Given the impact of family responsibilities on women`s incomes, which have already been mentioned, the erosion of the gender pay gap also requires the use of strategies to balance work and family responsibilities. Ultimately, it also requires a more equitable distribution of household chores between men and women to help women gain work experience and career promotion. Paid leave for parents and families, as well as measures to make job security more flexible while combining employment and child care tasks, will be part of this agenda, although experience to date indicates that fathers should also be encouraged to share such arrangements. The extent of labour supply and demand is not defined. The number of people looking for work and demand depends on many factors. On the supply side, the number of people of working age (usually aged 15 to 60) is determined by the size of the region`s population and age structure, regardless of whether people who are thus defined as “fit to work” are seeking employment or not. The number of people of working age is increased directly by permanent, temporary and pendulum migration and by natural demographic trends (fertility and mortality). Comparative studies indicate that employers are willing to accept centralized collective bargaining if it helps them prevent unions from working. Workplace trade unionism, particularly in a craft tradition, reduces the prerogative of managers and may undermine management`s attempts to increase productivity. On the other hand, even industrial unions must be present in the workplace, if only to recruit members, to monitor the implementation of collective agreements and, in general, in the management of the employment relationship and the “wage contract” inherent in the work process. The balance of central and professional representation or external and internal trade union organisation has been and remains one of the main problems of the trade union relationship and the working relationship. Many employment contracts are partly or entirely made up of conditions obtained collectively through bargaining with a union.

Such collective agreements may be incorporated into the employment contract by explicit registration or sub-treated by law. As soon as a union obtains express permission from its members to act on their behalf as an agent, any agreement with the employer is included in each employment contract. For example, in the context of the 1996 ERDF, collective agreements are provided that replace the legal provisions on the right to unfair termination or the right to legal compensation. If the Secretary of State accepts the collective agreement, the terms negotiated between the union and the employers will replace the conditions created and provided for by law.


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