In recent years, 'atypical' work – and particularly 'semi-subordinate' work
(midway between dependent employment and self-employment) – has played a
key role in employment growth in Italy, accounting for more than 40% of new
jobs created. The most important of the non-dependent atypical forms of work
is 'employer-coordinated freelance' work. Unlike temporary work, this form of
employment relationship has continued to increase, at an average growth rate
of 12% per year, and now involves almost 2.4 million workers. This increase
has been matched by a substantial growth, in both quantitative and
qualitative terms, of collective bargaining covering such workers, which has
led to important agreements being reached not only at the company and
territorial level but also at the sectoral and national levels. This article
examines the situation in mid-2003.
A new Labour Code came into effect on 1 March 2003, following the
introduction of Law No. 53 of 2003 (the 'Labour Code law'). It aims to
replace Romania's previous industrial relations rules, which were dominated
by the assumptions of the former 'command economy' based on centralised
planning. The new Code – made up of 13 titles, 37 chapters, 17 sections and
298 articles – governs collective labour relations as a whole, involving
employees (defined as Romanian citizens working inside or outside the
country, and foreign citizens working for a Romanian employer in the country,
including refugees), employers (individuals or companies with legal
personality), trade unions and employers' organisations.
Two national collective agreements for workers in the Italian tourism sector
were signed in July 2003. The agreements' main provisions include an 11.5%
wage increase over four years, the introduction of a supplementary health
insurance scheme and the enhancement of decentralised bargaining.
A new national collective agreement for the Italian insurance sector was
signed in July 2003. As well as pay increases, the agreement contains a
number of innovatory provisions, including: the creation of a national
observatory on bullying, the establishment of a fund for the care of disabled
workers; and enhanced information and consultation, including on equal
In late June 2003, Sweden's main trade union and employers' confederations
agreed joint guidelines  for implementing the European framework agreement
on telework  signed in July 2002 (EU0207204F ) by the EU-level central
social partners - the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the Council
of European Professional and Managerial Staff (EUROCADRES)/European
Confederation of Executives and Managerial Staff (CEC) liaison committee, the
Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE)/the
European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME)
and the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of
Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP). The EU-level telework
agreement was the first cross-industry agreement between the social partners
which was not intended to be implemented by an EU Directive, but by the
national member organisations of the signatory parties 'in accordance with
the procedures and practices specific to management and labour in the Member
The Irish government is soon to consider a proposal to increase the five-year
'range' during which civil servants can retire on a full pension, from the
current 60-65 years of age to 62-67. This is among several suggestions to
emerge from a working group which, for over two years, has been discussing
the implementation of a major report from the Commission on Public Service
Pensions, which was published in 2001. The Commission’s 2001 report had
found that the cost of public service pensions would double between 1997 to
2012, from EUR 807 million to EUR 1.7 billion, rising by a further EUR 1.27
billion by 2027.
On 31 August 2003, the delegates at the 20th national congress of the German
Metalworkers' Union (Industriegewerkschaft Metall, IG Metall) elected a new
leadership for a four-year term of office. The new chair of the union is the
previous vice-chair, Jürgen Peters, while the previous head of IG Metall's
Baden-Württemberg district organisation, Berthold Huber, was elected as
vice-chair. The percentages of votes obtained by both candidates, 66% and 67%
respectively, were the lowest ever obtained in an uncontested leadership
election in IG Metall's history.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Trades Union Congress (TUC)
and CEEP UK- the British affiliates of the European social partner
organisations, the Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederations of
Europe (UNICE), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the
European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises
of General Economic Interest (CEEP) - have agreed a document  giving
guidance on telework. Talks between the three organisations were prompted by
the July 2002 agreement on teleworking  between their European-level
counterparts (EU0207204F ), and were held under the auspices of the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which published the agreed guidance
in August 2003.
Poland's once powerful trade unions now organise only 18% of the workforce,
one of the lowest unionisation rates in central and eastern Europe. The
reasons for the weakness of Poland's trade union movement have been examined
at a seminar held in May 2003 and in a book based on the discussions at the
seminar. This article summarises the main arguments and findings.
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, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
Eurofound's representativeness 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 developments in minimum wage rates across the EU, including how they are set and how they have developed over time in nominal and real terms. The series explores where there are statutory minimum wages or collectively agreed minimum wages in the Member States, as well as minimum wage coverage rates by gender.
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.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the electricity sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the electricity sector in the EU Member States.
This paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
The civil aviation sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most severe crises the sector has ever experienced, giving rise to a number of significant challenges for companies and workers alike. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
This policy brief will provide an update on upward convergence in the economic, social and institutional dimensions of the European Union, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying Social Scoreboard.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
This report analyses the working lives of workers in Europe in 2021, when the continent was still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines working conditions during that period and the association between job quality and work outcomes such as health and well-being, work–life balance, and financial security. The report also considers how the shifts in working life during the pandemic are likely to affect work in the future.