The president of the Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer
Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) set out three medium-term policy goals in an
interview with the /Der Standard/ daily newspaper at the end of July 1999:
more full-time employment; a reduction in spurious self-employment; and
income-based accession criteria for countries seeking to join the EU. An
overhaul of the social security system, particularly its financing, and a
re-evaluation of male and female occupations in terms of pay, were added to
the list of priorities at the end of August. In the newspaper interview,
theÖGB president stated that in the short run - the autumn of 1999 - the
harmonisation of the legal treatment of wage earners and salary earners would
take top priority (AT9906153N ). He did not rule out major demonstrations
over this issue, estimated to affect 1.2 million people directly, with action
scheduled for the second week of September, after the school holidays. The
national general elections to be held on 3 October would not influence the
ÖGB's determination to push the issue. Other short-term goals are:
In August 1999, the Finnish government decided that in future unemployed
people in many districts will have to accept work from a wider geographical
area than earlier, or lose their benefits. One aim of this change is to
reduce recruitment bottlenecks. Employers have long been pushing for such
measures to "activate" unemployed people and alleviate bottlenecks, while
trade unions wanted to retain the present situation.
In July 1999, the FEB/VBO employers' organisation responded to the coalition
agreement of Belgium's new government. It welcomes the new coalition's
intention to reduce employers' social charges, but firmly rejects any
measures to encourage reductions in working time or any negotiations on this
subject. The employers also demand structural reforms of social security.
Managerial and professional staff make up approximately 15%-20% of the
workforce in the various EU Member States. There are two principal
organisations which seek to represent the specific interests of this group at
in late July 1999, the French cabinet approved the second bill on the 35-hour
week, which follows up the first law on the subject adopted in June 1998. The
new bill establishes a two-year "adjustment period", in particular for the
question of overtime payments.
A meeting organised in July 1999 by the Economic and Social Council and the
Commission for Equality in Employment and in the Workplace provided an
opportunity to assess the progress of equal opportunities for women and men
in Portugal. Various initiatives have been taken under the Global Plan for
equality, and the National Action Plan for employment incorporates equality
measures. However, considerable occupational and pay discrimination persists.
The 1998 strike statistics, published in summer 1999 by the Austrian Trade
Union Federation (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB), shows the year
to have been free of strikes, including unauthorised strikes. After 1994 and
1996, this was the third year in the 1990s without strike activity, while in
1995 the figure was near nil (AT9707124N ). In 1997, there were 153,000
hours, or 1,913 days, of strike action in the public service when internal
revenue and customs staff struck twice in June, involving about 25,800
participants (AT9706117F )- there were thus about 0.3 minutes of strike
action per Austrian employee.
The chair of the Finnish Metalworkers' Union, affiliated to the SAK
confederation, announced in August 1999 that a deal guaranteeing a steady
rise in real wages could be sufficient for the country's next national
incomes policy agreement. At the same time, however, some other SAK
affiliates, such as the Paper Workers' Union, have stressed the importance of
solving sector-specific problems.
Sport is a growth industry in the Netherlands, and has attracted increasing
attention from the government and trade unions. Furthermore, the Flexibility
and Security Act, drastically changing Dutch law on employment contracts,
which came into force in January 1999, sowed confusion among employers and
employees in the sports sector. Recent developments include a collective
agreement for professional footballers, which came into force on 1 July 1999.
In July 1999, the UIMM employers' organisation and the main trade unions -
except CGT - concluded an agreement on a new form of early retirement for
workers employed by French automobile manufacturers and their subsidiaries.
The agreement is contingent on public financing of part of the cost of the
pensions, a question which the government is to decide on in autumn 1999.
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.
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.
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief examines the characteristics of innovative companies and explores the types of workplace practices that are significantly associated with establishments' likelihood of introducing innovation. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Additionally, data gathered through case studies analyse the role of workplace practices in different phases of the innovation process.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, a high demand for labour and low unemployment levels made labour shortages one of the key policy concerns in the EU. Even where there is persistent and rising unemployment, individual countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages, which in some instances have been accentuated by COVID-19. This report explores various approaches to measuring labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.
The issue of regional convergence and whether disadvantaged regions are catching up with wealthier regions continues to attract enormous attention in the policy debate. This report presents the findings of an investigation into the evolution of social imbalances across EU regions over time, based on indicators including unemployment, social exclusion and poverty. It also examines various aspects of the relationship between growth, regional disparities and interpersonal inequalities.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.