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Ever since its inception, social dialogue in the personal services (hairdressing and beauty care) sector has been very pragmatic, aimed at achieving better service quality and brand image, but also at improving working conditions in hairdressing salons, workers’ training, and health and safety provisions.



The desire for reciprocal commitments, both between the European social partners and towards the national social partners, is a more distinctive feature of this social dialogue than is lobbying the Community institutions. Although the revision of the “cosmetics” directive gave the European social partners an opportunity to have their voice heard by the Commission, it was ultimately by negotiating a framework agreement among themselves that they drew up and publicised their own Europe-wide health and safety standards (having been ignored by the Commission).


Social dialogue in the hairdressing sector is a very proactive and pragmatic affair. Future priorities include an analysis of the representative status of the various social dialogue players in the personal services sector, both at European level and in each of the Member States. Finally, it should be pointed out that social dialogue in this sector is also geared to better incorporating the beauty care sector, and that it has engaged in cross-sectoral cooperation with the chemicals sector on the revision of the “cosmetics” directive. Some joint seminars have been held to discuss the matter.

ETUI and Observatoire Social Européen (2010) European Sectoral Social Dialogue Factsheets. Project coordinated by Christophe Degryse, online publication available at www.worker-participation.eu/EU-Social-Dialogue/Sectoral-ESD