Poland: Representativeness of the European social partner organisations in the cross-industry social dialogue

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  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Collective bargaining,
  • Social partners,
  • Social dialogue,
  • Industrial relations,
  • Published on: 17 March 2014



About
Country:
Poland
Author:
Adam Mrozowicki, Jan Czarzasty
Institution:

The main characteristics of employment relations in Poland include the decentralisation of collective bargaining, low collective bargaining coverage (currently less than 25% of employees), the low density of trade unions' and employers' organisations and the limited relevance of cross-sector collective bargaining of any kind. Cross-sectoral collective bargaining per se is absent, unless tripartite social dialogue (as economy-wide bargaining) and some specific multi-employer agreements are taken into account.

There are three central-level representative trade unions: the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity (NSZZ Solidarność), the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (OPZZ) and Trade Unions Forum (FZZ), and four central-level representative employer organisations, including the Business Centre Club (BCC), the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan (PKPP Lewiatan), the Employers of Poland (Pracodawcy RP) and the Polish Craft Association (Związek Rzemiosła Polskiego, ZRP). Representative social partner organisations and government representatives participate in the Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs (TK) and its thematic teams. However, the prerogatives of the TK are limited and social partners very rarely conclude cross-sector collective agreements. In the recent years (2009–2012), no major changes in the composition and constituency of national social partners were observed. All data on social partners organisations provided here are self-reported for the purpose of this study.

1. Cross-sector collective agreements

1.1. Are employees in your country covered by cross-sector collective bargaining conducted by peak-level social partner organisations, including economy-wide (covering all sectors), inter-sector (covering two or more sectors but not all) or occupational (across several sectors) bargaining?

Yes, economy-wide collective bargaining

1.2. If yes, please indicate whether cross-sector collective bargaining takes place at:

-National level

In Poland, the only forum for economy-wide collective bargaining is the Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs (Trójstronna Komisja ds. Społeczno Gospodarczych, TK) which operates by virtue of the Act on the Tripartite Commission of 6 July 2001. The TK consists of the delegates of the representative trade union confederations, representative employer organisations and government representatives.

By the virtue of the Article 2 (4) of the Act on the Tripartite Commission, employer organisations and trade unions which participate in the TK can conclude multi-employer collective agreements. However, this has not been done in practice.

As a result, the role of the TK is limited to the negotiation of the following issues:

the level of the minimum wage (negotiated annually);

the pay increase indicators in companies and in the state budget sector;

the increase indicators of pensions and allowances covered by the Social Insurance Fund;

The TK also plays an advisory role in the decision on the income criteria for social policy interventions and the level of family allowances. In addition, the TK has the right to express opinions on every matter of significant importance to the economy or social affairs.

1.3. If yes, please consider the five most relevant* cross-sector collective agreements valid in 2011 (or most recent data) and indicate their type (economy-wide, inter-sector, occupational), the name of the agreements and their duration, the geographical scope (national/territorial), the sectors, occupations and types of undertakings (e.g. only SME) covered by the agreements, the bargaining parties to the agreements and the numbers of employees covered (also estimate)

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

There are no disaggregated and publicly available data on the content of cross-sector collective agreements in Poland as their content is monitored by the local offices of the National Labour Inspectorate (Państwowa Inspekcja Pracy, PIP) across the country.

There is no single economy-wide collective agreement in Poland and the very existence of cross-sector collective bargaining as measured by the existence of cross-sector collective agreements can be questioned. It can be assumed that some of the multi-employer collective agreements registered by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (Ministerstwo Pracy i Polityki Społecznej, MPiPS) might fulfil the criterion of being inter-sector and occupational ones. As of 29 November 2012, there were 170 such agreements, of which 70 agreements were dissolved by one of their signatory parties and 11 were considered to be ‘dead’ since in each case the signatory on the employers’ side had lost its legal prerogatives to be a part of the agreement. That leaves 89 multi-employer collective agreements still in force which cover 390,000 employees, i.e. around 2.9% of the labour force. This figure includes 3 multi-employer collective agreements concluded at the territorial level with employees in a public utilities companies which can be considered inter-sector agreements. However, the content of these agreements is not available.

Of the remaining multi-employer collective agreements, 76 agreements cover administrative and technical employees in educational institutions (except for teachers). They are concluded at the territorial level with municipalities, but they have still sector focus (educational institutions). The remaining 10 multi-employer agreements do not fulfil the criteria of cross-sector collective bargaining as they are focused on single sectors or companies.

2. Formulation and implementation of cross-industry public policies -

2.1. Do bipartite or tripartite statutory bodies dealing with labour market and industrial relations regulation at cross-sector level exist? If yes, please indicate their main domain of activity (for instance, health and safety, equal opportunities, labour market, social security and pensions etc.) and the interest organisations having representatives in them:

The main place in which tripartite consultation of public policies at cross-sector level takes place, is the Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs (TK).

Table 1: Cross-sector public policies*
Name of the body and scope of activity Bipartite/tripartite Trade unions (union confederations) having representatives (reps) Employer associations having reps.

Thematic Team for Economic Policy and Labour Market (Zespół problemowy TK ds. polityki gospodarczej i rynku pracy)

tripartite

The Independent Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity (Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy Solidarność, NSZZ Solidarność);

The All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (Ogólnopolskie Porozumienie Związków Zawodowych, OPZZ);

Trade Unions Forum (Forum Związków Zawodowych, FZZ).

the Business Centre Club, BCC.

the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan (Polska Konfederacja Pracodawców Prywatnych Lewiatan, PKPP Lewiatan);

The Employers of Poland (Pracodawcy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, Pracodawcy RP);

the Polish Craft Association (Związek Rzemiosła Polskiego, ZRP);

Thematic Team for Labour Law and Collective Agreements (Zespół problemowy ds. prawa pracy i układów zbiorowych)

tripartite

Thematic Team for the Development of Social Dialogue (Zespół problemowy TK ds. rozwoju dialogu społecznego)

tripartite

Thematic Team for Social Insurance (Zespół problemowy TK ds. ubezpieczeń społecznych)

tripartite

Thematic Team for Public Services (Zespół problemowy TK ds. usług publicznych)

Tripartite

Thematic Team for the State Budget, Wages and Social Benefits (Zespół problemowy TK ds. budżetu, wynagrodzeń i świadczeń socjalnych)

tripartite

Thematic Team for the Cooperation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) (Zespół problemowy TK ds. współpracy z Międzynarodową Organizacją Pracy)

tripartite

Thematic Team for the Structural Funds of the European Union (Zespół problemowy TK ds. funduszy strukturalnych Unii Europejskiej)

tripartite

Thematic Team for the revised European Social Charter (Zespół problemowy TK ds. Zrewidowanej Europejskiej Karty Społecznej)

tripartite

Consulting Team for the European Union Affairs (Zespół konsultacyjny TK ds. Unii Europejskiej)

tripartite

* Cross-sector policies target and affect (major part of) the national economy.

3. The peak-level associations on the labour and employer side

This section includes the following cross-sector, peak-level trade union confederations and cross-sector, peak-level employer organisations:

(i) cross-sector, peak-level trade union confederations which are directly or indirectly (via their member unions) party to cross-sector collective bargaining/collective employment regulation OR directly involved in bipartite or tripartite consultation in labour market and industrial relations regulation at cross-sector level

The Independent Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity (Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy Solidarność, NSZZ Solidarność);

  • The All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (Ogólnopolskie Porozumienie Związków Zawodowych, OPZZ);
  • Trade Unions Forum (Forum Związków Zawodowych, FZZ).

(ii) cross-sector, peak-level trade union confederations which are a member of at least one of the cross-sector European Union Federations (i.e. the European Trade Union Confederation – ETUC; Eurocadres; and the European Confederation of Executives and Managerial Staff – CEC)

The Independent Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity (Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy Solidarność, NSZZ Solidarność);

The All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (Ogólnopolskie Porozumienie Związków Zawodowych, OPZZ);

Trade Unions Forum (Forum Związków Zawodowych, FZZ).

(iii) cross-sector, peak-level employer organisations which are directly or indirectly (via their member associations) a party to cross-sector collective bargaining/collective employment regulation OR directly involved in bipartite or tripartite consultation in labour market and industrial relations regulation at cross-sector level

the Business Centre Club, BCC.

the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan (Polska Konfederacja Pracodawców Prywatnych Lewiatan, PKPP Lewiatan);

The Employers of Poland (Pracodawcy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, Pracodawcy RP);

the Polish Craft Association (Związek Rzemiosła Polskiego, ZRP).

(iv) cross-sector, peak-level employer organisations which are a member of at least one of the cross-sector European Employer/Business Federations (i.e.BUSINESSEUROPE; the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public Services – CEEP; and the European Association of Craft and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises – UEAPME)

the Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan (Polska Konfederacja Pracodawców Prywatnych Lewiatan, PKPP Lewiatan);

The Employers of Poland (Pracodawcy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, Pracodawcy RP);

the Polish Craft Association (Związek Rzemiosła Polskiego, ZRP).

3a Overview of the Industrial relations landscape in the economy

The main actors in Polish industrial relations are the organisations that participate in the work of the Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs (Trójstronna Komisja ds. Społeczno Gospodarczych, TK). As of 2012, there are three nationally representative trade union confederations, NSZZ Solidarność, OPZZ and FZZ, and four nationally representative employers' organisations, BCC, PKPP Lewiatan, Pracodawcy RP and ZRP. Except for the BCC, all of them are affiliated to the European-level cross-sector organisations and therefore participate in European cross-sector social dialogue. They are all also involved in economy-wide (via the TK) collective bargaining on the national level and the consultation of cross-industry public policies (via the Thematic Teams of the TK), even though some of their representatives (see questionnaires below) did not regard these activities as the involvement in cross-industry collective bargaining and social dialogue.

No major changes in the composition and constituency of national social partners were observed during the recent economic crisis. The main achievement of central-level social partners was their joint negotiation and formulation of the autonomous anti-crisis legislative package in March 2009 (PL0909019I), which was then partly reflected in the anti-crisis legislation in force until 31 December 2011.

3b Data on the cross-sector, peak-level trade union confederations

Table 2: Trade union confederation fact sheet: NSZZ Solidarność (The Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy Solidarność; Independent Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity)

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

.

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all occupations among both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes

.

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the union confederation

Is the union confederation directly or indirectly (via its member unions) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

Yes, directly

If Yes. Is this a form of economy-wide (covering all sectors), inter-sector (covering two or more sectors but not all) or occupational (across several sectors) bargaining?

Economy-wide/Inter-sector (decreasingly)

If Yes. Is this a form of national (covering all regions) or regional/territorial (covering only certain regions or geographical areas) bargaining?

National

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union confederation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures and unilaterally

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this union confederation…?

On an ad-hoc basis and on a regular basis

Members

How many lower-level trade union organisations are affiliated to the trade union confederation?

34 regional structures

15 branch secretariats

(November 2011)

How many active members in employment does the union confederation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member unions)?

622,577 – total membership, including:

54,690 pensioners

5,661 unemployed

(June 2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the union confederation’s density in terms of active members.

4.4% (including pensioners and unemployed)

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC

Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, TUAC

.

To which European-level organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

European Trade Union Confederation, ETUC

Eurocadres

Source of information

Trade union confederation International Relations Office

Website: http://www.solidarnosc.org.pl/

EIRO national correspondents: Jan Czarzasty, Adam Mrozowicki

Note: NSZZ Solidarność is also the member of Eurocadres through its Coordinating Team for Employees with Higher Education and Managerial Staff (Zespół Koordynacyjny Pracowników z Wyższym Wykształceniem i Kadr Kierowniczych). However, since the Coordinating Team has no membership because it is only an office within the union, a separate factsheet has not been given for it.

Table 3: Trade union confederation fact sheet: The All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (OPZZ; Ogólnopolskie Porozumienie Związków Zawodowych)

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all occupations among both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the union confederation

Is the union confederation directly or indirectly (via its member unions) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

No (‘it is not currently’)

If No. Is the union confederation engaged in cross-sector collective employment regulation ?

Yes

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union confederation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this union confederation…?

On a regular basis

Members

How many lower-level trade union organisations are affiliated to the trade union confederation?

79 (2012)

How many active members in employment does the union confederation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member unions)?

792,503 (31 December 2011)

Please indicate/ estimate the union confederation’s density in terms of active members.

8%

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC

To which European-level organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

European Trade Union Confederation, ETUC

Source of information

Chief of the International Co-Operation and European Integration Section OPZZ

Website: http://www.opzz.org.pl/

EIRO national correspondent: Adam Mrozowicki, Jan Czarzasty

Note: the self-reported data provided by the OPZZ is very likely to be overestimated. During the representativeness screening procedure that NSZZ Solidarność, OPZZ and FZZ had to undergo before the court of law in the first half of 2012 to prove their eligibility for the seat in the Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs (TK), the OPZZ membership amounted to 536,231. (The credibility of the OPZZ self-reported statistics is discussed in more detail by Gardawski, Mrozowicki and Czarzasty (2012) History and Current Developments of Trade Unionism in Poland, Warsaw Forum of Economic Sociology, vol.3, no 1(5), p. 38.)

Table 4: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Trade Unions Forum (FZZ; Forum Związków Zawodowych)

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all occupations among both blue-collar workers and white-collar workers?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the union confederation potentially cover all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the union confederation

Is the union confederation directly or indirectly (via its member unions) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

Yes, directly

If Yes. Is this a form of economy-wide (covering all sectors), inter-sector (covering two or more sectors but not all) or occupational (across several sectors) bargaining?

Occupational

If Yes. Is this a form of national (covering all regions) or regional/territorial (covering only certain regions or geographical areas) bargaining?

National

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the union confederation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this union confederation…?

On an ad-hoc basis

Members

How many lower-level trade union organisations are affiliated to the trade union confederation?

85 member organisations (2012)

How many active members in employment does the union confederation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member unions)?

Over 300,000 members

Please indicate/ estimate the union confederation’s density in terms of active members.

No data available

Affiliations

To which European-level organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

European Trade Union Confederation, ETUC

Source of information

President of the FZZ

Website: http://www.fzz.org.pl/

EIRO national correspondent: Adam Mrozowicki, Jan Czarzasty

3c Data on the cross-sector, peak-level employer associations

Table 5: Employer organisation fact sheet: The Polish Confederation of Private Employers Lewiatan (PKPP Lewiatan; Polska Konfederacja Pracodawców Prywatnych Lewiatan)

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover (directly or indirectly via its member associations) all (legal) forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, cooperatives, SMEs, etc.)?

No

Only companies with a majority of private capital (the companies in which the majority shares are owned by the State Treasury are excluded)

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies in all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the organisation

Is the employer organisation directly or indirectly (via its member associations) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

Yes, directly

If Yes. Is this a form of economy-wide (covering all sectors), inter-sector (covering two or more sectors but not all) or occupational (across several sectors) bargaining?

Economy-wide

If Yes. Is this a form of national (covering all regions) or regional/territorial (covering only certain regions or geographical areas) bargaining?

National

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the employer organisation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures and unilaterally

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this employer organisation …?

On a regular basis

Members

The members of the employer organisation are…

Sectoral federations

Regional/Territorial federations

Companies

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member associations)?

62 regional and sectoral organisations (2012)

3,700 companies (2012)

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

750,000 (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of companies.

0.1% (in all entities of national economy)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of employees employed by member companies.

5.3%

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

The Business and Industry Advisory Committee

to the OECD, BIAC

To which European-level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

BUSINESSEUROPE

Source of information

Director of the Brussels Office of the PKPP Lewiatan

Website: http://pkpplewiatan.pl/

EIRO national correspondent: Jan Czarzasty, Adam Mrozowicki

Table 6: Employer organisation fact sheet: The Employers of Poland (Pracodawcy RP; Pracodawcy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej)

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

.

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover (directly or indirectly via its member associations) all (legal) forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, cooperatives, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies in all regions of your country?

Yes

.

General information on the organisation

Is the employer organisation directly or indirectly (via its member associations) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

No (as answered by the organisation, which does not take into account their involvement in the CCEP)

If Yes. Is this a form of economy-wide (covering all sectors), inter-sector (covering two or more sectors but not all) or occupational (across several sectors) bargaining?

Information not available

If Yes. Is this a form of national (covering all regions) or regional/territorial (covering only certain regions or geographical areas) bargaining?

Information not available

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the employer organisation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures and unilaterally

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this employer organisation …?

On a regular basis

Members

The members of the employer organisation are… (multiple responses are possible)

Sectoral federations

Regional/Territorial federations

Companies

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member associations)?

There are 22 sectoral federations, 8 regional associations and 96 companies directly involved in the Pracodawcy RP structures.

7,500 companies in total (2012)

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

4,000,000 (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of companies.

0.2% (2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of employees employed by member companies.

28.6% (2012)

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

The Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD, BIAC

International Organisation of Employers, IOE

To which European-level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

The European Centre of Employers and Enterprises Providing Public Services, CEEP

Source of information

Organisation official

Website: http://www.pracodawcyrp.pl/

EIRO national correspondent: Jan Czarzasty, Adam Mrozowicki

Table 7: Employer organisation fact sheet: Employer’s Association Business Centre Club (ZP BCC; Związek Pracodawców Business Centre Club)

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover (directly or indirectly via its member associations) all (legal) forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, cooperatives, SMEs, etc.)?

Yes

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies in all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the organisation

Is the employer organisation directly or indirectly (via its member associations) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

Yes, indirectly

If Yes. Is this a form of economy-wide (covering all sectors), inter-sector (covering two or more sectors but not all) or occupational (across several sectors) bargaining?

Economy-wide

If Yes. Is this a form of national (covering all regions) or regional/territorial (covering only certain regions or geographical areas) bargaining?

National

Type of membership

Voluntary

Is the employer organisation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures

Unilaterally

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this employer organisation …?

… on an ad-hoc basis

Members

The members of the employer organisation are…

Companies

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member associations)?

716 companies

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

353,804 employees (‘depending on member companies’, 2010–2012)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of companies.

No data

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of employees employed by member companies.

No data

Source of information

Organisation official

Website: www.bcc.org.pl

EIRO national correspondent: Jan Czarzasty, Adam Mrozowicki

Table 8: Employer organisation fact sheet: Polish Craft Association (ZRP; Związek Rzemiosła Polskiego)

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover the entire economy (in terms of sectors)?

No, as stipulated by the Crafts Act, the following activities are not regarded a part of craft, and therefore do not belong to the domain of the organisation: commerce, gastronomy, transport services, hotel services, freelancing activities and occupations, health-related services, production and service activities by fine artists and art photographers

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover (directly or indirectly via its member associations) all (legal) forms and size classes of enterprises (for instance: public ownership, private ownership, multinationals, domestic companies, cooperatives, SMEs, etc.)?

No

ZRP associates only private enterprises active in the field of craft, which in line with the Crafts Act is defined as: a professional performance of economic activity by a natural person providing their own labour input, on behalf of their own and on their own account, and employing no more than 50 employees (a craftsman). Furthermore, a professional performance of economic activity by partners in a partnership (as defined by the civil law), who provide their own labour input, on behalf of their own and on their own account, and employ no more than 50 employees is also regarded as craft.

However, there are actually members in the ZRP whose number of staff exceeds the threshold of 50, because when they had originally joined the organisation, their volume of employment was below that level.

According to its domain, does the employer organisation potentially cover companies in all regions of your country?

Yes

General information on the organisation

Is the employer organisation directly or indirectly (via its member associations) engaged in cross-sector collective bargaining?

Yes

If Yes. Is this a form of economy-wide (covering all sectors), inter-sector (covering two or more sectors but not all) or occupational (across several sectors) bargaining?

Economy-wide

If Yes. Is this a form of national (covering all regions) or regional/territorial (covering only certain regions or geographical areas) bargaining?

National

Type of membership

Voluntary

As stipulated by the Crafts Act, the organisations of economic self-government in the field of craft are established by voluntary decision and maintain voluntary membership. Craftsmen who employ staff undergoing vocational training are required to fulfill additional conditions set by the Crafts Act.

Is the employer organisation directly consulted by the authorities in matters of cross-sector significance?

Yes

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established tripartite structures and unilaterally

If Yes. Do consultations in matters of cross-sector significance involve this employer organisation …?

On an ad-hoc basis and on a regular basis

Members

The members of the employer organisation are…

Sectoral federations

Regional/Territorial federations

Companies do not belong directly to the central-level organisation (ZRP) but are associated with chambers and guilds, which are direct members of the ZRP.

How many member companies does the employer organisation have in total (directly or indirectly via its member associations)?

There are 28 craft and SME chambers directly associated in the ZRP. There are 478 guilds of crafts and SMEs indirectly involved in the ZRP structure (via the chambers). The ZRP structure covers around 53,000 enterprises in total

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

700,000 employees in total, which number includes not only employees of companies associated with ZRP but also in companies of ‘broadly defined manufacturing sector and material services (commerce and gastronomy included), whose interests ZRP represents in the social dialogue institutions and via public agencies’

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of companies.

3.2% (2009)

Please indicate/ estimate the employer organisation’s density in terms of employees employed by member companies.

6.7% (2009) (total number of employees in 2009 in Poland equalled 10,387,700)

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

European Association of Craft and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME)

European Builders Confederation (EBC)

To which European-level organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

European Association of Craft and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME)

European Builders Confederation (EBC)

Source of information

Director of the European Affairs Department and General Director of organisation

Website: www.zrp.org.pl

EIRO national correspondent: Jan Czarzasty, Adam Mrozowicki

4. Inter-associational relationships

4a Inter-union relationships

4a.1 Please list all trade union confederations covered by this study whose domains overlap.

Having in mind that a notion of ‘collective agreement at cross-sector level’ is not recognised by Polish law and the only form of a collective agreement which is close in nature to ‘cross-sectoral’ is a multi-employer agreement, domains of all three trade union confederations covered by this study overlap. Furthermore, with the tripartite social dialogue central platform provided by the TK being the only space for cross-sectoral bargaining, all three trade union confederations, which enjoy the status of central-level social partners have overlapping domains.

4a.2 Do rivalries and competition exist among the trade union confederations, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

No such rivalries and competition among the main trade union confederations covered by this study are known.

4a.3 If yes, are certain trade union confederations excluded from these rights?

Irrelevant.

4b Inter-employer association relationships

4b.1 Please list all employer associations covered by this study whose domains overlap.

Having in mind that a notion of ‘collective agreement at cross-sector level’ is not recognised by Polish law and the only form of a collective agreement which is close in nature to ‘cross-sectoral’ is a multi-employer agreement, domains of all four employers organisations covered by this study overlap. Furthermore, as the tripartite social dialogue central platform provided by the TK is the only space for cross-sectoral bargaining, all employers organisations, which enjoy the status of central-level social partners have their domains overlapping. The only concern may be raised in the case of ZRP, which, according to its statute, is an association representing interests of crafts, micro and small enterprises at the national level and abroad as well as taking actions aimed at developing a unified position on all issues related to craft, micro and small enterprise, so a narrower category of employers is eligible for membership, thus this organisation’s case may be branded as ‘sectionalism’.

4b.2 Do rivalries and competition exist among the employer associations, concerning the right to conclude collective agreements and to be consulted in public policy formulation and implementation?

No such rivalries and competition among the main employers organisations covered by this study are known.

4b.3 If yes, are certain employer associations excluded from these rights?

Irrelevant.

4b.4 Are there cross-sector employer associations which refuse to recognise the trade unions and refuse to enter collective bargaining?

No such cases are known.

5. The system of collective bargaining

5.1.a Estimate the national economy’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 economy).

No consolidated official data on the collective bargaining coverage is available. The national coverage rate could be estimated at 25% at most.

5.1.b Estimate the national economy’s rate of collective bargaining coverage adjusted for those parts of the economy which are excluded from the right to collective bargaining (i.e. the ratio of the number of employees covered by any kind of collective agreement to the total number of employees in the economy minus those excluded from the right to collective bargaining).

In Poland some categories of employees are excluded from collective bargaining by law. These categories are: judges, public prosecutors, civil servants in state administration, selected subcategories of public officers in central and local government, professional soldiers and secret services functionaries. If we subtract the combined number of such employees from the total volume of employees, the national collective bargaining coverage would increase slightly. If we retained 25% as a point of departure for the calculation (having in mind that it is an estimate only), then the adjusted coverage rate would increase by 1–2%.

5.2. Illustrate the relative importance of cross-sector agreements, sectoral agreements and single-employer agreements both in terms of:

The percentage of the total number of employees covered;

The existence of centralisation/coordination rules and mechanisms concerning the level of wage increases and/or the different topics treated at the various levels (cross-sector, sectoral, and single-employer levels).

The system of collective bargaining in Poland is highly decentralised. Assuming that multi-employer agreements cover less than 3% of the national workforce, the remaining part of employees under collective agreements enjoy the coverage thanks to single-employer bargaining. Nevertheless, the TK enjoys the voice in the case of setting the minimum wage, and to issue an opinion on the raise on pay indexation.

5.3a. Is there a practice of extending multi-employer agreements to employers who are not affiliated to the signatory employer associations? Does it apply to both cross-sector and sectoral agreements?

No, such practice does not exist, although such a possibility is envisaged by the law.

5.3b. If there is a practice of extending collective agreements, is this practice pervasive or rather limited and exceptional? Is there any difference between cross-sector and sectoral agreements?

Considering that the practice of extending collective agreements is non-existent, the issue is irrelevant.

6. Statutory regulations of representativeness

6a Statutory regulations of representativeness for trade union confederations

6a.1 In the case of the trade union confederations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which a union confederation must meet, so as to be entitled to conclude collective agreements at cross-sector level? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

Having in mind that a notion of ‘collective agreement at cross-sector level’ is not recognised by Polish law and the only form of a collective agreement which is close in nature to ‘cross-sectoral’ is a multi-employer collective agreement, the criteria of representativeness defined by the Clause 241/17 of the Labour Code apply. So, in order to be recognised as representative at supra-enterprise level, a union has to meet at least one of the following conditions: 1) having representative status within the meaning of the legislative Act regarding the Tripartite Commission for Social and Economic Affairs and the voivodship social dialogue commissions; 2) comprising at least 10% of total employees within a formally demarcated domain, not less, however, than 10,000 members; or 3) having the highest number of members within the group of employees to be covered by a multi-employer agreement.

It is noteworthy that one of the criteria to be fulfilled regards the status of a central-level social partner, which can be acquired, if a trade union meets jointly the following conditions: 1) is either a national-level trade union, or a national-level association (federation) of trade unions, or a national-level inter-union organisation (confederation) with at least 300,000 members, 2) covers entities whose main form of economic activity is specified in more than half of the sections of Polish Classification of Economic Activity (PKD), with the reservation that no more than 100,000 members employed in a given PKD section can be taken into account.

6a.2 In the case of the trade union confederations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which a union confederation must meet, so as to be entitled to be consulted in matters of public policy and to participate in tripartite bodies at cross-sector level? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

Aside from the rules and conditions listed above (6a.1), no further regulations apply.

6a.3 Are elections for a certain representational body (e.g. works councils) established as criteria for trade union representativeness at cross-sector level? If yes, please report the most recent electoral outcome for the sector.

No, such a criterion does not exist.

6b Statutory regulations of representativeness for employer organisations

6b.1 In the case of the employer organisations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which an organisation must meet, so as to be entitled to conclude collective agreements at cross-sector level? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

As stipulated by Clause 241/15 of the Labour Code, any employer association has a right to conclude collective agreements at supra-enterprise level. On the other hand, in order to gain the status of a central-level social partner, an employer organisation has to meet the following conditions: 1) pursues operations on a national scale, 2) encompasses member entities employing at least 300,000 persons, and 3) associates entities pursuing operations covering at least half of all sections named in the PKD, with the reservation that no more than 100,000 employees are taken into account for each PKD section.

6b.2 In the case of the employer organisations, do statutory regulations exist which establish criteria of representativeness which an organisation must meet, so as to be entitled to be consulted in matters of public policy and to participate in tripartite bodies at cross-sector level? If yes, please briefly illustrate these rules and list the organisations which meet them.

Aside from the rules and conditions listed above (6b.1), no further regulations apply.

6b.3 Are elections for a certain representational body established as criteria for the representativeness of employer associations at cross-sector level? If yes, please report the most recent outcome for the sector.

No, such a criterion does not exist.

7. Commentary

The phenomenon of ‘cross-sectoral bargaining’ is unknown to Polish law. Therefore, only correlating issues such as tripartite social dialogue at the central level and, to some extent, multi-employer bargaining can be taken into account. It is significant that social partners approached for the sake of this study do not seem to have absolutely clear positions on how to interpret the activities they are involved with in the context of ‘cross-sectoral bargaining’. All in all, the system of collective bargaining in Poland is very much decentralised, so the level of negotiations that matters most is located within a company. The only significant exception is the issue of the national minimum wage.

An important aspect of cross-sectoral social dialogue is also the bipartite, autonomous social dialogue designed to implement the outcomes of the European social dialogue. It is conducted on voluntary basis without a clear embedding in the Polish legislation. The examples of such bi-partite negotiations carried out by social partner in Poland include the negotiations on the European Framework Agreement on Telework, European Framework Agreement on Stress at Work, European Framework Agreement on Harassment and Violence at Work and Framework of Actions on Gender Equality. Currently, autonomous negotiations on implementation of the Framework Agreement on Inclusive Labour Markets are being conducted.

Jan Czarzasty and Adam Mrozowicki, The Institute of Public Affairs, Warsaw School of Economics and University of Wroclaw

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