In August 1999, the board of the Norwegian oil company Statoil submitted a
report on the future organisation and ownership structure of Statoil and on
the state's "direct financial interest" (Statens direkte økonomiske
engasjement, SDØE) in petroleum operations. The report recommends a partial
privatisation of Statoil, and that all or a major part of SDØE's assets are
transferred to Statoil. Statoil is a 100% state-owned oil company established
in 1972, which operates on a commercial basis.
With the private sector's major industrial dispute of spring 1998 in mind
(DK9805168F ), the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions
(Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO) and the Danish Employers' Confederation
(Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening, DA), have decided to make joint arrangements for
the 2000 collective bargaining round, in order to avoid a repetition of the
conflict. The two confederations have thus entered a framework "agreement
laying down rules for decentralised (ie sector level) bargaining within the
DA/LO area". The so-called "climate agreement", which was presented on 14
September 1999, seeks to maintain the right of the two confederations'
individual member organisations to conduct decentralised negotiations, while
at the same time committing DA and LO to work resolutely towards a settlement
and to try to avoid a collapse of negotiations.
In a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), published on 13
September 1999 and coinciding with the start of the annual conference of the
Trades Union Congress (UK9909128N ), 85% of firms questioned thought that
the administrative burden caused by employment legislation has increased over
the past year, 17% believing that it had "increased a lot". The impact of the
EU working time Directive is reported to be "causing easily the most
In order to promote the growth of supplementary pension funds, in autumn 1999
the Italian government has proposed scrapping the end-of-service allowance
(Tfr), a part of workers' pay which is put aside and paid in a lump sum at
the end of the employment relationship. Two alternatives are being
considered: compulsory payment of the Tfr into supplementary pension funds,
or its gradual inclusion in workers' pay packets. The social partners are
In September 1999, the European Commission's review of Member States'
employment policies drew attention to Belgium's low rate of employment among
workers aged over 55. This view has been supported by the FEB/VBO employers'
organisation, but challenged by the FGTB/ABVV trade union confederation.
The board of directors of the Finnish-Swedish forestry products (wood, paper
etc) group Stora Enso decided in April 1999 to establish a stock option
programme for some employees. The final details of the programme were
presented in August 1999, and it has been revealed that it covers about 200
"key employees", that is managers and other senior staff, out of a total
workforce of some 40,000. The participants in the programme have been
guaranteed seven-year options that may be exercised from 15 July 2002. The
options are so-called "synthetic options" that can be exercised against cash.
The price is EUR 11.75 per share and the options are not transferable and
expire if the employee leaves the company.
The Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions (Fellesforbundet) held its
third national convention on 18-23 September 1999. Fellesforbundet is
Norway's second largest trade union, with nearly 160,000 members in the
metalworking, building, paper, agricultural and textiles industries. At the
top of the agenda was the issue of international coordination of collective
bargaining, with an emphasis on European coordination (TN9907201S ).
In 9 September 1999, the European Commission issued the draft 1999 Joint
Employment Report  and the draft Employment Guidelinesfor 2000 . The
former charts the progress made by different Member States in the
implementation of the 1999 Employment Guidelines  (EU9810130F ) and the
impact of these measures on the Community's overall employment performance,
and when finalised will be submitted by the Commission and the Council of
Ministers to the European Council meeting in Helsinki in December 1999. The
latter draw on these findings to make recommendations on priorities for EU
and Member State employment policies in the coming year. In addition, the
Commission proposed that the Council of Ministers make a series of
recommendations to individual Member States on the implementation of their
employment policies. The aim is both to emphasise the policy areas where
Member States need to take further action, and to suggest indicators for the
monitoring of any resulting improvements in the labour market situation.
In 1998, working time was a major topic of debate among Spain's social
partners. However, statistics on 1998's collective bargaining on working
hours, published by the Economic and Social Council in summer 1999, reveal no
great surprises and a few contradictory tendencies.
A conflict at the Magna Auteca automotive components manufacturer has led to
debate over the appropriateness of works councils in Austria. The concern
currently has no works council and a dispute with trade unions over the issue
came to a head recently An employee who at a staff meeting in December 1998
made it known that she favoured the establishment of a works council was
dismissed in February 1999. Supported by the Union of Metal, Mining, and
Energy Workers (Gewerkschaft Metall-Bergbau-Energie, GMBE) she has been
alleging that the two events are connected - which would make her dismissal
illegal - and has sued the company for reinstatement. The case is currently
before the courts (AT9907157N ), though the verdict will not be returned
until spring 2000. Magna management states that the dismissal occurred
because of conflicts between the worker - who until May 1998 was an elected
"spokesperson" within Magna's internal system of employee representation -
and a department head, in which the other employees took the side of the
latter. Meanwhile the case has turned into a fierce conflict between Magna
and GMBE, which has led to further court action for libel. GMBE at one point
stated that it would form an international front against Magna, in which it
intended to enlist trade unions in Canada, the USA, the Czech Republic, the
UK and Germany. In late August 1999, works councils around Austria were asked
to write letters to newspapers denouncing Magna and its actions, a move which
was quickly exposed by Magna.
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.
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.
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 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 report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
This report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
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.
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.
Hospital and civil aviation workers have been severely impacted by COVID-19. While hospitals are on the frontline when it comes to fighting this global pandemic, civil aviation is experiencing the most challenging crisis ever encountered in the sector. This study explores how social dialogue and collective bargaining are playing a role in the way both sectors are adapting to the pandemic. What kind of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
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.
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 civil aviation 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 civil aviation 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.