In July 2023, the European social partners in Personal and Household Services (PHS) – EFFAT, EFFE, EFSI, and UNI Europa, launched their two-year EU co-financed project PHSDialogue, funded according to the call for proposals “Support for Social Dialogue”. The project aims to lay the foundation for an EU sectoral social dialogue and to strengthen collective bargaining capacity at the national level.

The employers and trade unions in Personal and Household Services (PHS) have sealed their commitment towards increased recognition for the PHS sector. Employing almost 5% of the entire EU workforce, the sector aims to reach mutual recognition in terms of industrial relationships, potentially as social partners according to the definition provided by the Treaties. This project aims to strengthen social dialogue in line with the Commission’s Communication and in accordance with the Council Recommendation adopted by the EPSCO Council on 12 June 2023. The consortium would support a stronger collective bargaining at the national level in line with the EU’s Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages and Collective Bargaining.

The central activities of the project include intelligence gathering on trade unions, employers’ organisations, industry organisations and migrant worker organisations active in the PHS sectors. Through a mapping exercise and surveys, project partners will investigate the collective bargaining and working conditions. This will lead to the finalization of: 

  • a collective bargaining and social dialogue report,  
  • a PHS Employment Monitor.  

In addition, the setting up of four national observatories will strengthen employers’ and unions’ ambitions to collectively bargain and set sectoral standards. In doing so, the project partners aim to feed into the European Care Strategy, contribute to the European Commission’s goal of raising collective bargaining coverage across Member States, and meet the social and employment challenges related to undeclared work and the rise of online platforms.   

Early November, the project held its first working meeting during which a representative of the European Commission, from the social dialogue unit, presented in depth the objectives of the Commission Communication on strengthening social dialogue in the European Union. Subsequently, the discussion shifted to the exchange of good practices in collective bargaining and social dialogue by the Italian representatives of the four organizations. First, the member of ASSINDATCOLF, from EFFE side, shed light on the history of the Italian collective agreement, followed by the presentation of the current state of play and challenges to tackle by DOMINA. Later, the trade unions from UNI Europa and EFFAT contributed to the discussion by agreeing on the need to adopt strategies to tackle undeclared work.

A first online webinar is planned on the morning of 29 January 2024 and will tackle the issue of “Professionalisation of PHS workforce and services” – Good Practices and Challenges ahead for Social Partners. The workshop is organized in the framework of the joint EU-funded project. Anyone interested is invited to contact EFSI’s Secretariat at