Micro and small companies constitute the backbone of private business in Europe, accounting for nearly 99% of all enterprises, more than half of total employment in the private sector and an even greater proportion of new jobs. Despite their crucial place in the economy, there has been little research on micro and small companies, particularly in terms of the implementation of fundamental workers’ rights – such as health and safety at work – and the positive role of social dialogue in striving for good working conditions and industrial relations. Given this knowledge gap, Eurofound undertook a research project aimed at investigating industrial relations and social dialogue in micro and small companies. The research was based on various information sources, including a review of Eurofound’s earlier research and other literature on the topic, a comparative evaluation of contributions from 28 national correspondents and 10 case studies of good practice in micro and small companies in five countries.
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