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

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Agreements,
  • Collective bargaining,
  • Social partners,
  • Social dialogue,
  • Employee representation,
  • Industrial relations,
  • Published on: 18 March 2014



About
Country:
United Kingdom
Author:
Sophie Gamwell
Institution:

Peak-level collective bargaining is not a feature of industrial relations in the UK. While there is some limited cross-sectoral bargaining in relation to certain occupational groups in the public sector, these agreements are not conducted by employers’ associations bargaining with trade union confederations. For the most part, collective bargaining in the UK outside the public sector is at company and workplace level. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is the main peak-level bargaining partner in Great Britain. The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and Welsh Trade Union Congress (WTUC) negotiate locally on matters devolved to their respective assemblies, but employment law consultation is dealt with at national level by the TUC. Within Northern Ireland, the Northern Irish Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions is the bargaining partner for all matters devolved to the Northern Irish government, including changes to employment law.

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?

No, In the UK collective bargaining is not conducted at cross-sectoral level by peak-level social partner organisations.

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

Not applicable

If both national and regional/territorial cross-sector collective bargaining is present, please illustrate briefly the relative importance of the two levels.

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

Not applicable

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:

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

Health and Safety Executive

Tripartite

Yes

Yes

Low Pay Commission

Tripartite

Yes

Yes

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service

Tripartite

Yes

Yes

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Tripartite

Yes

Yes

Employment Tribunals

Tripartite

Yes

Yes

Employment Appeals Tribunals

Tripartite

Yes

Yes

Central Arbitration Committee (CAC),

Tripartite

Yes

Yes

Labour Relations Agency

Tripartite

Yes

Representatives from large companies and public sector organisations

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

Members of public bodies were historically appointed by the TUC and CBI within Great Britain, however they are now appointed by open selection in consultation with CBI and TUC. Appointments must be made in line with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies.

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

  • Trades Union Congress (TUC)
  • Northern Ireland Committee, Irish Congress of Trade Unions (NIC-ICTU)
  • Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC)

(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):

  • Trades Union Congress (TUC)
  • Northern Ireland Committee, Irish Congress of Trade Unions (NIC-ICTU)
  • Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC)

In addition to trade union confederations two trade unions are themselves members of Eurocadre: Prospect and Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS). One section of a trade union, the Managerial and Professional Staff Association (MPA) section of Unite, is a member of the European Confederation of Executives and Managerial Staff – CEC. Prospect declined to provide information as they felt that the survey was only relevant to trade union confederations.

(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;

  • Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
  • CEEP UK
  • Federation of Small Business (FSB)
  • Forum of Private Business (FPB)

(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)

  • Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
  • CEEP UK

3a Overview of the Industrial relations landscape in the economy

The United Kingdom includes three main trade union confederations, which are geographically based. In Northern Ireland the Northern Irish Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (NIC-ICTU) is the employee side peak-level social partner organisation. In Great Britain (i.e. England, Wales and Scotland) the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is the peak-level social partner for all matters that are not devolved to parliaments in Wales and Scotland. The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is a formally independent trade union confederation which deals with all matters that are devolved to the Scottish parliament. The Welsh Trades Union Congress (WTUC) is formally a part of the TUC, but following a rules change in 2012 became responsible for matters devolved to the Welsh parliament.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and CEEP UK are the only two peak-level employers’ organisations to have European affiliations; however both the Federation of Small Business and Forum of Private Business act as business representatives in government consultations.

Collective bargaining does not take place at peak level within the United Kingdom. Peak-level social partners are consulted on matters of cross-sectoral significance. They also play a role in selecting board members for some statutory bodies which play a significant role at cross-sectoral level.

In addition to the peak-level social partners there are trade unions which are directly affiliated with EU-level organisations such as Prospect, Public, Commercial and Service Union (PCS) and the Managerial and Professional Staff Association (MPA) section of Unite. As with all UK trade unions they may be consulted on matters of cross-sectoral significance, asked to respond to public consultations and through their membership of the TUC, STUC, WTUC or NIC-ICTU invited to play a part in the appointment of members to the aforementioned boards. They also collectively bargain on behalf of their members.

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

Table 2: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Trades Union Congress (TUC)

The union confederation’s domain

UK and members of UK-based unions

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?

The TUC covers England, Scotland and Wales

General information on the union confederation

Is the union confederation directly or indirectly (via its member unions) 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?

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

Unilaterally

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?

53

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

6 million in total (Not able to break membership down into members in employment or not in employment)

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

26%

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

ITUC and ETUC

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

ETUC

Table 3: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Professional and Managerial Trades Union Congress (P&M TUC)

The union confederation’s domain

UK and members of UK-based unions

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?

The TUC covers England, Scotland and Wales

General information on the union confederation

Is the union confederation directly or indirectly (via its member unions) 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?

Occupational

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

National

If No. Is the union confederation engaged in cross-sector collective employment regulation (see briefing note for explanation)?

 

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

Unilaterally

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?

53

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

6 million in total (Not able to break membership down into members in employment or not in employment)

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

26.1% for managers

34.7% for supervisors or foremen

10.4% for professional and administrative staff

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

Eurocadre

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

Eurocadre

Table 4: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Northern Ireland Committee Irish Congress of Trade Unions Northern Ireland (NIC-ICTU)

The union confederation’s domain

Northern Ireland

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?

Northern Ireland and not England, Scotland or Wales.

General information on the union confederation

Is the union confederation directly or indirectly (via its member unions) 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?

Inter-sector/Occupational

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

National as defined by Northern Ireland

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

Yes

Type of membership

Mixed form

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

Yes

If Yes, how is the consultation carried out…

Unilateral and bi-lateral with First and Deputy First Minister and other Ministers

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?

Approx. 25

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

215,000

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

34–36%

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

ICTU is affiliated to the ITUC and ETUC

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

ETUC

Source of information

Asst General Secretary ICTU

Table 5: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Scottish Trades Union Congress (TUC)

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

Yes: the STUC represents around 635,000 members working in public, private and voluntary sectors; in all occupations and at every level of employment

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

Yes: see above.

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: although clearly union density is higher in the public sector and in larger private sector organisations. The UK’s regulatory framework does allow inward investors to avoid union organisation relatively easily.

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

Yes: it is worth noting that there is particularly strong local TU organisation in fragile, remote economies such as Caithness and the Western Isles. This is at least partially attributable to the greater prominence of public sector employment in these areas.

General information on the union confederation

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

Yes, indirectly

As with the rest of the UK there is no formal cross-sectoral collective bargaining arrangement. Collective bargaining in Scotland is decentralised and uncoordinated. However, in the public sector the STUC plays (informally and irregularly) a coordinating role in issues around public sector pay, pensions and terms and conditions. This has led to, for example, agreement on a staffing protocol for PPPs http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/briefings/pppprotocol.html

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?

See above

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

Any agreements on public sector pay, pensions, terms and conditions will apply to all regions of Scotland. However, it is important to note that there are many public sector jobs in Scotland (HMRC, DWP, etc.) that remain the responsibility of the UK Government. Any STUC/Scottish Government agreements would apply only to the devolved public sector.

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

No

Important to note that the Scottish Government has no responsibility for employment regulation which is a responsibility reserved to the UK Government.

Type of membership

Voluntary

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

Yes

If Yes, how is the consultation carried out?

Unilaterally (generally, although nascent, weak tripartite structures are emerging in Scotland – e.g. the National Economic Forum – these have no locus over collective bargaining)

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

… on a regular basis

The STUC would expect to be involved by the Scottish Government in any issue pertaining to economic development in Scotland

Members

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

36 trades unions and 20 local Trades Union Councils are currently affiliated to the STUC (2012)

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

For STUC Congress year 2012/2013 (from April to March) 632,253 trade union members are affiliated to the STUC. All are affiliated on the same financial basis so no records are kept of unemployed or retired members. Assumption is that overwhelming majority are active, working trade union members

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

Trade union density in Scotland is 30% (2011 figures) http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/t/12-p77-trade-union-membership-2011.pdf

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

The STUC does not affiliate to international organisations. The STUC is entirely independent of the UK TUC however the majority of its affiliated trade unions are members of both TU centres. Therefore the assumption is that the UK TUC is the proper UK body to affiliate internationally.

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

As above

Source of information

Assistant Secretary, STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow G3 6NG

Table 6: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Public and commercial services union (PCS)

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

No, PCS is a trade union and not a union confederation. The union’s membership comes from the civil service (90% of the union's members), commercial sector – mainly privatised organisations providing central government services.

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

No, PCS is a trade union and not a union confederation. The union covers a wide range of occupations, mostly white-collar. Other workers include security guards, police community support officers, and some cleaners.

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.)?

No, PCS is a trade union and not a union confederation. Membership is located within the civil service and commercial sectors.

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, but the main employer, the civil service, has recently become very reluctant to negotiate at a national level

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?

Civil service

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?

National

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

No

Information not available

Type of membership

Information not available

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

Yes, however the main employer, the civil service, has recently become very reluctant to negotiate at a national level.

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Within established bipartite structures. When consultation happens, it is carried out by senior civil servants, consulting the committee representing all unions in the civil service.

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

… on an ad-hoc basis, if at all

Members

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

n/a

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

PCS union has around 270,000 members. It is not possible to get a breakdown of the number of the union’s professional and managerial members.

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

No figure available

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

Eurocadre

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

Eurocadre

Source of information

Research Officer

Legal, Equality, Education and Policy Support (LEEPS)

PCS

160 Falcon Road

SW11 2LN

Table 7: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Managerial and Professional Staff Association (MPA)

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

No – Mainly Coal mining/ Engineering/Science and Managerial in local sector services, though the MPA is a part of Unite who do cover the whole economy.

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

No: Managers and professionals only, though the MPA is a part of Unite who do cover the whole economy.

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, indirectly – in most cases there is negotiations – but there is strong representation.

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/Occupational

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

National

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

Information not available

Type of membership

Voluntary

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

No

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

Information not available

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

Information not available

Members

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

Not applicable, MPA is a section of a trade union and not a trade union confederation.

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

MPA is a section of Unite rather than a union confederation. Administrative issues arising from the merger between T&GW with Amicus to create Unite mean that membership figures are not available.

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

No figures available.

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

Unite The Union and CIC

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

CEC and FECCIA

Source of information

MPA c/o AMPS

Merchants Quay, Salford Quays,

Salford

M50 3SG

Table 8: Trade union confederation fact sheet: Prospect

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

No

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

No

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.)?

No

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?

To some limited extent for some groups of professional and technical workers

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/Occupational

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

National

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

No

Type of membership

Voluntary

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

It responds to some public consultations on matters of cross-sectoral significance

Members

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

Not applicable, Prospect is a trade union and not a trade union confederation.

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

Figures not available

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

No figures available

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the union confederation affiliated?

Eurocadres

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

Eurocadres

Source of information

Prospect website

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

Table 9: Employer organisation fact sheet: Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

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

The CBI primarily covers the private sector, including some organisations that do work on behalf of the public sector.

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.)?

The CBI does not cover organisations that are in public ownership; however it does cover organisations that provide services on behalf of the public sector.

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

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?

Not applicable

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

Not applicable

If No. Is the employer organisation involved in cross-sector collective employment regulation (see briefing note for explanation)?

Yes

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…

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

Companies

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

240,000

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

One-third of the Commission’s private sector workforce.

Current UK private sector workforce is 23 million

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

33% of private sector

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

IoE, BIAC

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

BUSINESSEUROPE

Source of information

Chief of Staff, CBI

Table 10: Employer organisation fact sheet: CEEP UK

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

No: Public Sector and providers of public services

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: Public sector organisations and those private sector organisations involved in public service.

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 and 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?

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

Subscription based Association of Employers

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 although varies within the membership

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

All the above

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

22

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

CEEP UK members employ either directly or indirectly just over 5m people (estimate). This is about 17.25% of the total UK workforce according to ONS data.

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

About 90% of the public sector (estimate)

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

About 90% of the public sector workforce (estimate)

Affiliations

 

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

CEEP

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

CEEP

Table 11: Employer organisation fact sheet: Federation of Small Business (FSB)

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: FSB represents small and medium-sized enterprises with up to 250 employees. Members are most likely to be in the micro category with fewer than 10 employees. The sectors covers are small private companies, small charities, small exporting businesses, and small domestic companies.

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, this is not a tradition in the UK.

Type of membership

Voluntary

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

FSB is consulted and asked to submit views in relation to a range of areas of cross-sectoral significance. We are asked to submit views and evidence to the Health and Safety executive, the Department for Education, the Department for Business. We respond to consultations on matters such as to the Low Pay Commission. In addition we sit on the Home Office Business Advisory Panel which gives advice to Home Office and Ministers about the impact on the business community of a variety of Home Office policies.

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… (multiple responses are possible)

Companies

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

200,000 [2012].

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

1,120,000 [2011].

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

200,000 companies on a total of 4.5 million SMEs in the UK.

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

1,120,000 employees on a total of 10 million employees employed by small businesses nationally.

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

None

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

European Small Business Alliance

Table 12: Employer organisation fact sheet: Forum of Private Business (FPB)

The employer organisation’s domain

Businesses with 1–250 employees in the UK.

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

Yes FPB covers small employers in any sector of the UK economy.

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, FPB deals with micro, small and medium-sized employers in the UK irrespective of type of business and members include charities, sole traders and UK offices of foreign business..

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

No, historically FPB have not recruited in Northern Ireland.

General information on the organisation

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

No

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?

Not applicable

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

Not applicable

If No. Is the employer organisation involved in cross-sector collective employment regulation

FPB responds to government consultations on behalf of members and has been asked to sit on government panels as an employer representative.

Type of membership

Voluntary

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

FPB responds to government consultations on behalf of members and has been asked to sit on government panels as an employer representative

If Yes. Is the consultation carried out…

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)?

18,000

How many employees work in these member companies in total?

Not known precisely – membership tiers are based on employees for insurance reasons so it is in the interest of the organisation to under-report. Total size is estimated at between 150,000 and 200,000

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

18,000 out of 1.2 million employers.

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

Total of 175,000 out of 10 million employed in this sector

Affiliations

To which international organisations is the employer organisation affiliated?

UEAPME – no longer formalised

Informal links with CBI at European level

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

UEAPME – no longer formalised

Informal links with CBI at European level

4. Inter-associational relationships

4a Inter-union relationships

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

NIC-ICTU and TUC both engage with trade unions that have a presence in Northern Ireland. The Scottish TUC and the TUC both have a presence in Scotland.

Prospect, Public, Commercial and Service Union (PCS) and the Managerial and Professional Staff Association (MPA) section of Unite are all members of the TUC and STUC. Unite is a member of ICTU.

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, however the unusual circumstances in relation to Northern Ireland can mean that negotiating the implementation of EU directives is more complex. The transposition of the Agency Worker Directive in Northern Ireland provides an example of one area in which there was confusion about the appropriate peak-level organisation with which to agree derogation. It was agreed with the TUC for the whole of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland enjoys devolved powers in relation to employment law and there was a debate over whether NIC-ICTU was the appropriate negotiating partner.

In Scotland and Wales the TUC is the negotiating partner for all matters that are conducted at the UK parliament in Westminster. Any matters that are devolved to the Scottish or Welsh assemblies are negotiated by the STUC and WTUC respectively. These may be matters of cross-sectoral significance.

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

No

4b Inter-employer association relationships

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

  • Confederation of British Industry
  • Forum of Private Business
  • Federation of Small Business

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?

Not to any significant extent. The Confederation of British Industry is the primary peak-level social partner for the private sector in the UK.

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

No

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

Collective bargaining does not occur at peak level within the UK

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).

The Labour Force Survey reports that collective bargaining coverage was at 31.2% for the fourth quarter of 2011. This data source may underestimate collective bargaining coverage as it relies on the reporting of collective bargaining by employees who may be unaware of its impact on their terms and conditions.

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).

Exclusion from the right to collectively bargain is complex in the UK. There are groups of workers such as teachers and prison officers who are formally excluded from this right. Nonetheless they are highly unionised and their pay is agreed though a pay review body who take account of the views of employers and trade unions. According to the Office of Manpower Economics ( OME) 2.5 million public sector workers were covered by pay review bodies.

For some staff groups, such as teachers and NHS staff, pay review bodies are supplemented by collective bargaining over terms and conditions of employment. In other areas, such as the judiciary, police force and armed forces, these matters are decided by review bodies rather than collective bargaining.

In practice individuals covered by pay review bodies are likely to understand that the terms of their employment are collectively agreed and therefore it is best to include these groups in the overall collective bargaining figures. As such the appropriate figure is 32.2% for the fourth quarter of 2011.

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;0%
  • 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).None

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

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?

Not applicable

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.

No, because trade union confederations do not engage with collective bargaining in the UK

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.

No

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

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.

No, because peak-level employers’ organisations do not engage with cross-sector collective bargaining in the UK

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.

No

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

7. Commentary

Within the UK collective bargaining does not occur at peak level between employers’ organisations and trade union confederations. Whilst there is some cross-sectoral occupational collective bargaining in the UK public sector between individual unions and employers’ associations, these agreements are not conducted at peak level.

In line with the UK’s voluntarist tradition collective bargaining is highly decentralised in the private sector and most occurs at the company or workplace level. Within the public sector there is currently centralised collective bargaining and heavy reliance on pay review bodies; however there is pressure to decentralise as the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government seeks to implement regional pay awards.

The Northern Ireland jurisdiction remains complex, with devolved powers over employment law. NIC-ICTU is the employee-side bargaining partner for this part of the United Kingdom; however there have been some challenges in ensuring consultation with both the TUC and NIC-ICTU where the whole of the UK is affected by proposed changes in employment law.

In Scotland and Wales powers that are devolved to their respective assemblies are the subject of consultation with the STUC and WTUC respectively, but employment law consultation is dealt with at national level by the TUC.

Sophie Gamwell, Industrial Relations Research Unit, University of Warwick

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