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European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO)


05 September 2014: Changing face of ‘multi-jobbing’ (Netherlands / Information update)
Holding down more than one job is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition for people in the Netherlands. In the past it had been seen as an option mainly for people struggling to make ends meet. However, new research shows that so-called ‘multi-jobbing’ is not just the preserve of lower skilled and lower paid workers. The study examines the benefits and drawbacks of having more than one job, the reasons for multi-jobbing, and looks at the different outcomes for workers.

21 August 2014: Decline in workers’ satisfaction with rates of pay (Bulgaria / Information update)
Satisfaction with rates of pay in Bulgaria is declining. In the second wave of the Work Climate Index Survey published in 2013, just 17% of workers reported that they had been given a pay increase, while about a third said that their wages had fallen. Only 30% said they felt they were paid fairly. When compared with the findings of the first wave of the survey in 2010, satisfaction with the regularity of wage payment, social benefits and how wages were paid had all fallen.

21 August 2014: Social partners propose solutions to youth unemployment (Slovenia / Information update)
A project initiated by the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia focuses on the plight of young people in the labour market. A study, carried out as part of the project, has led to proposals for a range of measures to tackle Slovenia’s high youth unemployment including the revival of apprenticeships and employment counselling. The research shows that young people are having huge difficulties finding jobs: they wait longer for their first job than in the past, and are more likely to be unemployed long term.

21 August 2014: Migrant workers report negative effects of crisis (Italy / Information update)
A report has examined the effect of the global economic crisis on migrant workers in Italy. The report comes from the Associazione Bruno Trentin, the research institute linked with the main Italian trade union Cgil. It examined the difficulties migrant workers have in the labour market and the worsening of their working conditions. These difficulties are reflected in lower earnings, higher risks to heath, and increasing undeclared work, especially among women.

01 August 2014: Impact of electronic surveillance in the workplace (Malta / Information update)
A recent study has explored employees’ reactions to the surveillance of workers using equipment such as CCTV, monitoring of e-mails, and restrictions on internet browsing. Monitoring was seen to have both a protective and controlling function – but the controlling factor emerged as the stronger. Workers said monitoring had a negative impact on their wellbeing and a detrimental effect on the management-employee relationship.

01 August 2014: Measures to tackle absenteeism and stress at work (Slovenia / Information update)
A study on how working conditions affect employees in Slovenia has found that half of all employees in Slovenia show signs of burnout. The survey involved both employees and employers and covered topics like stress, absenteeism and burnout. The results show that employers felt higher pay was important in tackling high turnover of staff, while employees said the reconciliation of work and family life was more important to them. The INODEL project – Improving the Working Environment with New Solutions – was led by a team from the University of Ljubljana.

21 July 2014: Cultural factors explain inactivity rates of women (Malta / Information update)
A study has shown that cultural factors may lie behind women’s inactivity rates in Malta. Negative views on childcare facilities may inhibit them from relying on professional childcare while they return to work. The EU-funded study focuses on women who are not active in the labour market, exploring their perceptions about support services like childcare centres and care services for the elderly. The research revealed that information about support structures and related incentives to encourage women to return to work were not reaching their target audience.

21 July 2014: Gender stereotyping still an issue among older people (Italy / Information update)
Gender stereotyping in Italy continues to be an issue, according to a new report from the national bureau of statistics based on an Istat survey about women’s participation in the labour market. The majority of respondents accept that men and women are equally capable in leadership roles and believe that more women should hold public positions. However, many – particularly among older age groups - still believe that economic support for families should be provided by men.

12 June 2014: Small businesses struggling in the wake of the crisis (Hungary / Information update)
Small businesses in Hungary are viewed as the lifeblood of the economy, but they have been badly affected by the global financial crisis. Figures show that around 176,000 businesses have failed to survive the downturn, with SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises – the most badly affected sector. There has been institutional support for SMEs, but for many the prospects are gloomy. A survey shows companies are continuing to cut costs and are postponing investment.

06 June 2014: Sustainable employment and occupational profile (Netherlands / Information update)
Keeping people in employment until retirement age is a hot topic in the Netherlands, as it is across the rest of the European Union. A series of Dutch studies shows that workers in some sectors are more likely to be able and willing to work until retirement age and others less so, such as craft and manufacturing workers, construction workers and machine operators, transport workers and some in healthcare. People in supervisory roles are most likely to be happy to continue to work.