In 2023, the EU social partners – employers and trade unions organisations – in Personal and Household Services (PHS) – UNI Europa, EFFAT, EFFE and EFSI – launched their two-year EU co-financed project ‘PHSDialogue’.
PHS has been defined by the European Commission as “a broad range of activities that contribute to well-being at home of families and individuals: childcare (CC), long term care (LTC) for the elderly and for persons with disabilities, cleaning, remedial classes, home repairs, gardening, ICT support, etc”.
The project aims to build an EU Social Dialogue and strengthen social partners’ capacity and collective bargaining.
The COVID-19 pandemic underlined the structural weakness of EU Member States’ care systems as well as the essential role of care workers. Despite policymakers’ efforts to address these weaknesses and recognise care work, many challenges persist, chief among them low collective bargaining coverage, lack of trade union and employer representation.
This is crucial as Eurofound’s Industrial Relations landscape report acknowledged that Personal and Household (PHS) activities form an increasingly important part of the human health and social services. Meanwhile, the EU Care Strategy emphasised a shift to homecare services provision and different services provision models, which needs to go hand in hand with the creating an equal playing field and fair competition for all.
The project engages in numerous activities, including:
- Map the key players in the PHS sectors
- Publish a Collective Bargaining & Social Dialogue report
- Create a PHS Employment Monitor
- Organise Social Dialogue meetings
- Establish Sectoral Observatories at the national level
- Organise workshops for unions
- Capacity-building workshops for employers organisations
The project is part of the commitment enshrined in the PHS social dialogue work programme for 2023/2024, and will be followed up with another project.
The Project Consortium
UNI-Europa is the European Trade Union Federation for 7 million service workers. It speaks for the sectors that constitute the backbone of economic and social life in Europe. Headquartered in the heart of Brussels, UNI Europa represents 272 national trade unions in 50 countries, including: Commerce, Banking Insurance and Central Banks, Gaming, Graphical and Packaging, Hair and Beauty, Information and Communication Technology Services, Media, Entertainment and Arts, Postal Services and Logistics, Private Care and Social Insurance, Industrial Cleaning and Private Security, Professional Sport and Leisure, Professionals/Managers and Temporary Agency Workers.
EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture, and Tourism Trade Unions, also representing domestic workers. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 116 national trade unions from 37 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 25 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations, and transnational companies.
EFFE, the European Federation for Family Employment & Homecare, represents the interests of national stakeholders operating in the field of direct employment. This model is characterised by a contractual work relationship between two private individuals, without any trading or profit-making objective.
EFSI, the European Federation for Services to Individuals, is the voice of the Personal and Household Services industry at European level, representing national associations, employers’ organisations, PHS providers and companies involved in the development of personal and household services, and currently operating in 21 EU Member States.
For more information see:
- UNI Europa, EFFAT, EFFE and EFSI Joint Statement on Eurofund’s Industrial Relations Landscape Report
- UNI Europa, EFFAT, EFFE and EFSI Joint Statement on the European Care Strategy