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Current activities

CEEP UK activities 

CEEP UK is active in several areas that affect public service employers. These include:


  • Lobbying successfully against ‘solvency II’ provisions that would have had very significant cost implications for the HE sector.
  • Keeping updated on the Portability Directive, to try to stop progress towards introducing Europe-wide pension funds for researchers or other strategic occupations.

Directives on Working Time and Agency Workers:

  • Working Time: CEEP UK held one of three places on the negotiations, which failed to reach agreement in December 2012. CEEP UK is currently leading a review of the reasons for the failure and is in discussions with the European Commission on how to take forward any changes to the Directive.
  • Agency Workers: CEEP UK is leading on behalf of European partners in this review. We are seeking amendments which will alleviate the administrative burden.

Gender equality:

  • Contributing to a European Commission consultation on a proposal to issue a recommendation that would encourage Member States to take action on wage transparency.
  • Collating examples of best practice for an EU “Toolkit on Gender Equality".

More details of these and other current projects are outlined in the following update:

CEEP UK update of activities - June 2013

EFEE Working Group on HE and Research

The European Social Dialogue Committee for Education set up a working group on Higher Education and Research. This Working Group was chaired by Helen Fairfoul. The working group included HE sector employer representatives from across Europe and representatives from ETUCE (the European trade union committee for education).   

The Working Group was tasked with looking at three issues facing HE and Research:

  • Gender Equality
  • Environment for Early Career Researchers
  • Mobility

The aims of the Working Group were:

  • to consider the issue of what makes an attractive career in HE and Research
  • to exchange good practice in this area.

The final report, published in November 2012, summarises initiatives from various EU member states on the above three issues, particularly on improving gender balance in HE and Research. The report also provides statistics on the gender balance in different countries, including the UK.   

HE and Research Working Group - Final Report 2012

Supporting Early Career Researchers in Higher Education

In 2013 and 2014, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) of the UK, the European Federation of Education Employers (EFEE) and the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) worked jointly on the project ‘Supporting early career researchers in higher education in Europe: the role of employers and trade unions’. The Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, the Association of Finnish Independent Education Employers (AFIEE) and the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers (FUURT) played an active role in the project.

Through this project, the project partners built further on the evidence collected by the Working Group on Higher Education and Research of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) on the three focus areas: gender equality; the environment for early career researchers (ECRs); and the mobility of academic staff within Europe. The Working Group identified specific challenges that can relate to ECRs including work/life balance issues, the short-term nature of contracts and related job insecurity, social security rights, and career progression. This project was established, with the support of the European Commission, to understand and address these issues in a more comprehensive way and identify the role that education employers and trade unions can play.

The report can be found below. For further information, please contact Laurence Hopkins.

Supporting Early Career Researchers - Summary report