In order to measure the extent of worker participation in different European countries researchers at the ETUI have developed the EPI (European Participation Index). This is a composite index which summarizes both formal rights and the extent of participation on three levels: in the board, at the establishment level and through collective bargaining.
The original EPI was developed for the 2009 Benchmarking Working Europe report (published by the ETUI and ETUC). In 2010 an updated version, the EPI 2.0, was developed. The EPI 2.0 consists of three equally weighted components:
Board-level participation – measures the strength of legal rights in each country for employee representation in the company's highest decision-making body. This classification was developed by the SEEurope network of ETUI and classifies countries in three groups: ‘widespread participation rights’, ‘limited participation rights’ and ‘no (or very limited) participation rights’
Establishment-level participation – measures the strength of worker participation at the plant level. This is based on an analysis of Eurofound’s 2009 European Company Survey, which includes data on the presence or absence of formal employee representation in more than 27,000 companies in the EU27 and other European countries.
Collective bargaining participation – measures union influence on company industrial-relations policies, including an average of i) union density (i.e. percentage of workforce belonging to unions) and ii) collective bargaining coverage (i.e. percentage of the workforce covered by collective agreements).
The European Participation Index (EPI): A Tool for Cross-National Quantitative ComparisonBackground paper Sigurt Vitols
Worker participation in company decision making has two objectives:
to make social rights effective in order to strengthen democracy and social understanding;
to help companies achieve economic competitiveness and ecological sustainability