Sweden: Representativeness of the European social partners – 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 Sweden. 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 hair and beauty sector is characterised by self-employed and one-person enterprises among the hairdressers and comprises a very small part of the total economy in Sweden. There is only one trade union and one employer organisation. The number of employees has been more or less constant for the last 10 years as more and more hairdressers are setting up in business or becoming self-employed). The numbers of companies has grown by about 50% during the past 10 years. According to the union there is an over supply in the sector.

1. Sectoral properties

 

  1995 2006**
Number of employers 8,938 companies in total 13,486 companies in total
Aggregate employment* 13,312 18,462 in 2006, About 20,000 (2008)***
Male employment* 1,782 2,179
Female employment* 11,530 16,283
Aggregate employees **** 5,307 (13,312-8,005) 5,524 (18,462-12,938)
Male employees 588 560
Female employees 4,719 4,964
Aggregate sectoral employment as a % of total employment in the economy 0.35% 0.43%
Aggregate sectoral employees as a % of the total number of employees in the economy 0.15% 0.14%

* employees plus self-employed persons and agency workers

** or most recent data

*** Source-According to the website of Handels, www.handels.se 2008-08-04

**** 8,005 are self-employed in 1995 and 12,938 are self-employed in 2006.

Source: Statistics Sweden 2008

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

The Commercial Employees’ Union (Handelsanställdas förbund)

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

Membership is voluntary.

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

Personal services employees

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

150,343 as of 1 July 2008 (A).

2a.4 Number of union members in the sector

2,000 members in the sector (A).

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

68%

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)

75-80% (E). Membership has declined in recent years so this figure is not exact.

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

Exact numbers are difficult to calculate. However,the trade union estimates about 70%, but given the number of employees in 2006 was 2,000 out of a sectoral total of 5,524 the sectoral density is about 36% (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

As above, that is 36% (A). Only one trade union represents this sector.

2a.9 Does the union conclude collective agreements?

Yes

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

The Commercial Employees’ Union (Handelsanställdas förbund) is active nationally and is affiliated to the central national organisation, the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen, LO). At the European level The Commercial Employees’ Union is a part of UNI-Europe Section Hair and Beauty.

Relevant interest associations

The European Commission web site lists European organisations linked to the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees.

http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/social_dialogue/sectoral_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/social_dialogue/represent_en.htm

2b Data on the employer associations

Frisörföretagarna

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.)

Personal service enterprises are mostly operated by self-employed, one person enterprises but there are also some micro enterprises with a few employees and some medium sized companies with 25-49 employees.

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

Frisörföretagarna has 4,500 member companies in the organisation, although the total membership is about 5,500 as some of the members are part-owners in companies in the sector. About 50 of the members are schools that train hairdressers. Frisörföretagarna suffered a loss of members beginning in1990 but for the past three years membership has been on the increase.

77% of the 4,500. member companies are one-person enterprises; the remaining 1,000 companies (23%) are companies with employees. (A)

2b.4 Number of member companies in the sector

4,500 (see data above).

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

About 2,700 are employed in the member companies of Frisörföretagarna (A).

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

2,700.

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)

About 28% (E) of all companies are affiiated to Frisörföretagarna. However this data is somewhat inexact. Frisörföretagarna have requested statistics from Statistics of Sweden to establish how many companies are registered as hairdressing companies, although on closer scrutiny it has been shown that some companies are engaged in activities other than hair and beauty treatment. There are also a number of dormant companies. Thus the percentage number of domain density should be somewhat higher than that estimated by Frisörföretagarna.

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

28% (see above) (E).

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

28% (see above).

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)

49% is the domain density in terms of employees represented (2,700/5,524=0.49).

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

49% (see above).

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

49% (see above).

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

Yes

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

Frisörföretagen is an affiliate of the European employer association, CEU, COIFFURE EU. At the moment they have no other affiliation to higher-level national or international association. Before 2006, Frisörföretagarna was a member of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprises (Svenskt Näringsliv), but has since then been independent of higher level national organisations.

3. Inter-associational relationships

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

No overlapping exists in the personal service sector covered by this study.

However, the Commercial Employees’ Union has domains that overlap in some instances with the trade-union, The Union (Unionen).

There is also overlapping with The Swedish Transport Workers Union (Transportarbetarförbundet), The Food Workers Union (Livsmedelsarbetarförbundet) and The Hotel & Restaurant Workers Union (Hotell- och restaurangfacket)

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?

Yes, rivalry does exist in sectors related to the trade unions mentioned above. The national central organisation: The Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions plans to extend the boundaries. However, this does not apply to hair and beauty services as only the Commercial Employees’ Union organises these employees.

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

No trade union is excluded from these rights but only one trade union can conclude a collective agreement in each sector, following inter-union discussion as to which trade union this should be..

3.4. Same question for employer associations as 3.1.

Frisörföretagarna experienced a secession at 2001 and a new interest organisation called The Hair-dressers (Frisörerna) was founded in the county of Småland. They have about 300 members but have no authority to conclude collective agreements, and work on a voluntarily basis.

3.5. Same question for employer associations as 3.2.

No.

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?

Yes, there are two large companies that refuses to enter collective bargaining, one called Nikita (for some of their salons) and The H-group in Stockholm, both with about 25-40 employees.

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).

According to the Commercial Employees’ Union , the rate of collective bargaining is less than 50% (E), this is due to the large number of small enterprises with few employees. Few collective agreements are concluded with small enterprises and Frisörföretagarna estimates that if the sef-employed are excluded the percentage should be 60%.

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.)

The collective agreement for the multi-employer agreement is the most important agreement as it covers about 80% (E) of the employees, whereas single-employer bargaining accounts for about 20% of agreements, according to The Commercial Employees’ Union (E).

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

Yes, the same agreement used for multi-employer agreement, national agreement for hairdressers (Riksavtalet för frisörer), is used for single companies not members of Frisörföretagarna. The agreement is negotiated every third year.

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

It is pervasive; the same agreement as above applies for all hairdressers companies with The Commercial Employees’ Union as counterpart.

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.

Only the National Agreement for the Hairdressers sector (Riksavtalet för frisörbranschen).

is valid; it was negotiated and came into effect on 1 April 2007 and lasts until the end of March 2010. Each time negotiated valid for three years. Signatory parties are The Commercial Employees’ Union and Frisörföretagarna.

Its cover is national and it includes hairdressers, receptionists and service personnel as well as trainees and school students training to become Hairdressers.

Sector-related multi employer wage agreements
Bargaining parties Purview of the sector-related multi-employer wage agreements
  Sectoral Type of employees Territorial
The Commercial Employees’Union (Handels) and- Frisörföretagarna (National Agreement for the Hairdressers sector) Hair and beauty Hairdressers, receptionists and service personnel National
       

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
The Commercial Employees’ Union (Handels) Frisörföretagarna Riksavtalet (National Agreement for the Hairdressers sector) Multi employer agreement. Hair and beauty Hairdressers, receptionists and service personnel National
Same agreement as above is used for single-employer agreements There are a numbers of smaller agreements which are concluded with The Commercial Employees’ Union. Same agreement could have smaller deviations on the local level with a single employer.      
       

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?

Yes, the Commercial Employees’ Union is frequently contacted by The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) on high school/upper secondary school issues. The trade union is engaged in matters concerning education in cooperation with the hairdressing teachers and the Union for Teachers of Hairdressers (Frisörlärarförbundet).

Frisörföretagarna is in contact with The Swedish National Agency for Education, although there is no formal cooperation. They also cooperate with the Swedish National Tax Board (Skatteverket).

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:

No, but there is a bipartitte body and its domain of activity is education. It is called Educational Future for Hairdressers (FUF-group, Frisör Utbildningen i Framtiden) and consists of Frisörföretagarna, the Commercial Employees’ Union and the Union for Teachers of Hairdressers. Cooperation is informal.

There is also a cooperation between Frisörföretagarna, the Commercial Employees’ Union and the Swedish National Tax Board together with The Economic Crimes Bureau (Ekobrottsmyndigheten, EBM) in order to counter the black economy and to prevent tax evasion.

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.
Frisör utbildningen I framtiden, FUF Education Bipartite No agreement and no statutory. More an implementation of current rules and guidance. Also how to affect agencies in the sector. Yes, The Commercial Employees’ Union Yes, Frisörföretagarna
Taxation, avoid black market transactions Tripartite No, statutory The Commercial Employees’ Union Yes, Frisörföretagarna

* 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.

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.

No.

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.

No.

6.4. Same question for employer associations as 6.1.

No.

6.5. Same question for employer associations as 6.2.

No.

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

This is a sector with many self-employed/ one-person companies and the trade union presence is much less compared to most Swedish labour market sectors. The trade union is experiencing a political problem with private hairdresser schools and at the moment there are too many hairdressers with more supply than demand, thus the educational system is overloaded.

Another problem in the sector is that it is characterised by a substantial black economy and tax evasion. New legislative measures to log staff at every company have improved the situation. The social partners continue to work with the authorities to counter the black economy in the sector.

Paul Andersson, Oxford Research A/S

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