On Tuesday 5 September, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a contribution by the European Social Fund Plus of the European Union Cohesion Policy to enhance the capacity of the social dialogue partners – the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia and the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia. Better involvement of social partner organisations in reform and policy-making processes will promote high-quality employment in sectors, collective bargaining of employers’ and employees’ organisations, responsibility at company, sectoral and national level, improve governance and promote labour market development.
In order to ensure efficient involvement of the social partners in future policy processes, including national tripartite social dialogue and collective bargaining, the partners’ capacity needs to be improved. The government’s aid for better social dialogue focuses on the following three directions: strengthening the capacity of the social partners themselves, developing the social dialogue and wider collective bargaining between employers' and employees' organisations.
The social partners will have the opportunity to participate more actively and also organise the development of skills and knowledge, as well as to attract experts and carry out research in order to better engage with the acquired competences in dialogue processes with policy planners and decision-makers.
Support for research and analysis is also envisaged to identify the changes required to the legal framework to facilitate collective bargaining between employers’ and employees’ organisations. The social partners are currently facing a downward trend in the number of collective agreements, which requires additional capacity to identify the causes and seek solutions.
Social dialogue is a public participation process that aims to strengthen democracy, including various forms of discussion and consultation and exchange of information between the government, employers’ and employees’ representatives on issues of common interest to all three parties, particularly in the field of economic and social policy.
The Free Trade Union of Latvia, operating under the Trade Union Law and the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia, which operates in accordance with the Law on Employers’ Organizations and their Associations, are the social partners within the framework of the tripartite social dialogue of Latvia.
The funding to strengthen the social partners’ capacity is attracted through Specific Support Objective 4.3.4 of the European Union Cohesion Policy Programme 2021-2027 Promoting Active Inclusion in Order to Promote Equal Opportunities, Non-discrimination and Active participation, as well as to Improve Employability, in Particular for Disadvantaged Groups, Activity 22.214.171.124. Development of Social Dialogue by Strengthening the Capacity of Social Partners to Participate in Legislative, National Reform and Collective Bargaining Processes.