Whatever your recruiting needs, check these online resources for information on the practical aspects and legal framework concerning human resources, find out about exchange and funding programmes, locate new staff and find contact points.
The rights and obligations of workers and employers across Europe including working conditions, information and consulting of workers.
Recruiting a first employee
Many jobs could be created if small firms hired more people - cutting costs and red tape is necessary to help entrepreneurs take on extra help.
"Restructuring" is often thought of as a synonym for lay-offs. However, it includes any kind of adaptation to economic change - opportunities as well as challenges. The EU is taking action to reduce the negative impacts of these changes and reinforce the positive aspects.
EU-wide labour rules
Hiring workers in and from other EU countries - what entrepreneurs need to know, with detailed information on the situation in each Member State.
This page presents the EU-level dialogue between "social partners" - i.e. the two sides of industry, represented by the trade unions and employers' organisations. Cross-industry and sectoral actions are included.
Anti-discrimination legislation is in place at EU level to ensure equal treatment in the workplace irrespective of gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion and belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.
Education and training
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs
This exchange scheme, funded by the EU, helps new entrepreneurs gain hands-on business experience abroad, allowing them to acquire relevant skills and develop business relations for the future.
Guide for Training in SMEs
A downloadable guide on how to develop skills in small firms through training.
We mean business
This initiative helps European entrepreneurs to open doors to new markets and use new skills by hosting trainees who are Erasmus students or Leonardo da Vinci apprentices coming from another country. A list of intermediaries is provided and conditions explained.
Vocational training (VET) plays a key role in providing the skills, knowledge and competences that European small businesses need to remain competitive. Read more here about how the Commission acts together with Member States to strengthen the provision of VET across Europe.
European Alliance for Apprenticeships
The European Alliance for Apprenticeships will help to fight youth unemployment by improving the quality and supply of apprenticeships across the EU through a broad partnership of key employment and education stakeholders.
Are you a company looking to host an apprentice? Euro Apprenticeship offers an online platform of information and contacts. It provides companies with experience sharing opportunities, contacts and tools to improve the learning mobility of apprentices in Europe.
Workers’ health and safety
Introductory guide to human rights for SMEs
The European Commission has published an introductory guide to human rights for SMEs, which is consistent with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Diversity in SMEs
A guide for employers to help owners and managers of small businesses make diversity and equality of treatment a reality in their firm.
Encouraging women entrepreneurs
Disproportionately fewer women than men choose to set up their own business. The European Commission works with Member States to overcome the factors which particularly discourage women from becoming entrepreneurs. Initiatives including a network and a portal also provide support and advice.
Proportionately more migrants and members of ethnic minorities than nationals start small businesses, although they face more difficulties getting started. Read here about support measures and policy initiatives to help overcome the specific barriers which might discourage them from becoming entrepreneurs.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and SMEs
Just like bigger firms, small firms can integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis, to contribute towards sustainability and competitiveness. Read practical examples concerning SMEs and CSR on this website.
Responsible entrepreneurship: SME toolkit
Practical examples and a guide to help owners and managers of small firms become responsible entrepreneurs.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Acting voluntarily and beyond what is required by the law to achieve social and environmental objectives for your business - this is what corporate social responsibility is all about.
Doing business responsibly
Responsible business means going beyond the legal obligations when it comes to employees, society and the environment, which in turn can benefit businesses in the long term. This site presents both the legal obligations and examples of going beyond these on a voluntary basis. It also links through to information on the national aspects of this issue.