Fabian Demicoli

EU Comm says no to social partner agmnt of hairdressers


In its "Refit –
fit for growth" Communication published on the 2nd of October 2013, the
Commission has blocked the request of the social partners in hairdressing to
transform their agreement on health and safety into law. While not taking a
final decision, the Commission said that it does not intend to address the
issue until 2015 – at the end of a broader review on occupational health and
safety legislation.

The
decision comes after Commissioner Andor gave trade unions assurance on behalf
of President Barroso that the Commission will only decide "on the basis of a
comprehensive and impartial assessment of the agreement".

GRTU
welcomes this decision not to confirm the framework agreement because we are
against health and safety in the hairdressing sector, on the contrary we were
in favour of the objective of the framework agreement and in fact many of our
members already implemented most of what was stated in the framework agreement.
We however felt that the agreement lacked sensitivity to the realities of the
hairdressing sector and this also because it lacked a real representation of
the social partners representing hairdressers. GRTU does not feel that the
situation of health and safety with hairdressers can be solved with a simple
one size fits all solution. In addition to this some aspects related to the
requirement of light intensity and air circulations in the salons were vague
and needed to be further specified.

The
reality with the hairdressing sector, locally at least, is that the share of
unlicensed hairdressers operating is significant. Should a framework agreement
have been adopted the licensed hairdressers would be expected to abide by it
like they do with all other laws. The unlicensed ones would not have been
addressed in the slightest.

GRTU
therefore reiterates that we and our members are in favour of occupational
health and safety also because most of the time this means safeguarding the
health and safety of the business owners themselves, their family members and
that of their employees. Certain sectors however are already carrying the burden
of others enough, further additions are not appreciated.

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