Sixth European Working Conditions Survey: 2015

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Eurofound carried out its sixth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) in 2015.

In cooperation with Ipsos, Eurofound interviewed more than 43,000 workers in 35 different European countries for the sixth edition of the survey. The face-to-face interviews were carried out in peoples’ homes and covered a comprehensive list of questions on individual’s working conditions. All the information gathered was treated in the strictest confidentiality and the anonymity of each interviewee is guaranteed.

The 6th European Working Conditions Survey targets working people who were randomly selected from a statistical sample, comprising a cross-section of society, ranging from 1,000 to 3,300 people in each country.

The survey explores quality of work issues and provides information on exposure to physical and psychosocial risks, working time duration and organisation, employment status and contract, place of work, work organisation, work life balance and spillover between work and life outside work, training and learning at work, voice at the workplace, health and well-being as well as earnings. This sixth wave of the European Working Conditions Survey is an important landmark for Eurofound because it builds on the lessons learned from the previous five surveys and provides a rich portrait of workplace trends in Europe over the last 25 years.

To date, Eurofound has carried out six European working conditions surveys (1991, 1995, 2000/2001, 2005, 2010 and 2015). The evolution of the EWCS follows the changes in the composition of the EU itself over the last 25 years. In 1991, the survey covered just 12 countries; 15 in 1995 and 16 in 2000 (EU15 and Norway). The 2000 survey was extended in 2001 to cover the 10 EU membership candidate countries. The fourth survey, carried out in 2005, covered all 27 EU Member States plus Croatia, Turkey, Switzerland and Norway while the fifth survey covered the same countries, apart from Switzerland, but with the addition of Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina - a total of 34 countries.

The sixth European Working Conditions Survey includes the 28 EU Member States, the five EU candidate countries (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey), as well as Switzerland and Norway: a total of 35 countries, making this wave the most comprehensive one so far, in terms of number of countries covered.

The overview report, a more comprehensive data visualisation tool, and further information on methodology will be launched in November 2016. The 6th EWCS microdata will be made available  to the public during the first quarter of 2017. Secondary analyses on working time, self-employed, ageing, employee engagement and development, work and health, employment status and working conditions will be published during the second half of 2016 and in 2017.

For further information about the European Working Conditions Surveys, contact Sophia MacGoris at




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