BAWEU - Business and welfare. Preferences and collective action in Europe
2020 - 2022
At the core of the EU strategy there is the goal to foster a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Within this strategy, there is a strong link between supporting social dialogue, sustaining social integration and making the EU economy more knowledge-based, competitive and innovative.
The action focuses on the interplay between these three dimensions (social dialogue, social integration and competitiveness) by looking at the role of employers’ associations and employers’ preferences and actions toward social protection. Social protection is at the same time a source of costs for companies (due to taxation and social contributions) and a valuable asset in order to be competitive and innovative: it can foster the supply of ready-to-work and skilled workers (updating their skills, helping reconciling work and family life, etc.).
Through a mix-method approach (a quantitative survey-based study and qualitative interviews and documents’ collection and analysis), the action will focus on how in five different European countries and at the EU level employers and employers’ associations develop their preferences and interact among each other and with trade unions and institutions in relation to core welfare policies, such as pensions, VET policies, active and passive labour market policies and family policies.
These results of the project will have a multiple dissemination: a comparative report will be sent to the European foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions (the results will highlights issues on living and working conditions together with issues on social dialogue); the national reports will be sent and discussed with national social partners and governments ‘members to address the social dialogue debate on welfare employers ’actions and to give some policy advice; some policy briefs will be sent to international and national newspapers and some papers will be submitted to international scientific reviews to enter in the academic debate.
The general aim of the project is to analyse a crucial theme of the social dialogue: employers’ welfare preferences and their political action on this issue (interactions with trade unions and governments). The project has three specific objectives:
1- To better understand how homogenous or differentiated business’ preferences toward social policies are changing in a post-industrial and global economy
2- To better understand how the role of employers’ associations is evolving in expressing and representing employers’ preferences
3- To influence the debate on welfare preferences and social dialogue
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