The European Commission decided at the end of July 1999 to launch or pursue
proceedings against a number of Member States in relation to poor
implementation of Community Directives in the social field. This relates
particularly to the pregnant workers' Directive (92/85/EEC) , the
Directive on minimum health and safety requirements applicable to the use of
equipment by workers (89/655/EEC) , the transfer of undertakings Directive
(77/187/EEC , amended by 98/59/EC ) and Directives on collective
redundancies (now consolidated in 98/59/EC ).
At its annual conference held in September 1999 (UK9909128N ), the Trades
Union Congress (TUC) gave strong backing to a motion  urging the
government to prepare for early UK entry into the single European currency,
despite misgivings on the part of some major unions. Delegates voted for a
motion which supported the UK having "the option of actively pursuing [euro]
entry early in the new decade through action to bring the UK economic cycle
more closely into line with that of our EU partners".
At the beginning of September 1999, Italy's Radicals political party
announced that it had collected enough signatures to hold 20 referenda in
spring 2000, with the aim of repealing various legislative provisions. Many
of the issues covered by the referenda concern trade union or labour issues,
like the collection of trade union membership dues, or individual dismissal
procedures. The trade union confederations are firmly opposed to the
Radicals' initiative, which they regard as "anti-union".
In September 1999, the Dutch petroleum company, NAM, announced a sweeping
reorganisation that could cut 450 jobs from its 2,500-strong workforce. The
trade unions expressed their intention to fight the plan vigorously. NAM,
which is based in the Netherlands' northern provinces, provides a significant
portion of employment in the region and also generates employment outside the
company. Provincial authorities responded to the plan with disappointment.
Given an increasing amount of contracting out of public services and the
privatisation of state-owned corporations, and after a freeze on the new
employment of public servants which has so far lasted two years, it seems
there is no future for trade unions in solely organising public servants and
other employees in the public sector. The large public sector trade unions
have drawn this lesson and have, so to speak, moved with their old members
into the private sector, representing more and more private sector workers.
This has caused discord within the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions
(Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO) (DK9709129F ).
Before Portugal's general election on 10 October 1999, the main political
parties set out their policies on social, employment and labour issues.
Themes such as employment creation, training and equal opportunities were
highlighted in nearly all party programmes.
Privatisation and the competitive tendering of municipal services have been
important issues on the political agenda during the general election campaign
in spring 1999, and especially in the municipal government election campaign
in September 1999. The political parties of the right have stressed increased
use of competitive tendering, and a handbook on the issue was published by
the Conservative Party (Høyre) prior to the elections.
On 14 July 1999, ministers at the Department for Education and Employment
published their response to proposals  made by the Equal Opportunities
Commission (EOC) for a new Sex Equality Act to replace the UK's current sex
equality legislation (UK9901175N ). While announcing action in a number of
areas, including some changes to existing legislation, education and
employment secretary David Blunkett said that the government "does not
believe that major legislative change at this stage is the most effective way
of bringing about the changes that are needed".
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.
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.
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.
This report analyses how working conditions, job quality and working life outcomes – such as work–life balance, health and well-being, and sustainability of work – changed between February 2020 and spring 2021. Following up on responses to the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2020, it explores the differences between three distinct groups of workers: those teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic, those who continued to work on their employers' premises as frontline staff, and those who were furloughed or worked reduced hours.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the gas 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the gas sector in the EU Member States.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the food and drinks 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 food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.
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 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.
The financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
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 report offers a backward look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work and life of Europeans. The main focus is on Eurofound’s e-survey ‘ Living, working and COVID-19’ which was launched on 9 April 2020 just after the onset of the crisis. Through four rounds of the survey (two in 2020 and two in 2021), the range of questions changed to match the evolving situation and to understand the effects on the everyday lives of citizens and workers.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.