Once the economy recovers from the harmful effects of the crisis, GDP is expected to rise
again, at which point we are going to be facing a lack of workforce for lowest-paying jobs.
Also occurring will be migrations of highly educated, specialized workforce. In these
circumstances, employee participation in managing the businesses could become
important in managing the human resources and companies in general.
This thesis addresses the broad field of employee participation in general, and in-depth in
the cases of three European countries: Sweden, Spain and Slovenia. Deployed were
analytical, descriptive, and comparative methods, and the method of compilation. The
research part of the thesis focuses on evaluation of data gathered from secondary
sources, notably the Eurofonds surveys which are interpreted with regard to differing
features of the systems in selected countries. Throughout the research, it was found that
the operational success of a given system of employee participation is connected to the
level of education of the employees. It was also found that there is a high degree of
cooperation between management and employee representatives in Sweden and
Slovenia, while Spain shows some deficiencies in this area. It is concluded that there is no
need to predetermine the specific, exact framework in the legislation on employee
participation in order enact it. By analyzing the three state systems elements and features
were identified that could potentially improve the Slovenian employee participation
system. Slovenian unions could follow the example of their Swedish counterparts and
their practices which seek broader alliances between different unions in order to
empower them. In this way, unions gain reputation and see their memberships rise.
Management could approach the works councils with more will to cooperate. The
Slovenian system lacks regulation on employee-owned companies. This is where the
Spanish employee-owned companies, sociedades laborales, present a great example that
could be implemented in companies which face financial difficulties or, in some cases, in
public companies in which the state or local government wishes to sell their share.