This working paper presents a comparative study on the health and safety conditions workers face in two sectors (construction and PHS/domestic work) and concerning the extent to which workers in these sectors can effectively exercise their social rights concerning OSH. Also, it examines how the main EU acquis on occupational health and safety at work has been transposed and applied and what its impact has been in terms of available power resources for workers in the two sectors. It explains the way the respective Directives foster effective social rights for workers through legislation and collective agreements. The study includes seven EU member states, namely, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Poland, and Ireland. We combine legal analysis with document analysis, semi-structured interviews, and descriptive statistics from national sources.
According to our research, in general terms, the national transposing legislation of the OSH is in conformity with the studied EU OSH Directives. Our research also shows that, in many of the country cases, compliance with the OSH Directives minimum requirements is better in large establishments than in SMEs. However, there are some cases where the national legislation goes beyond the requirements of the EU framework directive. For example, in certain EU Member States domestic workers are included in the definition of ‘worker’ when transposing the Framework Directive, setting a broader personal scope of application than the Directive. But still, the workers in the two sectors face many health and safety problems and lack sufficient power resources to deal with them. Based on our analysis we present a series of policy recommendations that can help to improve this situation and strengthen the power resources of workers in the two sectors.
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