National Industrial Relations

National industrial relations - what are they?

This part of the website, which covers national industrial relations, looks at the way that employers and workers, and their representatives, interact with one another within a single country.

Across Europe

Although each country has different characteristics, resulting from their different experiences, there are also common trends. This section summarises the situation across Europe in six key areas.


This section covers six key issues, which together provide an overview of industrial relations in the country concerned: trade unions; collective bargaining; workplace representation; board-level employee representation; health and safety representation; and representation at European level. 

Quick comparisons - National industrial relations

This tool allows you to compare countries, for example with regard to their national systems of trade unions, collective bargaining and workplace representation.

A bit of history

Industrial relations have undergone major changes in recent decades. Since 2004, 13 states have joined the EU, often making major changes in their industrial relations systems to do so. The 2008 financial crisis produced another major shift in the countries most affected, and this process is ongoing.