Employment working group final questionnaire on quality jobs

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Overview of Results
PART 1 – DEFINITIONS – What is a quality job?

  1. What are the necessary elements that make up the quality dimension of jobs? (see suggested 10 principles for discussion). Is anything missing?

CZ - The most important are listed.
FR - qu’il y ait de l’emploi. Inutile de parler de qualité de l’emploi, s’il n’y a pas d’emploi

  • un accès à la formation tout au long de la vie permettant de garantir à chacun son "employabilité",

  • une représentation des chômeurs dans le dialogue social, au même titre que les salariés, afin que la spécificité de la problématique du chômage puisse être prise en compte dans les politiques d'emploi,

  • un temps de travail légal non rigide (extension des pratiques de temps choisi)

  • ...

PL - Quality work has many dimensions e.g.

  1. Intrinsic job quality

  2. Skills, lifelong learning and career development

  3. Gender equality

  4. Health and safety at work

  5. Flexibility and security

  6. Inclusion and access to the labour market

  7. Work organisation and work life balance

  8. Social dialogue and workers involvement

  9. Diversity and non-discrimination

  10. Overall economic performance and productivity

That list is from A Taxonomy of European Labour Markets Using Quality Indicators. We could distinguish macro perspective – quality work as a characteristic of given society and economy, and micro perspective – quality work concerning given job environment. In the latter we could list following dimensions:

  1. Material (e.g. noise)

  2. Technical (e.g. characteristics of machines)

  3. Organizational (e.g. working time)

  4. Management and steering of human potential (e.g. earnings system)

  5. Social-living (e.g. benefits, commuting)

  6. Social-ties (e.g. relationships in group)

  7. Economic (e.g. productivity)

  8. Informational (e.g. quantity and quality of information)

  9. Safety (e.g. management of health and safety)

It should be clear that micro-macro and multidimensionality of quality work are recognized and reasonably employed in quality work improvement agenda.
ES - Quality of work: a matter of focus. Happiness is not doing what you want, but wanting what you do.

In short, the idea behind the decent work:
• A wage that allows workers to have a dignified life
• Equal opportunities for development in the job without discrimination
adequate and safe working conditions
unions are permitted
• Freedom of opinion on labor issues
The State should create a social safety net for the sick, the infirm, elderly and pregnant women

UK - The 10 principles are fine. We would emphasize that remuneration is one of the most important elements of whether a job is good. Low pay goes hand in hand with other aspects that make a job unsatisfactory - lack of control, short term, no training, etc. So we should be clear that pay is an important dimension of job quality. However, it should also be noted that many people will trade higher pay for job security, control of the work process, or satisfaction.
DK - The 10 principles plus: the job sphere and structure is clear and well defined, defined responsibility area; influence on own work situation, planning and implementation, responsibility and flexibility; social atmosphere; the job has prestige and social status; The job is in an economic sound sector serving real needs of people; job conditions negotiated and agreed by trade unions, that all agreed social rights are connected to the job, that tax is paid!, respecting gender and ethnic issues.
DE – Nothing missing.
PT – Nothing missing.
FI - combination work & private work you like work which is usefull/ contributes to a greater cause/ goal appreciation (on the workfloor and in the society) perspective (on promotion, on function change, on higher salary ) Good working environment job which strengthens the self esteem good income a voice/ participation within the work floor
GR - Recordind parameters concernig the quality of jobs are complete, in my point of view.

  1. Does your Government already have a definition of quality work?

Yes 1 (BE)

No 8 (CZ, FR, PL, ES, UK, DK, PT, GR)
If yes, please state what it is:
CZ - No. Government has not any definition of quality work. National Reform Programme does not speak about quality work. Quality in many principles is good defined in Labour Codex: duration of contracts; minimum wage; protection; decent working conditions; the possibility for collective bargaining; principles of non-discrimination; access to training and personal development. The principle of reconciliation of private and professional life the government tries to implement by social reforms prepared for 2012 – in frame of supporting babysitters, supporting of different forms of taking care of children, supporting of firm kindergardens, free decision for the lenght of paternal leave within its duration etc.
FR - Dans le Plan National de Réforme français, la qualité de l’emploi est abordée sous le seul angle de la santé au travail. Y est évoqué le plan « Santé au travail 2010-2014 ».
PL - It does not seem that we have in Poland definition of quality work. Of course we have labour code with protective measures, many ILO conventions ratified and EU directives in force, but the problem of quality work is not on the agenda of our government, and there is no definition of it. Adequate work is defined in context of employment offers from PES (see below).
UK - The current Government does not speak about the quality of jobs to any great extent. The previous Government implemented a national minimum wage, improved statutory rights (introduced legal minimum paid holidays for example), right to time off for training, etc. These elements all formed part of an approach to gradually improving job quality. The current Government does not seem to have such an approach.
FI - I asked the Finnish Europe Information Center administrated by the Foreign Ministry about their possible definition of quality work. They forwarded the question and promised to answer asap
BE - The flemish social partners and the Flemish government have a definition: 'Werkbaar werk'. It means 'workable work'. 4 criteria/ questions are crucial for defining and evaluating the job quality (werkbaar werk): 1. Are you motivated by

your job 2. Do you get learning opportunities 3. Are you under problematic stress

because of your job 4. Do you have a good work-life(private) balance

  1. How do the social partners in your country define quality work? (please include a reference if you have one)

CZ - No official definition of quality work by social partners.
FR - L’accord national interprofessionnel du 11 janvier 2008 sur la modernisation du marché du travail donne une indication sur ce qui constitue, pour les partenaires sociaux, l’emploi de qualité :

-Le contrat de travail à durée indéterminée

-Une orientation professionnelle pertinente

-L’encadrement légal des stages

-L’encadrement légal des périodes d’essai

-L’existence d’une gestion prévisionnelle de l’emploi et des compétences

-Le souci du développement des compétences et des qualifications des salariés

-L’accompagnement de la mobilité professionnelle et géographique

Un travail commun aux associations et aux partenaires sociaux a été réalisé en 2007 sur le thème : « L’accès des personnes en situation de précarité à un emploi permettant de vivre dignement ». Il n’est pas sûr que les organisations professionnelles signataires se soient vraiment approprié les préoccupations dont il faisait état.
PL - Tripartite Commission similarly have not discussed that topic yet. And there is no definition of quality work which is supported by social partners. Of course there are many activities of Polish labour unions against wage cuts or for increasing of minimum wage or workers share of corporations wealth, but it is only one of many dimensions of quality work.
UK - The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has not set out a definition of quality work. However, they have stated that they use the ILO definition. They have also carried out extensive work on quality work, including organizing a commission on vulnerable workers:
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the main employers organization, replied:
I’m afraid that I can’t be of that much use, because we don’t actually define job quality; the reason being that we think it is an inherently subjective term, and therefore of little use in public policy terms (what it means to a Polish trade unionist and a small employer in Scotland are very different, as I’m sure you’re finding out!).
At this stage in the economic cycle in particular, we’re rather more concerned with finding any jobs that the economy can generate, and so that is where our focus lies. Lots of the issues that people associate with ‘quality jobs’ – such as training and employee engagement – are of course very important, and we’ll be picking up on them in a report that we’ll be publishing in the autumn aimed at Getting the UK Working.
So, sorry I can’t give you a precise definition – but the absence of one is a deliberate step, if that is of any use to you. Hope that helps!

Kind regards


Guy Bailey

Principal Policy Adviser
Employment and Health & Safety
Centre Point
103 New Oxford Street
London WC1A 1DU

DK - There is no formal definition. The term quality work is not used, only in translated EU texts. However, quality principles are found in agreements between the social partners after collective bargaining regulating the labour market on wage and working conditions and exercising the managerial right of the employers. The Danish labour market is pragmatic. Solutions are found as answers to challenges and the “labour market politicians” are primarily trade union members and shop stewards that are educated and trained in negotiation and finding solutions for their members.
Some of the EAPN principles are also important for the social partners/trade unions: living wages, avoid in-work poverty, high minimum wage, the principle of negotiated labour market, shop steward system, local negotiations, social security protection, decent working conditions, reconciliation of private and professional life, equal pay for equal work, access to training and job satisfaction, notice of changes in the enterprise, involvement of shop stewards in decision marking in the enterprise, democracy on the work place.
The bargaining can take place on national level and on enterprise level as well via rules for shop stewards. In case of disagreement on interpretation of the rules, the cases can be submitted to industrial arbitration and labour court. The Danish trade unions have prioritized job quality as part of the Flexicurity system, not least access to education, training and personal development, work flexibility, reconciliation of private and professional life. There is a law on physical and psychical work environment and regular surveys among staff members. In most enterprises there is a committee for health and safety at work with members from staff and managers looking also at psychical work environment. The Working Environment Authority can order improvement of the working environment as well as advice. Trade unions have consultants to help improve the quality of work.
DE - The Confederation of German Trade Unions developed an “index on good work” (see here: http://www.dgb-index-gute-arbeit.de/). The index measures the quality of work by employees’ judgment. Since 2007 representative surveys are carried out.
PT - It is not given visibility to the issue of Quality Work among social partners. In the websites organisations such as CGTP (Trade Union) and the businesses associations and confederations, third sector organisations, state agencies responsible for labour/employment issues (e.g. The Authority for Labour Conditions) the are no references to this subject nor a definition of this concept. Thus, if these organisations have a definition of quality work they don’t pay a great attention or visibility to this subject.
The only exception to this, was found in UGT (Trade Union) website, that issued a press release in 2007 on Employment and/with quality. This trade union participated in the 1st World Day of Decent Work 2009. For this trade union, quality work (or quality jobs) implies the increase of qualifications and improvement of working conditions. The working conditions are associated to issues such as occupational and health safety, the non violation of labour law and the absence of labour precariousness.

“Quality work must be improved through the increase of qualifications and better working conditions, including occupational and health safety as well as through the combat to law violation and the unsustainable level of precariousness.”

(http://www.ugt.pt/comunicado_26_04_2007.pdf - Empoloyment and/with Quality – Press Release – 26/04/2007))
“In fact, the objective is not only the creation employment, but the creation of quality jobs. Currently, all the countries of the world have a definition for the concept of decent work, but for workers the quality work has many meanings. It can be related with wages, rights, different ways and working conditions as well as many levels of recognition and work fulfilment. It is essential the implementation of policies aimed at jobs’ creation in which the workers rights are respected so they have access to decent wages, working conditions, social protection and to the level of satisfaction that workers seek”. (http://www.ugt.pt/jmtd_mitos1.pdf - Decent jobs, employment
BE - See former question and answer: http://www.serv.be/stichting/page/werkbaarwerk-0
GR - There is no concrete definition about the quality of jobs. Social Partners in their contributions to the National Reform programmes’ procedures, make indirect references to this aspect. F.e • They express their criticism about the continual flexibility in labor market as the result of the enterprise’s behavior in the frame of the current financial crisis. According to this approach, there is a downgrading of job’s quality as enterprises diminish their recruitments, increase layoffs and change constant contracts into part time. • They mention government’s gaps and deficit in the objective of employability of vulnerable groups Their references to the supportive measures in labor market support (there is no mention to the quality of jobs) , are: • New enterprises’ openings simplification procedure • Increase financial liquidity in national market • Better co-ordination between training courses and new needs in labor market • Sanitation and safety in work places • Better organizations for auditing.

  1. Do you have any information on how quality of work is perceived by people experiencing poverty?

CZ - It depends on employers. Mostly the Asian companies do not keep the Czech rules and Law in sence of quality work. Often it is also so, that people are afraid of being unemployed and therefore they suffer and do not fight against their rights.
FR - -Un emploi de qualité, c’est d’abord un emploi

-Un emploi non déprofessionnalisant

-Un emploi compatible avec les contraintes personnelles (un emploi où l’on puisse tenir le coup) et de vie familiale

-Un emploi qui assure un minimum de stabilité

-Un emploi qui rapporte plus qu’il ne coûte (en déplacement, garde d’enfants, rupture de continuité de revenus)
PL - There are several qualitative research in Poland with views of jobs which are available to recipients of social assistance benefits and unemployment benefits. Those jobs are temporary, low paid and without any future career prospects. In the eyes of young people what is available to them after high school or university is very poor quality, sometimes unpaid work in guise of volunteering.
ES - People affected by poverty and without jobs, decent work understood as an adjective comes after the noun work. Many of them still dreaming of the substantive work
UK - A number of reports we have produced have continued the views of people on low income in relation to aspects of quality work. For example our report on young people’s transitions from school made a number of references to the perceptions of low quality work. Also, our living wage campaign gathered some case study material from low paid workers. These are short but highlight some aspects of low quality employment. Here are links:
Young people report http://povertyalliance.org/publications_detail.asp?pubs_id=75

Case studies on low pay http://www.povertyalliance.org.uk/slw-newsinfo-detail.asp?ct_id=63

DK - There is no research about this question. Informal inquiries among people experiencing poverty shows: the normal working conditions, wage according to collective agreement, support to integrating into the work place, respect, consideration for personal needs, a social friendly atmosphere.
DE - But since people experiencing poverty are facing many obstacles on the labour market they might feel more forced than others to accept any job regardless its quality.
PT - Within the Framework of the protocol with the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training we developed 10 sessions with unemployed and guaranteed minimum recipients. By the end of 2011 we are aim to organize one session in each district of the country (a total of 18 sessions).

On average, the sessions had 10 participants, meaning a total of 100 unemployed or minimum income beneficiaries until now. It is worth mentioning the heterogeneity of the participants’ age profile, professional experience, school qualifications and professional sector. This means that these sessions had young /recent graduated people looking for their first job, as well as people who had entered in a situation of unemployment after the 50 years of age and with low school qualifications.

Among other objectives, in these sessions we tried to know the participants’ opinions on subjects related to employment and employability. One of the questions addressed was “I have a job that allows me to have a quality of life when…”

Some of the outputs met the principles identified by EAPN, such as:

EAPN Principles

Groups’ Outputs

The provision of decent / living wages

Descent wage / adequate remuneration for work done by / The salary supports the basic needs and still allows you to have savings / The salary is enough to pay expenses without having problems/ It allows saving for old age/ Having a salary that meet basic expenses/ Compatible remuneration with the work developed;

Duration of the contract (employment security)

Secure jobs / Stability / Long term employment

Assurance of entitlement to full social security protection

The rights of workers are guaranteed / To make social security contributions in order to be entitled to a good retirement pension / Non precarious work / A stable job with the main future guarantees, which means long term employment / Health insurance / Allow meeting basic needs such as basic conditions of healthcare, (...).

EAPN Principles

Groups outputs

Decent working conditions and working environment (including for people with disabilities)

Health and safety at work / Safety and quality work / The company provides conditions so that we can perform the functions/ A fair division of tasks taking in account de abilities and skills of the workers / To have a good working environment / To have a good relationship with the employer / Team work based on a spirit of mutual help.

Assurance of the reconciliation of personal and professional life (including by providing for the possibility of flexible working time)

Flexi time / I have time for myself and to do my things / Reconciling work and social/ personal life / Will allow to meet basic needs such as (…); household; sports/leisure; to have friends/socializing; (…)

The possibility of participating in collective bargaining and social dialogue

Having the right to present my ideas to management (not necessarily to the level of collective bargaining)

The enshrining of the principle of non-discrimination (including closing the gender and ethnic pay gap & fighting discrimination in the workplace).

When equal opportunities exist;

Guaranteed access to training and personal development

Social, Professional and personal development and fulfilment

Career progression opportunities

Social, Professional and individual achievement

Job satisfaction

To work in your field / To do what you like doing/ When you perform a task of your personal taste/ to have self-fulfilment / The workers fill that they are useful, they are a value added / Promoting high self-esteem;

Other results:

Other key points

Groups’ outputs

Recognition of the work and the value by the managers

The officer in charge recognizes and knows how to evaluate de tasks performed / “When they respect me and appreciate my work”

BE - combination work & private work you like work which is usefull/ contributes to a greater cause/ goal getting appreciation for your work (on the workfloor and in the society) having perspective (on promotion, on function change, on education or training, on higher salary ) good working environment job which strengthens the self esteem provides a good income a voice/ participation within the work floor involvement with the employer, the firm durable job (the value of a longterm contract)
GR - I think that people experiencing poverty put forward direct financial contributions or access to their basic needs. Quality of jobs , i think , remain a luxury for most of them.

  1. OPTIONAL QUESTION: Are there any useful elements from international definitions (such as, for instance, the ILO Decent Work agenda) that you think EAPN should use / make the link to?

FR - Rappel : ONU-CEE 2010

  • sécurité et éthique du travail ;

  • revenus et avantages liés au travail ;

  • horaire de travail et conciliation vie professionnelle/vie privée ;

  • sécurité de l’emploi et protection sociale ;

  • dialogue social ;

  • développement des compétences et formation ;

  • relations sur le lieu de travail et motivation au travail.

« Le travail décent, c’est également la possibilité d’accéder à un emploi, une rémunération (en espèces ou en nature) appropriée, la sécurité au travail et des conditions de travail salubres. La sécurité sociale et la sécurité du revenu en sont deux autres éléments essentiels, dont la définition varie en fonction des capacités et du niveau de développement de chaque société. Les deux autres composantes ont principalement trait aux relations sociales des travailleurs : d’une part, leurs

droits fondamentaux (liberté syndicale, non-discrimination au travail, absence de travail forcé et de travail des enfants) ; d’autre part, le dialogue social, grâce auquel ils peuvent exercer leur droit de faire valoir. »

PL – There is a problem of recognition and giving Polish name for quality work. It could be misleading due to Polish language – quality work can be understand as worker high productivity or other desirable characteristics of worker and his activities in work. We have predominant discourses with strong emphasis on poor quality workers or candidates for work, poor quality education, and other opinions pointing at the world out of work as not having sufficient quality. The main problem in Polish public discourse is unemployment or economic inactivity not poor quality work. Polish government strategic documents focus on quality of labour capital not quality of work or jobs.
More popular than quality work is concept of decent work (godna praca) but rather with rare pointing out at ILO agenda. Our one of two main labour union federations NSZZ Solidarność campaigned in 2008 for ‘Decent work for decent pension’.

Visibility of ratified ILO conventions and other international labour and social rights laws in Poland is very low.

Efforts to devise measures of quality work were unnoticed e.g. A Taxonomy of European Labour Markets Using Quality Indicators. To my knowledge I was only one person who promote that approach on my not very popular web page in Polish (April 2010). I know at least one Polish scientific paper on measurement of quality of work environment at enterprise level (micro perspective). It was written in 2008 and I have not heard about trying to implement it in our labour market statistics or elsewhere.
DK - The ethical aspects of work become more important, not least in international companies. European companies should respect human rights globally and be aware of the working conditions in developing countries and respect international standards. In Denmark there has been focus on the au-pair system, that the system it not abused to bring young people from poor countries to working in Denmark more than legal according to the international agreement. Working and accommodation conditions for contract workers from foreign countries is also an important issue.

DE - EAPN should link to existing, international definitions like the ILO Decent Work Agenda – it promotes the right principles.

PT - The articulation with the ILO Decent Work Agenda should be analyzed more thoroughly.
FI – I think the ILO Decent Work agenda includes some useful elements which EAPN should use or make a link to

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