EU Commission mocks agreement to improve health & safety of hairdressers

Monday 16 November 2015

In a recent “explanatory” publication on better regulation, the Commission openly mocks the ongoing efforts of social partners to implement a European Framework Agreement on health and safety in the hairdressing sector.

In the publication, the Commission repeats its mantra of “The EU must not be big on small things” alongside with two images, one of them being a hairdresser cutting hair and a pair of high-heeled shoes – crossed out.

The social partners in the hairdressing sector, Coiffure EU and UNI Europa are surprised by this display of mockery of their ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of European workers in the hairdressing sector. Needless to say, these images belittle the serious health and safety risks faced by the workers in the sector, who are mostly female.

Irrespective of the fact that the graphic in the publication is incorrect (the agreement does not mention high-heeled shoes), it’s extremely worrying that the Commission puts into question its own ongoing legislative process.

Coiffure EU and UNI Europa fail to see how the protection of workers from work-related diseases, such as breast cancer, can be interpreted as a “small thing,” not worthy of the Commission’s attention.

Furthermore, the publication calls into question the Commission’s commitment to the promise it made last March, namely to relaunch the social dialogue and give it priority.

Therefore, UNI Europa and Coiffure EU have sent a joint letter on 16 November to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen requesting clarification over the European Commission’s Better Regulation and Transparency publication. We too have requested that they officially retract the graphic on hairdressers in the publication.

Read the full letter here

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