Governance and Tripartism Department

A comparative overview of drivers and outcomes of labour law and industrial relations reforms in selected Central and Eastern European countries

This report seeks to provide a comparative overview of the policy goals and rationale which led to the reform of labour law and industrial relations systems, and the outcomes of these changes in law and practice, in selected CEE countries. It also aims to outline trends and developments in labour law and industrial relations policy in the sub-region.

National independent consultants from twelve CEE countries— Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herezegovina (BiH), Hungary, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia), Montenegro, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine—collected the data analysed in this report, using two sets of
questionnaires developed through a cooperative effort with the ILO Decent Work Team/Country Office (DWT/CO) Budapest and the INWORK and GOVERNANCE departments at ILO Geneva. This data is currently organized in a sub-regional legal database called CEELex.
CEELex was developed to provide the world of work with a data platform to support informed policymaking in the realm of labour and industrial relations.
The database classification structure comprises binary (yes or no), textual, and numerical data, including summaries of quotes from specific paragraphs of laws and regulations. National researchers reviewed primary and secondary legislation, collective agreements at the national and sectorial levels, and available statistical and administrative data.
There were considerable challenges in gathering the statistical information, ranging from a lack of data to the scarcity of reliable sources. The first validation of the collected data took place in a sub-regional tripartite workshop held in December 2015.
This report also draws on national discussions of a selected number of topics, and on the conclusions drawn during the 2017 meeting of the CEELex consultants. It is structured to capture the most debatable subjects that have arisen in national consultations and negotiations on labour law and industrial relations reforms in the sub-region in the last five years.