Poland: Representativeness of European social partner organisations – Personal services sector

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • 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 Poland. 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

Salons employing a few employees at most dominate the hair and beauty services in Poland. However, chains of hair and beauty salons are coming to the fore The provision of their services is direct or franchise-based. The grey economy in this sector is considerable, although precise data on the subject is unavailable. The only body representing the social partners in the sector is a division of the Polish Craft Association, the Committee of Hairdressers and Beauticians.

1. Sectoral properties

  1995 2006**
Number of employers    
Aggregate employment* No data 6,500 hair and beauty salons were associated in the Polish Craft Association (Związek Rzemiosła Polskiego, ZRP) in 2008 ; the data does not take into account the salons belonging to great international hair and beauty chains
Male employment* No data No data
Female employment* No data No data
Aggregate employees No data No data
Male employees No data No data
Female employees No data No data
Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy No data No data
Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy No data No data

* employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers

** or most recent data

2. The sector’s trade unions and employer associations

Polish hair and beauty salons employees are not interested in joining trade unions. This stems from the fact that at present in Poland there are not enough hairdressers. As a result employers provide decent working conditions, accepted by the employees. This also applies to beauty salon employees of. Consequently, hair and beauty sector employees see no need to join the trade unions to protect their professional interests.

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

n.a.

2a.1 Type of membership (voluntary vs. compulsory)2a.2 Formal demarcation of membership domain (e.g. white-collar workers, private-sector workers, personal services employees, etc.)2a.3 Number of union members (i.e. the total number of members of the union as a whole)2a.4 Number of union members in the sector2a.5 Female union members as a percentage of total union membership2a.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)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 definition2a.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

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?2a.10 For each association, list their affiliation to higher-level national, European and international interest associations (including cross-sectoral associations)

2b Data on the employer associations

The Committee of Hairdressers and Beauticians of the Polish Craft Association (Ogólnopolska Komisja Fryzjersko Kosmetyczna Związku Rzemiosła Polskiego, OKFK ZRP) represents the interests of employers. ZRP’s character is dual: on the one hand it bands together the chambers of craft and enterprise, on the other hand, it accomplishes the tasks ascribed to the employers’ organizations (PL0512105F).

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

Membership is voluntary.

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

Personal services enterprises.

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

ZRP associates over 300,000 small-scale craft enterprises.

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

6,500 small hair and beauty salons.

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

1,500,000 employees.

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

The number of employees working in hair and beauty salons amounts to several thousand. Moreover, hair and beauty salons are currently training 18,500 people.

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)

Small enterprises, mostly one-person, dominate, and constitute more than 90% of the sector.

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

OKFK ZRP concludes, on the basis of a 2001 survey, that in Poland seven years ago there were 35,000 hair and beauty salons. Committee members state that the grey economy within the sector may comprise a few thousand people. OKFK ZRP points out that there is no legal framework regulating activity in this profession other than the legal framework concerning economic activity in general; virtually anybody can work as a hairdresser. It is only when they seek to join the trade union that hairdressers may be required to prove their professional qualifications. International hair and beauty chains also set professional criteria that employees must meet and they organise professional trainings, as does ZRP.

In OKFK ZRP there are associated 6,500 salons out of 35,000 present in the sector. This means that the sectoral density equals 18.5%.

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

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)

The sector employs 200,000 people. More than 90% of them are natural persons conducting economic activity.

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

Enterprises associated with OKFK ZRP employ several thousand people of the sector’s 200,000 employees . This means that they employ just under 10% of the total number of employees of the hair and beauty sector.

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

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

No.

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

ZRP is affiliated to the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

OKFK ZRP is a member of Organisation Mondiale Coiffure.

3. Inter-associational relationships

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

Hair and beauty sector employees do not join trade unions.

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 only organisation representing the interests of craftsmen and employers is OKFK ZRP.

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

n.a.

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

Collective agreements are not concluded.

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).

n.a.

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
       
       

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
       

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.

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.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.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.6.4. Same question for employer associations as 6.1.6.5. Same question for employer associations as 6.2.6.6. 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.

7. Commentary

At present, there is a shortage of employees in the sector. It has been caused, in part, by the emigration of many highly skilled professionals. This shortage has made it possible for the employees to negotiate favourable working conditions with the employer, without the need for trade union involvement. At the same time, the trade unions have trouble organising such a disparate group.

This is why the employees of the sector are not represented in any organised way. The only structured body within the sector is OKFK ZRP founded in 1991.

It may be relevant to mention here the aims OKFK ZRP has set for itself. OKFK ZRP aims to:

  • ensure a high quality of training in the hairdressing profession in the salons associated within the craft organisation
  • improve the examination and qualification process for apprentice hairdressers. The examination, conducted by the examination committees of craft chambers, is to be better prepared and organised and the professional criteria to be met in order to pass it are to be standardised.
  • fostering the cooperation with the companies supporting the hairdressing profession.

As far as the attitude of social partners is concerned, no major change within the hair and beauty sector seems likely. No doubt, the high demand for highly-skilled workforce in the profession sustains the existing state of affairs.

Piotr Sula, Institute of Public Affairs

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