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What are Collective Agreements?

Collective agreements in the European Union (EU) are agreements held by end client and/or employers with trade unions that regulate the terms and conditions of individuals working for the client and site, The elements within these include such details as:

  • Minimum taxable hours rates and wages.
  • Overtime rates.
  • Working hours, and benefits.
  • Rotations.
  • Insurance.
  • Holiday entitlement.
  • Additional benefits. I.e Specific pension contributions.

They are legally binding agreements that establish minimum standards for workers in a given industry or sector.

In the EU, collective agreements can be concluded at different levels:

  • National level: Collective agreements can be concluded between employers’ associations and trade unions at the national level.
  • Sectoral level: Collective agreements can also be concluded at the sectoral level between employer associations and trade unions representing workers in a particular industry or sector.
  • Company level: Collective agreements can also be concluded at the company level between the employer and the trade union representing the workers in the company.

Collective agreements in the EU are governed by EU law, and there are specific rules and procedures that must be followed. For example, under the EU’s Information and Consultation Directive, employers are required to inform and consult with employees or their representatives on matters that affect them, including any proposed changes to working conditions.

Additionally, the EU has established minimum standards for working conditions and workers’ rights, which must be respected by all collective agreements. These include the “Working Time Directive”, which sets maximum weekly working hours and minimum rest periods, and the Equal Treatment Directive, which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.

Overall, collective agreements play an important role in setting minimum standards for workers’ rights and working conditions in the EU. They are legally binding agreements that protect workers’ rights and ensure fair treatment in the workplace.

Feel free to reach out to find out more about how they affect your temporary assignment or placement and for assistance in adopting the relevant Collective Agreement.

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