Belgium: Representativeness of the European social partner organisations – Personal services sector

  • Observatory: EurWORK
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  • Published on: 20 Styczeń 2010



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Abstract

The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the respective national and supranational actors (i.e. trade unions and employer organisations) in the field of industrial relations in the personal services sector in Belgium. In order to determine their relative importance in the sector’s industrial relations, this study will, in particular, focus on their representational quality as well as on their role in collective bargaining.

Introduction

The personal services sector is highly fragmented and includes many self-employed workers who for the most part work alone or with a limited number of employees. Most of the hairdressing salon and beauty care institutes employ less than 10 employees. In Belgium, employees and employers of the sector are represented within a joint committee. This is the joint committee 314 where collective agreements are concluded for the hairdressing sector, beauty care and fitness centres as well. However, as fitness centres are not included in NACE93.02 (hairdressing and other beauty treatment) covered by this study, all data provided do not concern this sub-sector.

1. Sectoral properties

  1996∗ 2007**
Number of employers 5,800 employers (S) 3,613 beauty care institutes in Brussels and Wallonia. 4,622 hairdressing salon (A)
aggregate employment* n.a 35,433 (A)
Male employment* n.a 7,705 (21.7%) (A)
Female employment n.a 27,728 (78.3%) (A)
Aggregate employees 6,276 (S) 15,233 (A)
Male employees n.a n.a
Female employees n.a n.a
Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy n.a 0.8% (A)
Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy n.a 0.4% (A)

Note: employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers

∗ Sectoral Unions and Employers organisations in the EU Hairdressing and other Beauty Treatments sector, Annual Report on Social Concertation & Collective Bargaining, Institut des sciences du travail, Université catholique de Louvain, December 2001. (data for 1996)

** or most recent data

data from : FOD Economie-Algemene Directie Statistiek, Enquête naar de Arbeidskrachten, 2006.

National Bank of Belgium (Banque Nationale de Belgique/ Nationale Bank van België, BNB/NBB)

Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique (UNEB)

Union for Belgian hairdressers (Union des coiffeurs belges/ Unie voor belgische kappers, UCB/UBK)

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

This section includes the following trade unions and employer associations:

1. trade unions which are party to sector-related collective bargaining (In line with the conceptual remarks outlined in the accompanying briefing note, we understand sector-related collective bargaining as any kind of collective bargaining within the sector, i.e. single-employer bargaining as well as multi-employer bargaining. For the definition of single- and multi-employer bargaining, see 4.2)

2. trade unions which are a member of the sector-related European Union Federation (i.e. UNI-EUROPA – Hair and Beauty)

3. employer associations which are a party to sector-related collective bargaining

4. employer associations (business associations) which are a member of the sector-related European Business Federation (i.e. COIFFURE EU)

2a Data on the trade unions

Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (Confédération des Syndicats Chrétiens/ Algemeen Christelijk Vakverbond, CSC/ACV)CSC énergie- Chimie/ ACV energie-chemie

Belgian General Federation of Labour (Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique/Algemeen Belgisch Vakverbond, FGTB/ABVV)Centrale générale/ algemene centrale

Belgian Union of White-Collar Staff, Technicians and Managers (Syndicat des Employés, Techniciens et Cadres de Belgique/ Vakbond voor bedienden, technici en kaderleden, SETCA/ BBTK).

Federation of Liberal Trade Unions of Belgium (Centrale Générale des Syndicats Libéraux de Belgique/Algemene Centrale der Liberale Vakbonden van België, CGSLB/ACLVB)

2a.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie: Voluntary
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale): Voluntary (data from union)
  • Setca/BBTK: Voluntary
  • ACLVB/CGSLB: Voluntary (data from union)

2a.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. white-collar workers, private-sector workers, personal services employees, etc.)

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie: blue-collar; hair and beauty fitness; electricity and gas providers; tanning and leather; chemical industries; chemical and pharmaceutical industries
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale): blue collar; hair and beauty fitness; wood and furniture manufacturers; wood trade; chemical industries; film industry; construction; tanning and leather; TAW; cleaning services; tobacco (40 sectors in total)
  • Setca/BBTK: white-collar in all sectors;
  • ACLVB/CGSLB: all workers in all sectors

2a.3 Number of union members (i.e. the total number of members of the union as a whole)

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie: 55,000 (E)
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale): 300,000 (E)
  • Setca/BBTK: n.a.
  • ACLVB/CGSLB: 265,000 (E)

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie: n.a.
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale): 3,000 (E)
  • Setca/BBTK: n.a.
  • ACLVB/CGSLB: 680 (582 female)

2a.5 Female union members as a percentage of total union membership

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie: n.a.
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale): n.a.
  • Setca/BBTK: n.a.
  • ACLVB/CGSLB: 51%

2a.6 Domain density: total number of members of the union in relation to the number of potential members as demarcated by the union domain (see 2a.2)

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie: n.a.
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale): n.a.
  • Setca/BBTK: n.a.
  • ACLVB/CGSLB: 6.02% (E)

2a.7 Sectoral density: total number of members of the union in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie: n.a.
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale): 20%
  • Setca/BBTK: n.a.
  • ACLVB/CGSLB: 5%

2a.8 Sectoral domain density: total number of members of the 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

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie: n.a.
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale): 20%
  • Setca/BBTK: n.a.
  • ACLVB/CGSLB: 5%

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie: yes
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale): yes
  • Setca/BBTK: yes
  • ACLVB/CGSLB: yes

2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations)

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie: Uni Hair and Beauty; ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation); ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation)
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale): Uni Hair and Beauty; ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation); ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation)
  • Setca/BBTK: Uni Hair and Beauty; ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation); ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation)
  • ACLVB/CGSLB: Uni Hair and Beauty; ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation); ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation)

2b Data on the employer associations

Royal Circle for Belgian Hairdressers (Cercle royal des coiffeurs de Belgique/ Koninklijke kring der kappers van België)

National Federation for Hairdessers in Belgium (Fédération nationale des coiffeurs de Belgique/ Nationaal verbond der haarkappers van België )

National Chamber of Belgian Hairdressers (Nationale kamer der belgische kappers )

National Union for Beauticians in Belgium (Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique/ UNEB)

Professional Association for bio-aesthetics and cosmetology (Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie)

2b.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: Voluntary
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: Voluntary
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: Voluntary
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: Voluntary
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: Voluntary

2b.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. SMEs, small-scale crafts/industry, personal services enterprises, etc.)

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: Hairdressers
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: Hairdressers
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: Hairdressers (SMEs/Flanders)
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: Beauty care establishments (Wallonia and Brussels)
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: Beauty care establishments (Flanders)

2b.3 Number of member companies (i.e. the total number of members of the association as a whole)

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: n.a.
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: n.a.
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: n.a.
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: n.a.
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: n.a.
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: n.a.
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: n.a.
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: n.a.
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

2b.5 Number of employees working in member companies (i.e. the total number of the association as a whole)

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: n.a.
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: n.a.
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: n.a.
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: n.a.
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

2b.6 Number of employees working in member companies in the sector

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: n.a.
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: n.a.
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: n.a.
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: n.a.
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

2b.7 Domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in relation to the number of potential member companies as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: n.a.
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: n.a.
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: n.a.
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: n.a.
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

2b.8 Sectoral density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: n.a.
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: n.a.
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: n.a.
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: n.a.
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

2b.9 Sectoral domain density in terms of companies: total number of member companies of the association in the sector in relation to the number of companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: n.a.
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: n.a.
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: n.a.
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: n.a.
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

2b.10 Domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in relation to the number of employees working in potential member companies, as demarcated by the association’s domain (see 2b.2)

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: n.a.
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: n.a.
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: n.a.
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: n.a.
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

2b.11 Sectoral density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees in the sector, as demarcated by the NACE definition

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: n.a.
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: n.a.
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: n.a.
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: n.a.
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

2b.12 Sectoral domain density in terms of employees represented: total number of employees working in the association’s member companies in the sector in relation to the number of employees working in companies which operate in that part of the sector as covered by the association’s domain

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: n.a.
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: n.a.
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: n.a.
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: n.a.
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

2b.13 Does the employer association conclude collective agreements?

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: yes
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: yes
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: yes
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: yes
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: yes

2b.14 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including the cross-sectoral associations).

  • Cercle royal/Royale kring: UBK/UCB (all three organisations for hairdressers are managed through a central organisation, the Union for Belgian Hairdressers (Unie voor Belgische Kappers/Union des coiffeurs belges UBK/UCB)); UNIZO; UCM; EU Coiffure;UEAPME (the Union for Belgian Hairdressers is a member of the Organisation for the Self-Emplyed (Unie van Zelfstandige Ondernemers, UNIZO) and the Union of the Middle Classes (Union des Classes Moyennes, UCM)
  • Fédération nationale/federal verbond: UBK/UCB; UNIZO; ucm; EU Coiffure; UEAPME
  • Nationale kamer der belgische kappers: UBK/UCB; UNIZO; UCM; EU Coiffure: UEAPME
  • Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique: INFA (International Federation of Aestheticians/Fédération internationale de l’esthétique-cosmétique)
  • Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie: n.a.

3. Inter-associational relationships

3.1. Please list all trade unions covered by this study whose domains overlap.

  • ACV/CSC energie-chimie
  • ABVV/FGTB (centrale générale/algemene centrale)
  • Setca/BBTK
  • ACLVB/CGSLB

3.2. Do rivalries and competition exist among the trade unions, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

No. All three trade unions are recognised as representatives and have an equal right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted by public authorities.

3.3. If yes, are certain trade unions excluded from these rights?

No

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

Cercle royal des coiffeurs de Belgique/ Koninklijke kring der kappers van België , the Fédération nationale des coiffeurs de Belgique/ Nationaal verbond der haarkappers van België , Nationale kamer der belgische kappers through the Union for Belgian Hairdressers represent hairdressers at the national level.

Union nationale des esthéticiennes de Belgique/ Nationale unie der belgische estheciennes and Beroepsvereniging voor bio-esthetiek en kosmetologie represent beauty care institutes.

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

No. All organisations are represented within the joint committee for the sector and conclude collective agreements and can be consulted by public authorities.

3.6. Same question for employer associations as 3.3.

No.

3.7. Are there large companies or employer associations which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

No. Trade union recognition is required by law and the outcome of the collective bargaining within the joint committees applies universally regardless of whether or not companies are members of signatory organisations.

4. The system of collective bargaining

4.1. Estimate the sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage (i.e. the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the sector).

100%

4.2. Estimate the relative importance of multi-employer agreements and of single-employer agreements as a percentage of the total number of employees covered. (Multi-employer bargaining is defined as being conducted by an employer association on behalf of the employer side. In the case of single-employer bargaining, it is the company or its subunit(s) which is the party to the agreement. This includes the cases where two or more companies jointly negotiate an agreement.)

In the hair and beauty sector, a sectoral collective agreement provides for the establishment of a trade union delegation (able to conclude collective agreements with the employer) within an enterprise if there are at least 20 workers in the company.

The sector is composed of many SMEs and companies with a minimum of 20 workers are rare. It is likely that the number of multi-employer agreements is much greater than single-employer agreements.

4.2.1. Is there a practice of extending multi-employer agreements to employers who are not affiliated to the signatory employer associations?

Yes

4.2.2. If there is a practice of extending collective agreements, is this practice pervasive or rather limited and exceptional?

Pervasive

4.3. List all sector-related multi-employer wage agreements* valid in 2006 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered.

* Only wage agreements which are (re)negotiated on a reiterated basis.

Sector-related multi employer wage agreements
Bargaining parties Purview of the sector-related multi-employer wage agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial
CSC/ACV FGTB/ABVV CGSLB/ACLVB all employers associations NACE 93.02 NACE 93.04 All National
agreement of 13 February 2008 on wages, working conditions, measures for promotion of employment and determination of functions classifications

4.4. List the sector’s four most important collective agreements (single-employer or multi-employer agreements) valid in 2006 (or most recent data), including for each agreement information on the signatory parties and the purview of the agreement in terms of branches, types of employees and territory covered. Importance is measured in terms of employees covered.

Four most important agreements in terms of employees covered
Bargaining parties Purview of the agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial
All NACE 93.02 Blue and white collar national
Collective agreement on bank holiday of 2 May 2008 (23 April 2008)
All NACE 93.02 NACE 93.04 Part-time workers national
Collective agreement on additional working hours (24 September 2007)
All NACE 93.02 NACE 93.04 Blue and white collar national
Collective agreement on trade union delegations status (24 September 2007)
All NACE 93.02 NACE 93.04 Blue and white collar national
Collective agreement a half time pre-retirement at the age of 55 (4 June 2007)

5. Formulation and implementation of sector-specific public policies

5.1. Are the sector’s employer associations and trade unions usually consulted by the authorities in sector-specific matters? If yes, which associations?

No

5.2. Do tripartite bodies dealing with sector-specific issues exist? If yes, please indicate their domain of activity (for instance, health and safety, equal opportunities, labour market, social security and pensions etc.), their origin (agreement/statutory) and the interest organisations having representatives in them:

Sector-specific public policies*
Name of the body and scope of activity Bipartite/tripartite Origin: agreement/statutory Trade unions having representatives (reps) Employer associations having reps.
         
         

* Sector-specific policies specifically target and affect the sector under consideration.

No tripartite bodies

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6.1. In the case of the trade unions, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which a union must meet, so as to be entitled to conclude collective agreements? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

To be entitled to conclude collective agreements, unions must meet the criteria of representativeness, set out in the law of 5 December 1968, on collective agreements and joint committees.

The organisation will be recognised if it is a cross-industry organisation, organised at national level and with members in the Central Economic Council (Conseil Central de l’Économie/Centrale raad voor het bedrijfsleven, CCE/CRB) and the National Labour Council (Conseil National du Travail/Nationale Arbeidsraad, CNT/NAR)

The organisation must have at least 50,000 members or it must be a professional organisation which is part of the representative cross-industry organisation

In fact, the representativeness of the unions is ultimately determined by the government which nominates the organisation’s members of the Central Economic Council and the National Labour Council.

The three trade unions, CSC/ACV, FGTB/ABVV and CGSLB/ACLVB are all recognised trade unions. Their sectoral federations are thus entitled to conclude collective agreements.

6.2. In the case of the trade unions, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which a union must meet, so as to be entitled to be consulted in matters of public policy and to participate in tripartite bodies? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

The national labour council is a board on which management and unions are equally represented, that gives advice and makes proposals on social issues to the authorities. Belgian law does not lay down any criteria of representativeness for an organisation to be present in the council. However, only the three main trade unions (CSC/ACV, FGTB/ABVV, CGSLB/ACLVB), deemed representative in order to conclude collective agreements, are allowed to be members of the national labour council.

6.3. Are elections for a certain representational body (e.g. works councils) established as criteria for trade union representativeness? If yes, please report the most recent electoral outcome for the sector.

At company level, there are three representative bodies: the work council (Conseil d'Entreprise/ Ondernemingsraden, CE/OR), the committee for prevention and protection at the workplace (Comité pour la prévention et protection au travail/Comité voor preventie en bescherming op het werk, CPPT/CPBW) and the staff representatives delegation (Délégation syndicale/ Vakbond delegatie)

The members of the works councils are elected by all the staff members (even if they do not adhere to a trade union) from electoral lists presented by the three most important trade unions.

If there are more than 15 cadres/kaders, employees with a higher qualifications and who are employed in managerial positions, a separate representation is provided for this type of employee and their representatives are elected from a list of one of the three trade unions, a list from the National Confederation of Managerial Staff (Confédération Nationale des Cadres/Nationale Confederatie voor Kaderleden, CNC/NCK) or from an individual lists specific to the firm.

The number of votes will determined the number of seats occupied by the member of a list. (Law of 5 March 1999 on social elections)

There are no results for the sector. However, to organise elections within a company, the company should employ at least 50 people to establish a committee for prevention and protection at the workplace and 100 people for a work council.

Most of the hairdressers and beauticians are self-employed or employ less than 10 employees and so very few elections are held in the sector.

6.4. Same question for employer associations as 6.1.

The employers’ organisations that are entitled to conclude collective agreements must respect certain criteria defined in the law of 5 December 1968.

These organisations must be organised at national level and are members of the National Council of Labour and of The Central Economic Council. The Federation of Belgian Employers is the only one to fit the criteria.

The sector organisations, members of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (Fédération des enterprises belges/ Verbond van Belgische Ondernemingen, FEB/VBO) are also able to conclude collective agreements.The sector organisations, members of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (Fédération des enterprises belges/ Verbond van Belgische Ondernemingen, FEB/VBO) are also able to conclude collective agreements.

Other organisations may be added in some other cases:

A professional organisation which is independent of the Federation of Belgian Employers can be recognised by Royal Decree on the advice of the National Council of Labour.

The cross-industry and sector organisations recognised by one of the laws on the organisation of the middle-class (Coordinated laws of 28 May 1979). These organisations are the Union of the Self- Employed (Union des Classes Moyennes, UCM) and the Organisation of the Self-Employed (Unie van Zelfstandige Ondernemers, UNIZO).

6.5. Same question for employer associations as 6.2.

The employers are consulted by the authorities in the National Council of Labour regarding social issues and in the Central Economic Council regarding economic issues.

As with the trade unions, the organisation members of these two councils are nominated by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.

The employers’ organisations that are members of the National Council of Labour are the Federation of Belgian Employers, the Union of the Middle Classes, the Organisation of the Self-Employed, organisations from the agricultural sector such as the Walloon Agricultural Federation (Fédération wallonne de l'agriculture, FWA) and the Belgian Farmers’ Association (Belgische Boerenbond, BB) and the Non-profit Enterprises Confederation (Confédération des enterprises non-marchandes/ Confederatie van social-profit ondernemingen, CENM/CSPO).

Regarding the Central Economic Council, we find FEB/VBO, the agricultural organisations, the national Federation of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Nationale Federatie der Kamers voor Handel en Nijverheid van België/ Fédération nationale des Chambres de Commerce et d’Industrie de Belgique, NFKHNB ) and the SME’s and Self-employed Workers’ Council ( Hoge Raad voor de Zelfstandigen en de KMO / Conseil supérieur des indépendants et des PME)

6.6. Are elections for a certain representational body established as criteria for the representativeness of employer associations? If yes, please report the most recent outcome for the sector.

No

7. Commentary

For many years, the hairdressing sector has regularly been mentioned by the ‘critical jobs’ reports of the employment services (Regional Vocational Training and Employment Office (Office communautaire et régional de la formation professionnelle et de l'emploi, FOREM)) ; Flemish Public Employment Service (Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding, VDAB) ; Brussels Region Employment Office (Office Régional Bruxellois de l'Emploi/Brusselse Gewestelijke Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling, ACTIRIS)). This means that a certain amount of job vacancies are not filled each year in the hairdressing sector. This issue is not particular to a region but concerns all the three regions of the country. However, this lack of hairdressers can not be explained by the lack of available labour in the sector. The difficulty of filling job vacancies is linked to the employers’ difficulty in finding qualified workers; most of the applicants hold only a junior high school degree . Another reason is that, the sector offers unattractive working conditions: low wages, flexible working hours, etc.

The beauty care sector in 2007 experienced for the first time a significant number of job vacancies. This was attributed to a rise in the popularity of tattoos and piercing.

Emmanuelle Perin, Institute for Labour Studies, Université Catholique de Louvain

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