This European guide to strikes and other industrial action has been created to provide you with a quick and easy reference when responding to threats of industrial action in 15 European countries.


Industrial action taken by workers against employers has always had the potential for severe disruption. However, employers need to be aware of new and emerging trends in industrial action ("IA") which have already taken some employers by surprise, including:

  • disputes involving international, not just national, issues
  • trade unions and workers collaborating across borders, including cross-border secondary (solidarity) action
  • unwelcome, and sometimes unexpected, shifts in the law regulating IA – reflecting the creeping influence of regional and international treaty obligations on national laws (see "recent developments" on page six)

In the current economic climate, IA is a key reputational and economic risk for many employers and typically demands a rapid response. This guide is for senior HR professionals and in-house lawyers with pan-European labour law responsibilities and aims to provide a quick and easy reference when responding to threats of IA in 15 European countries.

The guide:

  • summarises recent national and international developments in IA law
  • provides a comparative overview, by country, of how IA is regulated in different European countries.
  • summarises their key similarities and differences
  • considers how employers can respond, including legal interventions and the right to reduce the pay of those involved in IA

This guide is prepared by Eversheds Sutherland's specialist labour law team who have a strong track record of advising clients on global labour law. Our continuous exposure to national and international industrial relations issues gives us a knowledge of strategy and tactical options which we deploy for the benefit of our clients. The close working relationships we have across our global network of offices ensure a streamlined cross-jurisdictional service which draws on exceptional local legal knowledge.

Click here to download the publication co-authored by Ewa Łachowska-Brol, head of our labour law team.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.