On 15 March 2002, the government put forward its proposal  for amendments
to the Act relating to Labour Disputes (Arbeidstvistloven). It contains only
minor alterations to the present legal framework, and the more controversial
proposals made in 2001 by the 'Stabel committee' (see below) were ignored.
The implication is that the government is not proposing significant changes
with regard to the current rules on collective bargaining, mediation and
ballots over mediation proposal . The proposal is to be considered by
parliament (Stortinget) before summer 2002, and is likely to be approved.
In February 2002, Spain's CEOE employers' organisation issued a report
examining the development of new information and communication technologies
in the Spanish and European economies, and proposing measures to develop the
'information society' in the future. This issue, which is of enormous
importance to the future of employment and the economy, is only now starting
to emerge in Spanish industrial relations.
April 2002 saw publication of the report of a commission set up by the
Spanish government to examine a reform of the system of personal income tax.
The report proposes a reduction in tax rates and in the number of tax
brackets, along with various measures for families and children. While
supported by employers, the report has met with total rejection by the trade
unions, not least because of its repercussions for women and families.
French trade unions and employers' associations have been conducting a study
of the employment-related 'good practices' that other EU Member States have
implemented under the European employment strategy. Following this initial
experiment, an EU-wide network of national-level social partners involved in
their countries' National Action Plans for employment will be created during
the course of 2002.
In May 2002, the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers (TT)
published a report comparing Finnish pay levels with those in other
countries, which states that the total wages of Finnish industrial employees
are among the highest in EU. According to the Central Organisation of Finnish
Trade Unions (SAK), the report seeks to promote employers' aims and
represents an opening shot in the next incomes policy bargaining round.
After the general strike of 16 April 2002, there had been no resumption of
talks between the Italian social partners and government on reform of the
labour market by mid-May. In order to break this apparent stalemate, the
trade union confederations Cgil, Cisl and Uil have called forcefully for
dialogue to resume shortly with the government and have drawn up some
proposals to help talks, focusing, in particular, on a substantial reform of
the so-called 'social shock absorbers' (the measures which help cushion the
effects of job losses and restructuring).
In May 2002, an agreement to foster employment was signed in Milan by the
municipal authorities, trade unions and employers' organisations. This 'pact
for employment and growth' follows an 'employment pact' signed in February
2000, which caused a split in the union ranks, as Cgil refused to sign it.
The new pact has been signed by all the three main union confederations,
including Cgil, and sets up a comprehensive framework for social concertation
at local level.
Over 1998-2000, the possible introduction of a 35-hour working week was a
particularly hot topic in Spanish industrial relations. Here we review the
spread of the 35-hour week up until the end of 2001, finding that nearly 1.4
million workers now have an agreed 35-hour week, with more progress made in
the public sector than the private. However, it appears that the issue is no
longer as prominent as it was.
In 2002, Spanish trade unions have been raising the issue of the problems
faced by domestic workers. Work in Spain's domestic service sector is mainly
done by women, and is increasingly becoming the main form of integration into
the labour market for female immigrants. Domestic workers are covered by a
special system of employment law and social security, which is inferior in
many respects to that enjoyed by other workers. There is much informal and
irregular employment, and pay and conditions are reported to be
deteriorating. The unions want the special system for domestic workers to be
brought into line with the general legal and social security system.
Eurofound’s work on COVID-19 examines the far-reaching socioeconomic implications of the pandemic across Europe as they continue to impact living and working conditions. A key element of the research is the e-survey, conducted in three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2015. It provides an overview of trends in working conditions and quality of employment for the last 30 years. It covers issues such as employment status, working time duration and organisation, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, work–life balance, worker participation, earnings and financial security, work and health, and most recently also the future of work.
The European Restructuring Monitor has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This series includes its restructuring-related databases (events, support instruments and legislation) as well as case studies and publications.
Eurofound’s Flagship report series 'Challenges and prospects in the EU' comprise research reports that contain the key results of multiannual research activities and incorporate findings from different related research projects. Flagship reports are the major output of each of Eurofound’s strategic areas of intervention and have as their objective to contribute to current policy debates.
Eurofound’s European Company Survey (ECS) maps and analyses company policies and practices which can have an impact on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the development of social dialogue in companies. This series consists of outputs from the ECS 2019, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
Eurofound's representativness studies are designed to allow the European Commission to identify the ‘management and labour’ whom it must consult under article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This series consists of studies of the representativeness of employer and worker organisations in various sectors.
This series reports on and updates latest information on the involvement of national social partners in policymaking. The series analyses the involvement of national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, including their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs).
This series reports on the new forms of employment emerging across Europe that are driven by societal, economic and technological developments and are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. This series explores what characterises these new employment forms and what implications they have for working conditions and the labour market.
The European Company Survey (ECS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2004–2005, with the latest edition in 2019. The survey is designed to provide information on workplace practices to develop and evaluate socioeconomic policy in the EU. It covers issues around work organisation, working time arrangements and work–life balance, flexibility, workplace innovation, employee involvement, human resource management, social dialogue, and most recently also skills use, skills strategies and digitalisation.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief examines the characteristics of innovative companies and explores the types of workplace practices that are significantly associated with establishments' likelihood of introducing innovation. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Additionally, data gathered through case studies analyse the role of workplace practices in different phases of the innovation process.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, a high demand for labour and low unemployment levels made labour shortages one of the key policy concerns in the EU. Even where there is persistent and rising unemployment, individual countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages, which in some instances have been accentuated by COVID-19. This report explores various approaches to measuring labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.
The issue of regional convergence and whether disadvantaged regions are catching up with wealthier regions continues to attract enormous attention in the policy debate. This report presents the findings of an investigation into the evolution of social imbalances across EU regions over time, based on indicators including unemployment, social exclusion and poverty. It also examines various aspects of the relationship between growth, regional disparities and interpersonal inequalities.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.