Recent figures from Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå, SSB) show a
significant decline in the labour force participation rate of people with
disabilities, or 'impaired functionality'. Only 42.5% of all people in this
group were in employment in the second quarter of 2003, while at the same
time 3.9% were unemployed, compared with 46.6% and 3.1% respectively in the
same quarter of 2002. The total labour force participation rate of people
with disabilities/impaired functionality was 46.4% in the second quarter of
2003 - a significant drop from the 49.5% recorded in the same quarter of
2002. The figure is much lower than that for the whole population, which has
a labour force participation rate of 79% in 2003. The unemployment rate, on
the other hand, is not higher among people with disabilities than in the
population at large.
Temporary agency workers can no longer be employed at lower wages than paid
to employees of the user company at the same workplace for the same work.
This is the implication of an arbitration award issued on 1 September 2003 in
a case involving the Union of Danish Electricians (Dansk El-Forbund) and
Tekniq, the employers' organisation for heating and plumbing engineering and
electrical installation, which found that temporary agency workers should
work under the same contractual terms as apply to user company employees who
perform the same work, including the same wages. The building workers'
section of the General Workers’ Union in Denmark (Specialarbejderforbundet
i Danmark, SiD) has described this award as a 'U-turn' in terms of the legal
status of temporary agency workers.
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.
The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This publication series include the ERM reports, as well as blogs, articles and working papers on restructuring-related events in the EU27 and Norway.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) 2021, an extraordinary edition conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series gathers all overview reports on developments in working life, annual reviews in industrial relations and working conditions produced by Eurofound on the basis of national contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents (NEC). Since 1997, these reports have provided overviews of the latest developments in industrial relations and working conditions across the EU and Norway. The series may include recent ad hoc articles written by members of the NEC.
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.
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).
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
In 2022, the European Semester was streamlined to integrate the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) established on 19 February 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2021/241). While facing the geopolitical and economic challenges triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States have been implementing the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for more than one year and around 100 billion euro in RRF funds have already been disbursed.
As economies emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report will look at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care and information and communications technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin digital and green transitions.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
The urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an extraordinary level of provision of social services across the EU. Healthcare and care providers carried much of the burden and, together with essential services, played a crucial role in getting citizens through the crisis. This report explores how public services adapted to the new reality and what role was played by the digital transformation of services. The aim is to contribute to the documentation and analysis of changes in funding, delivery and use of healthcare and social services during the pandemic.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in European sectoral social dialogue taking place at cross-sectoral level. 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations at cross-sectoral level in the EU Member States.