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.
What is labour law?
On this website SMEs can find out 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. To help entrepreneurs take on extra help, this website can make the hiring process easier for SMEs while reducing costs.
Restructuring your business
Restructuring 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 for SMEs and reinforce the positive aspects.
Terms of employment
This page provides SMEs what they need to know when hiring workers in and from other EU countries 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 also 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 SMEs through training. It details some of the most common challenges as well as innovative solutions to deal with them.
We Mean Business
This initiative helps European entrepreneurs 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 education and training (VET)
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 along with contacts and tools to improve the learning of apprentices in Europe.
Workers’ health and safety
Health and safety at work
Preventing people from being hurt at the workplace or made ill by their working conditions should be essential for firms of all sizes. Read here about EU policy and actions in this area.
Healthy Workplace Campaign
This initiative is specifically aimed at small firms, helping entrepreneurs to achieve better results and avoid the costs and production losses from injuries, through improving health and safety in the workplace.
Health & safety: online risk assessment tool
With this web application, social partners and national authorities can produce sector-specific risk assessment tools targeting small businesses.
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.
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.
More migrants and members of ethnic minorities start small businesses than nationals, but they still face more difficulties. 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)
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.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and SMEs
Just like bigger firms, SMEs can integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations on a voluntary basis, to contribute towards sustainability and competitiveness. Read practical examples concerning SMEs and CSR on this website.
How to be a responsible business?
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.