Czech Republic: 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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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 the Czech Republic. 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

According to our findings, no trade union exists in the sector to defend employees’ interests (a fact confirmed for us by several trade union sourcesConditions suitable for the development of social dialogue do not prevail on the (most enterprises in the sector went out of business in the 1990s and self-employment is the norm). The black economy is widespread in the sector – this involves workers operating on the basis of a trade licence, but actually performing so-called “dependent employment” pursuant to Act No. 586/1992 of the Collection of Laws, on income tax (i.e. work performed at the workplace using the employer’ tools, etc.), where they should be employed on the basis of an employment contract according to the Labour Code. This approach is illegal, but it is more advantageous for employers in terms of taxation (and frequently also more advantageous for the employees too).

Sectoral properties

  1995 2007**
Number of employers 13,455 35,667
Aggregate employment* 19,800 31,500
Male employment* 300 1,300
Female employment* 19,500 30,200
Aggregate employees 9,000 6,800
Male employees 300 400
Female employees 8,700 6,400
Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy 0.4 0.64
Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy 0.21 0.16

* employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers

** or most recent data

Source: Czech Statistical Office (Český statistický úřad, ČSÚ)

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)

No trade union exists in the sector to collectively negotiate on behalf of hairdressers and beauticians. The main reason for this is the fact that conditions for developing a union framework are extremely disadvantageous. The sewctor is dominated by self-employed operatives and small businesses with few employees. Selfish interests predominate, and rivalry can also emerge in the workplace, e.g. in relation to customers. Some employees are of the opinion that the sector lacks a union because there is a dearth of active individuals who would be willing to hold a union position.

While it is true that hairdressers and beauticians have come together in professional organisations (e.g. Unie kosmetiček, Asociace vizážistů a stylistů České republiky etc), these organisations, however, have not pursued any activities pertaining to social dialogue, collective bargaining and employee representation.

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

Not relevant.

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

The Union of Czech and Moravian Production Co-operatives (Svaz českých a moravských výrobních družstev, SCMVD)

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

n.a.

2a Data on the trade unions

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector

n.a.

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

n.a.

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)

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

n.a.

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

n.a.

2b Data on the employer associations

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

Voluntary.

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

Cooperatives.

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

271 (Source: Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic)

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

5 (Source: Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic)

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

27,900 (Source: Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic)

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

450 (Estimate based on the data of Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic)

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)

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

0.014 %

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

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)

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

0.3%

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

n. a.

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

Yes, but not for the personal s sector.

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

3. Inter-associational relationships

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

n.a.

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?

n.a.

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

n.a.

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

The Union of Czech and Moravian Production Co-operatives (Svaz českých a moravských výrobních družstev, SCMVD)

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

Not relevant, since there is only one employer association in the sector.

3.6. Same question for employer associations as 3.3.

n.a.

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

n.a.

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).

Not relevant.

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.)

n.a.

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

n.a.

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

n.a.

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
       
       

n.a.

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
       
       
       
       

n.a.

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?

n. a.

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.

Not relevant.

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.

No.

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.

In general, in order for unions to take part in tri-partite negotiations within the framework of the Council of Business and Social Agreement of the Czech Republic (Rada hospodářské a sociální dohody České republiky, RHSD ČR) they have to fulfil the representativeness criteria set in appendix no. 2 of the Statue of the RHSD ČR (organisations have to be independent of the government and employers, and have at least 150,000 union members etc.).

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.

n.a.

6.4. Same question for employer associations as 6.1.

n.a.

6.5. Same question for employer associations as 6.2.

In order for employer associations to take part in tri-partite negotiations within the framework of the Council of Business and Social Agreement of the Czech Republic (Rada hospodářské a sociální dohody České republiky, RHSD ČR) they have to fulfil the representativeness criteria set in appendix no. 1 of the Statue of the RHSD ČR (organisations have to be independent of the government and employers, and have to employee at least 400,000 employees etc.).

The Union of Czech and Moravian Production Co-operatives (Svaz českých a moravských výrobních družstev, SCMVD) will participate in the tripartite negotiations through its membership in the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (Svaz průmyslu a obchodu České republiky, SP ČR), which does fulfil the above criteria.

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.

n. a.

7. Commentary

It was not possible to answer many questions with regard to the absence of developed social-dialogue structures in the sector as there is a complete lack of union representation.

Soňa Veverková, Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs

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