Sidebar Menu

AGREEMENT NUMBER - VS/2020/0101 Expanding and Improving Workplace Democracy as a Prerequisite for Humanising Labour and the Work Environment – DIRECT II



The research will be undertaken in three stages:

  1. Stage 1 will consist of desk research on the links between direct participation and other forms of employee participation and representation, in the context of their direct influence on humanising the work environment, improving skills and workplace welfare, improving work satisfaction and worker motivation, including the impact of new technologies in the six countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain).
  2. Stage 2 will consist of interviews (from 5 to 10) with selected respondents from the social partners and other organisations who may be key stakeholders in employee participation (e.g. national trade union officials, branch officials and shop stewards, employers’ associations, public policy experts etc.).
  3. Stage 3 will consist of case studies of selected companies.

The project will examine direct participation in two business sectors (one services sector and one manufacturing sector) through an agreed survey questionnaire, followed by an agreed number of interviews with management and employee representatives in a number of enterprises operating in these business sectors in the participating EU Member States.  Also a number of workers in some of the enterprises would be interviewed as part of the national case studies.

Only enterprises in which all or a substantial percentage of the workforce is unionised will be investigated, one important aspect of the project will be the attitude and support (or opposition) of trade unions to direct participation.  As direct participation is very often introduced through negotiations, there is evidence that it is enhanced by the presence of trade unions within the enterprise.

National workshops will be held in each of the participating Member States to discuss the provisional findings of the national study with social partner representatives, academics and representatives of the relevant government ministries.  There will be an emphasis on ‘good practice’ examples of the various forms of direct participation as part of the national workshops. Three European Round Tables will be held, following three of the six project Steering Committee meetings to discuss the European dimensions of the research and to compare the data and ‘good practice’ examples.

A final international conference will be held to present and discuss the overall outcomes of the project, to disseminate the key findings, to encourage a broader debate on the benefits of direct participation, as a means of empowering employees to the advantage of both the workforce and the enterprise.