Annual review of working conditions in the EU: 2005-2006
This third annual review examines four key dimensions of working conditions and quality of work and employment: career and employment, health and well-being, skills development, and work-life balance. The report outlines relevant legislative and policy developments, and examines trends in the workplace. As part of its work programme for 2005, the European Commission presented a series of communications on migration, and extensive debate continues on this issue. The Working Time Directive also remains on the agenda, with continuing discussions on the individual opt-out and on the definition of ‘on-call’ time. Musculoskeletal disorders remain the most predominant work-related health problem. A welcome development in the area of health and well-being was the start of negotiations between the European social partners on combating violence and harassment in the workplace. Gender equality received specific attention in several EU policy documents, not least the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs report on the impact of long working hours on reconciliation of work and family life, and the impact on equal opportunities. Another topic high on the agenda is training, lifelong learning and competence development; attaining a knowledge society and a highly qualified workforce forms a crucial element for the success of the Lisbon Strategy.