The way now seems to be clear for the creation of Union Network International
(UNI), bringing together four existing International Trade Secretariats: the
International Federation of Commercial, Clerical, Professional and Technical
Employees (FIET); the Communications International (CI); the Media and
Entertainment International (MEI); and the International Graphical Federation
(IGF). The new "super-union" would bring together up to 800 unions with over
15 million members from more than 140 countries around the globe in the
rapidly converging fields of new technology, communications and services.
The Netherlands' 1996 Working Time Act granted hospitals until 1 January 1999
to meet its requirements. In summer 1999, the health and safety inspectorate
drew up an official report on nine hospitals that had still not properly
arranged their schedules in line with the Act. The long working weeks of
physicians' assistants raised special concern, partly due to the fact that
their schedules are modelled on specialists' working weeks. Occupational
disability amongst this category has risen dramatically over recent years,
particularly due to emotional problems resulting from excessive on-the-job
pressure. Preventive measures, including a more normal working week, are now
In autumn 1999, a law revising the Labour Procedural Code has been approved
by Portugal's Council of Ministers and now awaits affirmation by the
President of the Republic and official publication. The upcoming changes in
procedures for court cases on labour and employment issues involves a
considerable broadening of trade unions' abilities to act in such cases.
In late August 1999, France's Credit Institution Council ruled against the
attempt by the BNP banking group to merge with Société Générale. In
addition to the position of the financial markets, the opposition of
employees played a role in the Council's decision.
In Germany, collective agreements are directly binding only for the members
of the trade union and the members of the employers' association (or the
individual company) signing the agreement. By means of an official procedure
called an "order imposing extension" (Allgemeinverbindlicherklärung),
however, the applicability of an existing collective agreement can be
extended to include employees and employers not bound by the agreement. Such
a generally applicable agreement then has the same direct and mandatory force
for these employees and employers as it has for the employment relationships
already bound by the agreement by virtue of membership of a signatory
organisation. The rationale behind this incorporation of non-union members
and non-organised employers is that otherwise there could be a situation
where many employees were not covered by any collective agreement, especially
in sectors such as the building industry or retail trade with a large number
of small enterprises whose owners are not members of any association.
In early September 1999, the General Confederation of Greek Labour (GSEE)
presented its positions on pensions. The trade unions downplay the importance
of demographic trends, taken alone, and stress the importance of economic
policy and renewal of the labour force.
While legislation outlawing discrimination on the grounds of gender and
marital status in relation to pay  and other aspects of employment was
introduced in Ireland in the 1970s, primarily as a response to EU Directives,
until recently there has been little legislative provision in relation to
other forms of discrimination. The enactment of the Employment Equality Act
1998 has changed this situation dramatically. This legislation, which had
been in the pipeline for a number of years, comes into force in October 1999.
The debate on the level of minimum pensions in Spain has been prominent
during summer 1999. Pressure from trade unions and others to increase these
pensions has been mounting against a background of some 3 million pensioners
living below the poverty line. The issue is also important in the context of
the forthcoming general election in spring 2000.
In October 1999, the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) is 25 years old.
At the time of its adoption in 1974, the HASAWA was hailed as a landmark
piece of legislation that brought 8 million mainly public service workers
within the scope of the law and stimulated greater interest in health and
safety amongst employers and trade unions. Although the UK's health and
safety record compares favourably with most other EU countries, anniversary
celebrations are muted. There is a growing sense that the existing regulatory
framework is ill-adapted to the changing labour market of the late 1990s.
Whilst employers are anxious about whether they are complying with health and
safety requirements, employees and trade unions express concern about the
relatively few prosecutions for health and safety offences and the low levels
of fines imposed on employers when breaches of the HASAWA are proven.
In September 1999, a new national collective agreement for the Italian
commerce sector was signed. The agreement's provisions include: wage
increases; a working time reduction linked to flexibility; new part-time work
regulations; and new sickness and maternity leave regulations.
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.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2020. 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 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 two rounds – in April and in July 2020. 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 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.
Access to key social services, especially education and healthcare, as well as stable family life and decent housing are necessary for the well-being and development of children. Ensuring that all children have these resources is an EU priority; the European Commission is currently undertaking to recommend a Child Guarantee to address the situations of children in need. Service provision has been complicated by the COVID-19 outbreak, however, and the pandemic has put psychological and material strains on families.
How can working conditions be improved to make work more sustainable over the life course? This question has been the guiding principle for analysis of the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey data during the period of Eurofound’s work programme for 2017–2020. This flagship report brings together the different research strands from this work and gives a comprehensive answer to the question. It includes an analysis of trends in working conditions, examining whether these are the same for all workers or whether inequalities between different groups of workers are increasing.
This report analyses the involvement of the national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, and their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and other key policy documents of the European Semester cycle.
This report builds on Eurofound's existing research on social mobility, assessing the distribution and transmission of wealth in Member States. It examines the roles of inheritance and household debt in explaining the transmission of advantage or disadvantage between the generations across Member States. The analysis is based on Eurosystem's Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
This report will focus on assessing the employment impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including its effects across sectors and for different categories of workers. It will also be looking at measures implemented to limit negative effects following the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
This report examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
This report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the civil aviation (flight crew) 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 European Green Deal is at the very top of Member State agendas across the EU. This topical update maps the national discussions – in policy, public and research debates – on the potential, ongoing or already felt impact on work and employment of the transition to a low-carbon economy. It attempts to identify the most active actors involved in these discussions (governments, social partners, NGOs and so on) and their perspectives.
This report will draw from case studies of establishments across the EU that have introduced advanced digital technologies in the workplace. The technologies in focus are the Internet of Things, 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality. Each case study – illustrated in the report - will explore the approach or strategy taken by the establishment to manage the digital transition and the impact of the deployment of the technology on the work organisation and job quality.