This framework agreement on harassment and violence at the workplace was negotiated in 2006 between the European social partners. On 26 April 2007, in the presence of Commissioner Spidla, the secretaries general of ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME and CEEP officially signed the autonomous framework agreement. The text commits the members of the signatory parties to combat all unacceptable behaviour that can lead to harassment and violence at the workplace.

Content of the ETUC-UNICE/UEAPME-CEEP Agreement on violence at work

1. Introduction

Building on EU and national law, European social partners condemn all forms of harassment and violence at the work place, whether physical, psychological and/or sexual; be they one-off incidents or more systematic patterns of behaviour; be they amongst colleagues, between superiors and subordinates or perpetrated by third parties; ranking from minor cases of disrespect to more serious acts.

2. Aim

  • To increase the awareness and understanding of employers, workers and their representatives

  • To provide an action-oriented framework to identify, prevent and manage problems of harassment and violence at work.

3. Description

Unacceptable behaviour by one or more individuals at work. It may be carried out by one or more managers or workers, with the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity, affecting his/her health and /or creating a hostile work environment

4. Prevention , identification, management

  • Raising awareness and appropriate training

  • Enterprises need to have a clear statement and specify procedures

  • Elaborated, reviewed and monitored in consultation with workers and/or their representatives; where appropriate applied to cases of external violence.

5. Implementation

  • Implementation in accordance with the procedures and practices specific to management and labour in the Member States and candidate countries within 3 years of the date of signature

  • Annual Report to the Social Dialogue Committee for adoption

  • Review possible after 5 years, at the request of one of the parties

  • Joint or separate refer interpretation by the signatory parties, by request

  • Avoid unnecessary burdens on SMEs

  • Non-regression clause; More favourable clause