This section covers six key issues, which together provide an overview of industrial relations in the country concerned:

  • trade unions - the key, and in some countries the only, organisations representing employees, with structures reaching from individual workplaces to national level;
  • collective bargaining - the main way in which workers, almost always through their unions, are able to influence their pay and many aspects of their working conditions;
  • workplace representation - the structures at workplace level, such as local trade union organisations and works councils, which take up the concerns of the workforce with the employer;
  • board-level employee representation - the mechanism through which, in some but not all countries, workers can have an influence on the strategic direction of the companies that employee them;
  • health and safety representation - the workplace level bodies that employers must inform and consult on health and safety matters; and
  • representation at European level - the link to representation in European Works Councils (EWCs) and similar bodies in companies operating across Europe.

While the website provides an overview of the collective aspects of national industrial relations, indicating both the similarities and the differences between individual countries, it does not cover individual employment rights such as rules on working time or protection against dismissal. However, the specific rights of employee representatives are covered.

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