important to differentiate between the trade unions’ sectoral density and their sectoral domain density. Whereas the former measures the ratio of the total number of members of a trade union in the sector to the number of employees in the sector (as demarcated by the NACE classification), the latter indicates the total number of members of a trade union in the sector in relation to the number of employees which work in that part of the sector as covered by the union domain. This means that the sectoral domain density must be higher than the sectoral density if a trade union organises only a particular part of the sector – that is where the trade union’s membership domain is either sectionalist or sectionalistically overlapping in relation to the sector.

As noted above, when taking the trade unions’ sectoral domain density into account (which tends to be higher than their sectoral density for the reasons outlined above), the trade unions’ density in the insurance sector tends to be lower compared with the density ratio referring to their domain on aggregate (down from a simple mean of 28% to 24%). It should be noted that for the majority of the sector-related trade unions no data on sectoral domain density are available. Among those (few) trade unions which have figures on sectoral domain density and domain density on aggregate, there is a tendency of presenting higher densities in the overall domain (15 cases), so that the insurance sector can be regarded as a relatively weaker context compared to the overall representational domain.

Employer organisations

Tables 8 and 9 present the membership data for the employer organisations in the insurance sector. As is the case of the trade union side, for all of the 26 countries under consideration at least one sector-related employer organisation is documented, with the exception of Lithuania, where no sector-related employer association is present and collective bargaining takes place exclusively at company level.

Table 8: Domain coverage and membership of employer/ business organisations in insurance, 2009/10
 

Employ. org.

Type of membership

Domain coverage

Membership

Comps*

Comps in sector

Employees

Employees in sector

AT

VVO

Mandatory

Sectionalism

72

72

26,732

26,732

BE

Assuralia

Voluntary

Congruence

71

71

23,684

23,684

BG

ABZ

Voluntary

Congruence

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CY

IAC

Voluntary

Congruence

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CZ

ČAP

Voluntary

Sectionalism

29

29

13,985

13,985

 

SBP

Voluntary

Overlap

18

11

45,300

15,300

DE

GDV

Voluntary

Sectionalism

464

464

216,500

216,500

 

AGV

Voluntary

Sectionalism

272

272

213,500

213,500

 

BVK

Voluntary

Sectionalism

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

VGA

Voluntary

Sectionalism

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

DK

FA

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

224

42

71,776

15,066

 

F&P

Voluntary

Congruence

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

EE

EKSL

Voluntary

Congruence

17

17

700

700

ES

UNESPA

Voluntary

Sectionalism

300

300

n.a.

n.a.

FI

FK

Voluntary

Overlap

470

110

43,000

11,000

FR

FFSA

Voluntary

Congruence

248

248

147,400

147,400

 

GEMA

Voluntary

Sectionalism

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

AGEA

Voluntary

Sectionalism

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

GR

HAIC/EAEE

Voluntary

Sectionalism

66

66

8,000

8,000

 

SEMA

Voluntary

Sectionalism

74

74

952

952

HU

MABISZ

Voluntary

Congruence

32

32

n.a.

n.a.

IE

IIF

Voluntary

Congruence

63

63

14,300

14,300

IT

Ania

Voluntary

Congruence

182

182

46,288

46,288

 

Aisa

Voluntary

Sectionalism

10

10

1,500

1,500

LU

ACA

Voluntary

Congruence

73

73

3,480

3,480

LV

LAA

Voluntary

Congruence

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

MT

MIA

 

Congruence

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

NL

VvV

Voluntary

Sectionalism

180

180

15,195

15,195

PL

PIU

Mandatory

Congruence

80

80

30,000

30,000

PT

APS

Voluntary

Congruence

78

78

11,475

11,475

RO

UNSAR

Voluntary

Congruence

26

26

n.a.

n.a.

SE

KFO

Voluntary

Sectional overlap

3,600

1

90,000

4,000

 

FAO

Voluntary

Congruence

156

156

16,000

16,000

 

BAO

Voluntary

Overlap

150

11

45,000

n.a.

 

SF

Voluntary

Congruence

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

SI

SZZ

Voluntary

Congruence

16

16

6,000

6,000

SK

SLASPO

Voluntary

Overlap

24

24

6,494

6,494

UK

ABI

Voluntary

Congruence

346

346

n.a.

n.a.

* Comps.= companies; n.a. = not available

Table 9: Density, collective bargaining, consultation and affiliations of employer/ business organisations in insurance, 2009/10
 

Empl. org.

Density (%)

CB

SD

National and European affiliation¹

Companies

Employees

D*

S**

Sectoral domain

D*

S**

Sectoral domain

AT

VVO

100

100

100

96.5

96.5

100

Yes

Yes

WKO;

CEA; DACHL

BE

Assuralia

95

95

95

99

99

99

Yes

Yes

FEB-VBO;

CEA

BG

ABZ

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

Yes

 

CEA

CY

IAC

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

 

 

CEA

CZ

ČAP

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

Yes

 

CEA

 

SBP

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

EBF - BCESA

DE

AGV

98

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

 

98

Yes

Yes

BDA

 

BVK

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

 

BDWi;

BIPAR

 

GDV

97

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

Yes

None;

CEA

 

VGA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

ULA;

AECA

DK

F&P

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

 

 

CEA

 

FA

15

15

15

96

92

92

Yes

Yes

EFPA-Danmark;

EBF-BCESA. EBTN. EFPA

EE

EKSL

100

100

100

38

n.a.

n.a.

No

Yes

ETTK;

CEA

ES

UNESPA

88

32

88

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

CEOE;

CEA

FI

FK

70

75

75

90

100

100

Yes

Yes

EK;

CEA

FR

AGEA

60.4

n.a.

60.3

50

9.2

50

Yes

Yes

UNAPL;

BIPAR

 

FFSA

54.3

54.3

54.3

80.3

80.3

80.3

Yes

Yes

MEDEF;

CEA

 

GEMA

26

n.a.

26

19.1

n.a.

19.1

Yes

Yes

CEGES;

AMICE

GR

HAIC/EAEE

89-97

0-9

91-100

89-94

51-75

91-100

Yes

 

SEV;

CEA

 

SEMA

51-75

0-9

51-75

76-90

0-9

76-90

Yes

Yes

SEV;

BIPAR-FMBA

HU

MABISZ

n.a.

10.85

10.85

n.a.

50

50

No

Yes

None;

CEA; COB

IE

IIF

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

Yes

 

CEA

IT

Aisa

n.a.

4.2

n.a.

n.a.

3.2

n.a.

Yes

No

 

 

 

Ania

75.5

75.5

75.5

97.7

97.7

97.7

Yes

Yes

None;

CEA

LU

ACA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

91-100

n.a.

Yes

Yes

UEL;

CEA

LV

LAA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

 

 

CEA

MT

MIA

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

 

 

CEA

NL

VvV

91-100

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

Yes

VNo-NCW;

CEA

PL

PIU

100

100

100

100

100

100

No

Yes

None;

CEA

PT

APS

42

42

42

99

99

99

Yes

Yes

No;

CEA

RO

UNSAR

26-50

26-50

26-50

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

Yes

None;

CEA

SE

BAO

n.a.

0-9

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

Yes

 

 

 

 

FAO

58

58

58

86

86

86

Yes

Yes

Confederation of Swedish Enterprise

 

 

KFO

n.a.

0

100

n.a.

21

100

Yes

Yes

 

BCESA

 

SF

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

 

 

CEA

SI

SZZ

65

35

65

95

95

95

Yes

Yes

 

CEA; The national insurers' bureaux of the Member States of the European Economic Area and other Associate States

SK

SLASPO

55

52

52

n.a.

94

94

Yes

Yes

RÚZ SR;

CEA

UK

ABI

90

90

90

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

No

Yes

CBI;

CEA

* D = domain; ** S = sector

Note: ¹= National affiliations put in italics The figures have been rounded in all cases. Densities reported as 0% hence refer to a figure of 0.49% to more than 0%.

n.a. = not available

In at least 14 of these countries, some of the listed employer/business organisations are not a party to collective bargaining (see Table 9). Generally, business interest organisations may also deal with interests other than those related to industrial relations. Organisations specialised in matters other than industrial relations are commonly defined as ‘trade associations’ (see TN0311101S). Such sector-related trade associations also exist in the insurance sector. In terms of their national scope of activities, all the associations not involved in collective bargaining, according to Table 9, either primarily or exclusively act as trade associations in their country. It is only the conceptual decision to include all associational affiliates to EU-level organisations involved in sectoral social dialogue, regardless of whether they have a role in national bargaining, which gives them the status of a social partner organisation within the framework of this study. Of the 38 employer/business organisations listed in Tables 8 and 9, at least 14 organisations belong to this group.

According to our selection criteria outlined above, all the organisations which are affiliated to CEA, AMICE and BIPAR, the EU-level sectoral employers associations, should be considered in the study. However, since the representational domain of BIPAR is actually outside the scope of this study, we have included in Table 8 and 9 only BIPAR’s affiliates which are effectively involved in sector-related collective bargaining for NACE Rev.2 65.

Seventeen of the 26 countries for which related data are available have one or more employer organisations engaged in sector-related collective bargaining. In seven countries, employer/business organisations do not take part in sector-related collective bargaining. This is the case of countries where only firm-level bargaining is present in the insurance sector (Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Malta, Romania and UK), and of Bulgaria, where no collective bargaining takes place in the insurance sector.

In 19 of the 26 countries for which full information on the sector-related associational landscape is given, only one single employer organisation (in the meaning of a social partner organisation as defined before) has been established. Pluralist associational systems are thus prevailing on the trade union side, but not on the employer side.

The employer organisations’ domains tend to be narrower than those of the trade unions. First, the two types of overlap cover only 15% of cases, compared to almost 85% in the case of unions. Congruence is far more present as it concerns 53% of employer organisations instead of 10% of trade unions; similarly, sectionalism involves 32% of cases compared to only 6%. This pattern is essentially linked to two features of employer representation. Trade associations tend to focus on quite specific economic activities, since they essentially act in the political arena and they can benefit of relatively high specialisation in terms of more homogeneous interests and clearer objectives. Representation of specific parts of the insurance sector lead sectionalism, as in the case of mutual funds (GEMA in France) or when only certain actors are represented, like insurance intermediaries (AGEA in France and BVK in Germany).

The Austrian Insurance Association (VVO) and the Polish Chamber of Insurance (PIU) have mandatory membership.

Figure 6: Insurance sector-related employer’s organisations/business associations and their domain patterns (N=38)

Figure 6: Insurance sector-related employer’s organisations/business associations and their domain patterns (N=38)

Source: EIRO national contributions

In those countries with a pluralist structure in relation to employer organisations, these associations have managed to arrive at non-competing and often collaborative relationships. In fact, they usually jointly negotiate on multi-employer agreements.

As the figures on density show (Table 9), membership strength in terms of companies widely varies with regard to both the membership domain in general and the sector-related densities. The same holds true of the densities in terms of employees. Both the domain and the sectoral domain densities in terms of companies tend to be lower than the densities in terms of employees. This reflects the usual higher propensity of the larger companies to associate, as compared to their smaller counterparts.

Collective bargaining and its actors

Table 7 lists all of the trade unions engaged in sector-related collective bargaining. The data presented in Table 10 provide an overview of the system of sector-related collective bargaining in the 26 countries under consideration. The importance of collective bargaining as a means of employment regulation is measured by calculating the total number of employees covered by collective bargaining as a proportion of the total number of employees within a certain segment of the economy (Traxler et al., 2001). Accordingly, the sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage is defined as the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the sector.

Table 10: System of sectoral collective bargaining, 2009/10
  CBC % (estimates) Share of MEB in total CBC % (estimates) Prevalent type of CB Extension practices (a)
AT

Almost 100

100 (b)

MEB

(2)

BE

100

100 (b)

MEB

2

BG

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

n.a.

CY

n.a.

0

SEB

0

CZ

80

100 (b)

MEB

0

DE

95

95

MEB

0

DK

92

90

MEB

0

EE

2

0

SEB

0

ES

95

100 (b)

MEB

2

FI

100

100

MEB

2

FR

98,7

99 (b)

MEB

2

GR

100

100 (b)

MEB

2

HU

n.a.

n.a. 

n.a. 

n.a. 

IE

14

0

SEB

0

IT

100

100 (b)

MEB

(2)

LT

15-19 (c)

0

SEB

0

LU

90-100

100

MEB

2

MT

n.a.

0

SEB

0

NL

100

35

SEB

1

PL

45-50

0

SEB

0

PT

Almost 100

100

MEB

2

RO

100 (d)

100 (d)

MEB (d)

2 (c)

SE

70-95

n.a.

MEB

1

SI

95

100 (b)

MEB

1

SK

95

100 (b)

MEB

1

UK

30-35

0

SEB

0

Source: EIRO

CBC = collective bargaining coverage: employees covered as a percentage of the total number of employees in the sector; MEB = multi-employer bargaining; SEB = single-employer bargaining

(a) Extension practices (including functional equivalents to extension provisions, i.e. obligatory membership and labour court rulings): 0 = no practice, 1 = limited/exceptional, 2 = pervasive. Cases of functional equivalents are put in parentheses.

(b) = supplemented/complemented by single-employer agreements

(c) = there is only one company-level collective agreement in the sector in one of the largest enterprises (AB ‘Lietuvos draudimas’, LD), which covers around 800-1,000 employees.

(d) = coverage refers to the national intersectoral agreement, not to sector-related collective agreements. In the insurance sector only company agreements are signed. No data available on the coverage of company agreements.

n.a. = not available

To delineate the bargaining system, two further indicators are used: The first indicator refers to the relevance of multi-employer bargaining, compared with single-employer bargaining. Multi-employer bargaining is defined as being conducted by an employer organisation on behalf of the employer side. In the case of single-employer bargaining, the company or its divisions is the party to the agreement. The relative importance of multi-employer bargaining, measured in terms of the percentage of the total number of employees covered by a collective agreement, therefore provides an indication of the impact of the employer organisations on the overall collective bargaining process.

The second indicator considers whether statutory extension schemes have been applied to the sector. For reasons of brevity, this analysis is confined to extension schemes which widen the scope of a collective agreement to employers not affiliated to the signatory employer organisation; extension regulations targeting the employees are therefore not included in the research. Regulations concerning the employees are not significant to this analysis for two reasons.

  • Extending a collective agreement to employees who are not unionised in a company covered by the collective agreement is a standard of the International Labour Organization, aside from any national legislation.
  • If employers did not extend a collective agreement concluded by them, even when not formally obliged to do so, they would set an incentive for their workforce to unionise.

In comparison with employee-related extension procedures, schemes that target the employers are far more significant for the strength of collective bargaining in general and multi-employer bargaining in particular. This is because the employers are capable of refraining from both joining an employer organisation and entering single-employer bargaining in the context of a purely voluntaristic system. Therefore, employer-related extension practices increase the coverage of multi-employer bargaining. Moreover, when it is pervasive, an extension agreement may encourage more employers to join the controlling employer organisation. Such a move then enables them to participate in the bargaining process and to benefit from the organisation’s related services in a situation where the respective collective agreement will bind them in any case (Traxler et al., 2001).

Collective bargaining coverage

In terms of the sector’s collective bargaining coverage, 17 of the 22 countries for which related data are available record very high coverage rates of at least 70% (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, and Slovakia); 10 of them record coverage rates of (almost) 100% (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Romania). It should be noted that this group includes Romania where the 100% coverage is achieved through the universally binding intersectoral agreement and not a sector-related collective agreement.

Conversely, there are three countries where collective bargaining coverage is below 25% (Estonia, Ireland, and Lithuania). Together with Cyprus, Malta, Poland, and the UK, these are the countries where only single-employer collective bargaining takes place. While no information on bargaining coverage is available for Cyprus and Malta, Poland and the UK show medium levels of bargaining coverage (between 30% and 50%). In Lithuania and Poland, a small number of collective agreements in big insurance companies reach a significant coverage rate. A single company agreement in Lithuania covers around 15% of the sectoral workforce, whereas two agreements in former state-owned insurance companies involve up to 50% of employees in the Polish insurance sector. In the UK, the collective bargaining coverage rate is around 30%–35%, and in Ireland it stands at about 14%. In Estonia collective bargaining is marginal and it involves only 2% of the sectoral employees. In Bulgaria and Hungary no multi-employer agreement is present and there is no information about any firm-level deals.

One can say from these findings that in more than half of the 26 countries under consideration the sector’s industrial relations structures are well-established, while they appear to be weak in one-fourth of the countries. Closer consideration regarding the different countries reveals that collective bargaining coverage rates tend to be (relatively) high in the ‘old’ EU-15, while sectoral bargaining standards widely vary from one of the 2004/7 accession countries to the other. In Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta and Romania sector-related bargaining is rarely conducted, although there are sector-related representative social partner organisations on two sides of industry in almost of these countries (see Tables 7 and 9). Industry-wide bargaining is similarly absent in Ireland and the UK. By contrast, collective bargaining arrangements cover a considerable part of the sector (50% or more) in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Slovakia, where industry-wide agreements are in place.

In most of the countries with available information several factors, which sometimes interact with each other, account for the high coverage rates:

  • the predominance of multi-employer bargaining (see Table 10);
  • high density rates of the trade unions and/or employer organisations (Austria);
  • the existence of pervasive extension practices, such as in Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania (for the intersectoral agreement), and Spain.

Due to the prevalence of multi-employer settlements in the sector, the use of extension practices is significant (such as that in Belgium, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Portugal – see Table 10). Referring to the aim of extension provisions (that is, making multi-employer agreements generally binding) the provisions for obligatory membership in the Austrian Insurance Association (VVO), which is mandatory for all insurance private companies following an agreement signed in 1946 on the delegation of the tasks of the Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) to VVO. Another functional equivalent to statutory extension schemes can be found in Italy. According to the country’s constitution, minimum conditions of employment must apply to all employees. The country’s labour court rulings relate this principle to the multi-employer agreements, to the extent that they are regarded as generally binding.

Participation in public policymaking

Interest associations may partake in public policy in two ways:

  • they may be consulted by the authorities on matters affecting their members;
  • they may be represented on ‘corporatist’, in other words tripartite, committees and boards of policy concertation.

This study considers only cases of consultation and corporatist participation which explicitly relate to sector-specific matters. Consultation processes can be wide-ranging and, therefore, the organisations consulted by the authorities may vary according to the issues and also depend on changes in government. Moreover, the authorities may initiate a consultation process on an occasional rather than a regular basis. Given this variability, Tables 7 and 9 flag only those sector-related trade unions and employer organisations are flagged that are usually consulted.

Trade unions

Authorities regularly consult unions in at least 23 of the 26 countries where sector-related trade unions are recorded. However unions are not regularly consulted in Cyprus, Lithuania and Portugal. In most countries with a multi-union system where a noticeable practice of consultation is observed, all of the existing trade unions take part in the consultation process.

Employer organisations

Almost all of the sector-related employer/ business organisations, for which related data are available, are involved in consultation procedures.

Tripartite participation

The findings reveal that a sector-specific tripartite body has been established in five countries (see Table 11). Some of them cover broad sectoral issues, such as in Belgium, Denmark and Spain while others are more focused on employment matters, like health and safety and training and skills (in Denmark and the UK). The majority of such bodies has a statutory nature.

Table 11: Tripartite sector-specific boards of public policy, 2009/10
  Name of body and scope of activity Origin Trade unions participating Business associations participating
BE

Commission for Insurances

Statutory

Yes, all

Yes, also the sector federations of joint committee 307 (Nace 66.2)

DK

BAR Finans/Offentlig Kontor & Administration

Health and Safety Committee for the Financial sector and Public Administration at the Ministry of Finance

Statutory

FF

DFL

HK/Stat

HK/Kommunal

Kommunale Organisationers Samarbejde

Dansk Socialrådgiver-forening, DS

Akademikernes Centralorgani-sation, AC

FA

Local Government Denmark, KL

Danish Regions

DK

Consultative Board of Insurance and Pension Funding

Consultative tripartite body of the Ministry of Economy in the issues concerning the ordination and supervision of the private insurances, pension funds and private insurances mediation.

Statutory

CCOO, UGT

UNESPA

UK

Financial Skills Partnership (skills and training)

Statutory

Unite

No employer association from insurance sector, but some insurance companies


European level of interest representation

At European level, eligibility for consultation and participation in the social dialogue is linked to three criteria, as defined by the European Commission. Accordingly, a social partner organisation must have the following attributes:

  • be cross-industry or relate to specific sectors or categories, and be organised at European level;
  • consist of organisations which are themselves an integral and recognised part of Member States’ social partner structures and which have the capacity to negotiate agreements, as well as being representative of all Member States, as far as possible;
  • have adequate structures to ensure their effective participation in the consultation process.

Regarding social dialogue, the constituent feature is the ability of such organisations to negotiate on behalf of their members and to conclude binding agreements. Accordingly, this section on European associations of the insurance sector will analyse these organisations’ membership domain, the composition of their membership and their ability to negotiate.

As outlined in greater detail below, one sector-related European association on the employee side – namely, UNI Europa-Finance – and three on the employer side – namely, CEA, AMICE and BIPAR – are particularly significant in the insurance sector; both of them are listed by the European Commission as social partner organisations consulted under Article 154 of the TFEU. Hence, the following analysis will concentrate on these organisations, while providing supplementary information on others which are linked to the sector’s national industrial relations actors.

Membership domain

UNI Europa-Finance, which is affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), organises the entire financial segment of the economy. Therefore its membership domain largely overlaps the insurance sector and typically includes banking and financial ancillary services. CEA, instead, has a representational domain which essentially coincides with the insurance sector (see Tables 8 and 13). CEA organises both employer and business organisations. AMICE mainly organises mutual insurance companies, a section of the insurance sector under consideration here, while BIPAR, as already mentioned, represents insurance agents and brokers (insurance intermediaries), which are outside NACE Rev.2 65.

Membership composition

In terms of membership composition, it should be noted that the countries covered by UNI Europa-Finance, CEA, AMICE and BIPAR extend beyond the countries examined in this study. However, the report will only consider the members of these countries. For UNI Europa-Finance, Table 12 documents a list of membership of sector-related trade unions for the insurance sector drawn from the country reports.

Table 12: UNI Europa-Finance membership in the insurance sector, 2009/10
 

Trade union

AT

GPA-djp

vida

BE

ACLVB-CGSLB

BBTK-SETKA

CNE-CSC

LBC-NVK

CY

ETYK

OIYK-SEK

CZ

OSPPP

DE

ver.di

DK

DFL

ES

COMFIA CC.OO

ELA/STV

FeS-UGT

FI

SEFE

Suora

VVL

FR

CFDT-FDS

FEC-FO

FGA-CFDT

FSPBA-CGT

GR

OASE

HU

BBDSZ

BBDSZSZ

IE

IBOA

Unite

SIPTU

IT

FIBA

FISAC

FNA

SNFIA

UILCA

LU

ALEBA

SBA-OGBL

SESF-LCGB

MT

GWU

MUBE

NL

De Unie

CNV Dienstenbond

FNV Bondgenoten

FNV ZZP

PL

NSZZ ‘Solidarnosc’

PT

SINAPSA

STAS

SE

Civilekonomerna

Finansförbundet (FSU)

FTF

Jusek

Sveriges Ingenjörer (SI)

SK

OZ PPaP

UK

Unite

In the case of UNI Europa, there is at least one affiliation in each country under consideration, except in Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, and Slovenia. In some countries – such as Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden – multiple memberships occur. On aggregate, UNI Europa-Finance counts 50 direct affiliations from the countries under examination. More than two thirds of the trade unions listed in Tables 9 and 10 are directly affiliated to UNI Europa-Finance. Once can conclude from the data on sectoral membership of the national trade unions which provide sufficient information on their relative strength, that UNI Europa-Finance covers the sector’s most important labour representatives. Some 47 of the 48 members of UNI Europa, for which information is available, are involved in collective bargaining related to the insurance sector.

Tables 13, 14 and 15 list the members of CEA, BIPAR, and AMICE. The three organisations have associational members from all of the 26 countries under consideration here. One can say from the available sectoral membership data of the respective organisations that important national associations are affiliated. Of course, there is a substantial difference in terms of membership of the three organisations. BIPAR, as said, represents organisations outside the scope of this study. Therefore, only three national affiliates are included in Tables 8 and 9, because they are involved in sector-related collective bargaining. AMICE mostly organises mutual insurance companies. As a consequence, this study which focuses on organisations covers only one of employer association: the French GEMA. CEA, which organises the insurance sector, has 26 members listed in Table 9, one for each country except Lithuania, but including Latvia.

Table 13: CEA Membership, 2009/10
  Member Acronym
AT

Verband der Versicherungsunternehmen Österreichs

VVO

BE

Assuralia

 
BG

ABZ

ABZ

CY

Insurance Association of Cyprus

IAC

CZ

Czech Insurance Association

ČAP

DE

Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft

GDV

DK

Forsikring & pension

F&P

EE

Eesti Kindlustusseltside Liit

EKsL

ES

Unión Española de Entidades Aseguradoras y Reaseguradora

UNESPA

FI

Federation of Finnish Financial Services

FFI

FR

Fédération française des sociétés d'assurances

FFSA

GR

Hellenic Association of Insurance Companies

EAEE

HU

Magyar Biztosítók Szövetségét

MABISZ

IE

The Irish Insurance Federation

IIF

IT

Associazione Nazionale fra le Imprese Assicuratrici

ANIA

LU

Association des Compagnies d’Assurances

ACA

LV

Latvijas Apdrošinātāju asociācija

LAA

MT

Malta Insurance Association

MIA

NL

Verbond van Verzekeraars

VVN

PL

Polska Izba Ubezpieczeń

PIU

PT

Associação Portuguesa de Seguradores

APS

RO

Uniunea Nationala a Societatilor de Asigurare si Reasigurare din Romania

UNSAR

SE

Svensk Försäkring

 
SI

Slovensko zavarovalno združenje

SZZ

SK

Slovenská asociácia poisťovní

SLASPO

UK

Association of British Insurers

ABI

International Underwriting Association of London

IUA

Lloyd’s

 
Table 14: BIPAR Membership, 2009/10
 

Member

Acronym

AT

Fachverband Versicherungsmakler und Berater in Versicherungsangelegenheiten

WKO

Verband Österreichischer Versicherungsmakler

VÖVM

Professional Association of Financial Service Provider in the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (associate member)

FV FDL

BE

Fédération des Courtiers d’assurances et Intermédiaires financiers de Belgique

FEPRABEL

Federatie voor Verzekerings- en Financiële tussenpersonen

FVF

Union professionnelle de courtiers d’assurance

UPCA

BG

Bulgarian Association of Insurance Brokers

BAIB

CY

Pancyprian Federation of Professional Intermediaries

PSEAD

CZ

Association of Czech Insurance Brokers

ACPM

DE

Bundesverband Deutscher Versicherungskaufleute e.V.

BVK

Verband Deutscher Versicherungsmakler e.V.

VDVM

DK

Forsikringsmæglerforeningen

FMF

EE

Estonian Insurance Brokers Association

EKML

ES

Asociación Española de Corredurias de Seguros

ADECOSE

Consejo General de Colegios de Mediadores de Seguros

 
FI

Finnish Insurance Broker Association

SVAM

FR

Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d’Agents Généraux d’Assurances

AGEA

Chambre Syndicale des Courtiers d'Assurances

CSCA

Chambre des indépendants du patrimoine (associate member)

 
GR

Hellenic Insurance Brokers’ Association

HIBA

Hellenic Federation of Insurance Agents

HEFEPI

Panhellenic Association of Insurance Advisors

PSAS

HU

Association of Independent Insurance Brokers in Hungary

FBAMSZ

IE

Irish Brokers’ Association

IBA

Professional Insurance Brokers Association

PIBA

IT

Associazione di Categoria Brokers di Assicurazioni e Riassicurazioni

ACB

Associazione Italiana Brokers di Assicurazioni e Riassicurazioni

AIBA

Sindacato Nazionale Agenti di Assicurazione

SNA

LT

Chamber of Insurance Brokers of Lithuania

 
LU

Association Luxembourgeoise des Intermédiaires Professionnels d’Assurances, asbl

ALUPASS

LV    
MT

Association of Insurance Brokers of Malta

AIB

NL

Adviseurs in Financiële Zekerheid

ADFIZ

PL

Association of Polish Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers

 

Chambre Polonaise des Intermédiaires d'Assurance et de Finance

 
PT

Associacao Portuguesa dos Produtores Profissionais de Seguros

APROSE

RO

Romanian Insurance Brokers’ Association

UNSICAR

SE

Swedish Insurance Brokers’ Association

SFM

SK

Slovak Association of Insurance Intermediaries

SASP

Association of Financial Intermediaries and Financial Advisors (associate member)

AFISP

UK

British Insurance Brokers’ Association

BIBA

London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association

LIIBA

Association of Independent Financial Advisers

AIFA

Table 15: AMICE Membership, 2009/10
 

Member

Acronym

AT

Austria Versicherungsverein auf Gegenseitigkeit Privatstiftung

 

Collegialität Versicherung a.G.

 

Österreichische Hagelversicherung VVaG

 

TIROLER Versicherung V.a.G.

 

Vorarlberger Landes-Versicherung V.a.G.

 
BE

AMMA Assurances

AMMA

EMANI

EMANI

Ethias Droit Commun AAM

 

Fédérale Assurance

 

Integrale CCA

 

Mensura

 

P&V Assurances SCRL

 

SECUREX

 

Union des Associations d'Assurances Mutuelles

UAAM

DE

Bayerische Beamten Lebensversicherung a.G.

 

Concordia Versicherungsgruppe

 

Continentale Krankenversicherung a.G.

 

Debeka Versicherungsvereine

 

Gartenbau - Versicherung VVaG

 

Gothaer Versicherungsbank V.V.a.G.

 

GVV - Kommunalversicherung

GVV

Haftpflichtgemeinschaft Deutscher Nahverkehrs- und Versorgungsunternehmen Allgemein VVaG

HDNA

HDI - Haftpflichtverband der Deutschen Industrie V.a.G.

HDI

HUK-Coburg Haftpflicht-Unterstützungskasse kraftfahrender Beamten Deutschlands a.G. in Coburg

HUK

IDUNA Vereinigte Lebensversicherung aG für Handwerk, Handel und Gewerbe

IDUNA

INTER Versicherungen

 

Itzehoer Versicherung Brandgilde von 1691 VVaG

 

LVM Landwirtschaftlicher Versicherungsverein Münster a.G.

LVM

Mecklenburgische Versicherungsgesellschaft a.G.

 

Ost Deutsche Kommunalversicherung a.G.

 

R+V Versicherung AG

 

Signal Krankenversicherung a.G.

 

Signal Unfallversicherung a.G.

 

Stuttgarter Lebensversicherung a.G.

 

Verband der Versicherungsvereine a.G.e.V.

 

Vereinigte Hagelversicherung VVaG

 

Volkswohl Bund Lebensversicherung a.G.

 
DK

ALKA

ALKA

GF Forsikring A/S

 

Købstædernes Forsikring

 

Lærerstandens Brandforsikring G/S

 

Lokal Forsikring GS

 

Sygeforsikringen "Danmark"

 

Thisted Forsikring

 

Tryggingarfelagid Føroyar

 

Ulykkesforsikringsforbundet for Dansk Fiskeri

 
ES

Asociación Mutualista de la Ingeniera Civil

AMIC

Mutua de Seguros y Reaseguros a prima fija

ASEMAS

Mutua de Seguros a prima fija

MUSAAT

Mutua de Seguros y Reaseguros a prima fija

MUSSAP

Mutua Rural de Seguros APF

MUTRAL

Mutua de Propietarios

 

Mutua Madrileña Automovilista

SSPF

Mutua MMT Seguros

MMT

Mutual Medica De Catalunya i Balears

MPS

Pelayo Mutua de Seguros

 

Seguros Lagun Aro S.A.

 
FI

Ålands Ömsediga Försäkringsbolag

 

Fennia Mutual Insurance Company

 

Local Insurance Mutual Company

 

Tapiola Insurance Group

 
FR

AG2R La Mondiale

 

Caisse d’Assurance Mutuelle du Batiment et des Travaux Publics

CAMACTE

CGPA

CGPA

CMMA Assurance

CMMA

Covéa

 

Fédération nationale de la Mutualité Française

FNMF

L’Auxiliaire

 

L’Etoile

 

Groupement des entreprises mutuelles d’assurance

GEMA

M.A.C.S.F Groupe

MACSF

MACIF

MACIF

Mutuelle des Architectes Français Assurances

MAF

MAIF

MAIF

MATMUT

MATMUT

Mutuelle de Poitiers Assurances

 

Réunion des Mutuelles d'Assurances Régionales

REMA

Réunion des Organisations d'Assurance Mutuelle

ROAM

Société Hospitalière d'Assurances Mutuelles

SHAM

Thélem assurances

 

Union Mutualiste Retraite

UMR

GR

Syneteristiki Insurance Co Inc

 
HU

Közlekedési Biztosító Egyesület

KÖBE

TIR Biztosító Egyesület

 
IE    
IT

ITAS Group

ITAS

Società Reale Mutua di Assicurazioni

 

UGF Assicurazioni (formerly Unipol)

UGF

NL

efm onderlinge schepenverzekring u.a.

 

Federatie van Onderlinge Verzekeringmaatschappijen

FOV

Nationale Onderlinge Fraudeverzekeringmaatschappij van de Fov

NOFF

Onderlinge Univé Dichtbij U.A.

 

OOM Verzekeringen

 

OVM Univé de Onderlinge U.A.

 

Univé Zuid-Holland

 

Zevenwouden

 
PL

TUW

TUW

TUW SKOK

TUW SKOK

PT

MACIF Portugal - Companhia de Seguros S.A.

MACIF

Mutua dos Pescadores

 
RO    
SE

AFA Life Insurance

AFA

Folksam

 

Länsförsäkringar

 
UK

Co-operative Financial Services

 

Liverpool Victoria

LV

In several countries some important, or even all, employer organisations that conduct bargaining are not members. In Sweden and Denmark, the main employer associations of the insurance sector are not members of any of the three EU-level organisations. There are also some countries (notably, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Sweden and UK) where the affiliate/s of CEA is/are not engaged in bargaining. Employer/business organisations which are not involved in collective bargaining may regard themselves as trade associations rather than as industrial relations actors. Of the 26 direct affiliates of CEA, at least 12 are directly involved in sector-related collective bargaining.

As can be seen from Table 9, there are several sector-related employer organisations across the EU not affiliated to CEA, AMICE and BIPAR which are involved in sector-related collective bargaining. In this respect, it should be underlined that, although national organisations which are engaged in collective bargaining may not be direct members of CEA, they often cooperate with the relevant national CEA affiliates and also directly with CEA on EU-level issues. This happens, for instance, when national business representation systems are based on the separation between employer and trade associations, as in the cases of Germany, where AGV (the sectoral employer association) cooperates with DGV (the sectoral trade association affiliated to CEA) and CEA, and Sweden, where the same cooperation relationships involve FAO (the sectoral employer association), Svensk Försäkring (the trade association affiliated to CEA) and CEA.

Capacity to negotiate

The third criterion of representativeness at the European level refers to the organisations’ capacity to negotiate on behalf of their own members. UNI Europa has been given a permanent mandate by its members to negotiate on matters of European social dialogue.

On the employer side, CEA, AMICE and BIPAR represent their respective members in matters of the European sectoral social dialogue. The internal regulations of CEA, in particular, establish that ‘should the European insurance sectoral social dialogue lead to a negotiation between the social partners, it shall be up to the CEA Executive Committee, following a proposal by the CEA Social Affairs and Education Committee, to make a recommendation on how the negotiations should be carried out. These recommendations will be submitted to the next CEA General Assembly for approval’.

As a final proof of the weight of UNI Europa-Finance, CEA, AMICE and BIPAR, it is useful to look at other European organisations which may be important representatives of the sector. This can be done by reviewing the other European organisations to which the national sector-related trade unions and employer associations are affiliated.

For the trade unions, these affiliations are listed in Table 7. Accordingly, European organisations other than UNI Europa-Finance represent a relatively small proportion of both sector-related trade unions and countries. For reasons of brevity, only those European organisations are mentioned here which cover at least three countries.

This involves only the European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism Sectors and Allied Branches (EFFAT), with four affiliations covering three countries. It should be clear, however, that these affiliations mostly involve multi-sector unions and do not refer to the activities of the affiliated unions in the insurance sector. It should also be noted that the affiliations listed in Table 7 may not necessarily be exhaustive. Nevertheless, the affiliations to European organisations other than UNI Europa are quite limited and this overview underlines the principal status of the latter association as the sector’s labour representative.

An analogous review of the membership of the national employer/ business associations can be derived from Table 9. Most of them entertain rather few affiliations to European associations other than CEA, AMICE and BIPAR. None of them involve up to three countries.

In conclusion, UNI Europa-Finance, CEA, AMICE and BIPAR are obviously the by far most important sector-related European organisations.


Commentary

Industrial relations in the insurance sector tend to be organised at a relatively high level. This is, shown by relatively high unionisation rates. The presence of quite large companies in a number of countries can also favour union presence. Densities in terms of employer representation tend to be significantly higher. The sector is characterised by a relative polarisation with regard to collective bargaining coverage. Whereas collective bargaining is extensive in more than two thirds of the countries for which related data are available, at least one-fourth of the countries studied record low coverage rates.

In this respect, a pattern can be revealed, as follows: In the ‘old’ EU-15, the sector’s industrial relations structures – with only a few exceptions – are generally well-established, with prevalent multi-employer bargaining settlements and high collective bargaining coverage rates. The only exceptions in this group are the UK and IE, where collective bargaining coverage is relatively low. By contrast, in the 2004/7 accession countries the robustness and effectiveness of the industrial relations structures within insurance vary widely.

Overall, CEA, AMICE, BIPAR and UNI Europa-Finance have to be regarded as by far the most important, if not the only EU-wide representatives of the sector’s employers and employees.

Roberto Pedersini, Università degli Studi di Milano


Bibliography

Traxler, F., ‘The metamorphoses of corporatism’, in European Journal of Political Research, Vol. 43, Issue No. 4, 2004, pp. 571–598)

Traxler, F., Blaschke, S. and Kittel, B., National labour relations in internationalised markets, Oxford University Press, 2001

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