In August 1999, Dutch trade unions were angered by the latest evidence of
increases in senior management salaries far above those awarded to employees
covered by collective agreements, and the FNV union confederation thus
threatened to sabotage the Dutch consensus and consultation system (the
"polder model"). A promise by the VNO-NCW employers' association to urge its
members to support a moderate wage increase has seemingly warded off the
A new paper from the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), which maps out
"new ways" for trade unions to deal with challenges posed by the new
millennium, suggests that even if the social partners fail to agree a
centralised agreement to replace the current three-year Partnership 2000 
(P2000) national agreement (IE9702103F ), "partnership" remains a viable
alternative to adversarialism. The paper, entitled /Challenges facing unions
and Irish society in the new millennium/, was unveiled at the ICTU's
two-yearly conference which took place in Killarney on 6-8 July 1999
Historically, the German Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei
Deutschlands, SPD) and the German socialist trade unions, as opposed to the
Christian and liberal unions, have the same roots in the labour movement of
the second half of the 19th century. Since then, the Social Democrats and the
trade unions have maintained close links.
As Greece endured a heatwave during August 1999, the GSEE trade union
confederation issued guidance on the measures which must be taken to combat
heat exhaustion among workers, while the construction workers' union issued
its own special recommendations.
The Norwegian government appointed new members to the Technical Calculating
Committee on Income Settlements (Teknisk Beregningsutvalg for
Inntektsoppgjørene, TBU) on 25 June 1999, an event which saw the inclusion
of additional representatives from social partner organisations. The TBU is a
body which works out a common analytical basis for wage settlements by, among
other things, estimating wage growth and the wage "carry-over" in different
sectors. The committee also provides evaluations of issues such as
developments in real income and national competitiveness. The committee does
not, however, comment on the coming wage settlements.
The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO)
reportedly wants to change the fundamental structure of Danish industrial
relations, according to a proposal which is still before the confederation's
executive committee for approval. It seeks the abolition of the employers'
right to direct and divide the work, enshrined in the basic agreement 
(hovedaftalen) with the Danish Employers' Confederation (Dansk
Arbejdsgiverforening, DA) which determines the fundamental rules of the
labour market, as well as a wider revision of the agreement. The background
to this proposal, entitled /Welfare is an obligation/, is that LO wants
greater flexibility in industrial relations, whereby employees and employer
at the individual workplace level would enter into a contract which
determines the quantity of work the employees have to perform and the payment
for this work. It is stated in the introduction to the proposal that "this
contract should also deal with the working environment, social
considerations, the division of profits etc. Accordingly, it would be up to
the wage earners collectively to direct and divide the work and the payment".
In early June 1999, British Steel and the Dutch steel producer Hoogovens
announced their intention to merge in a deal valued at GBP 3.9 billion. The
merged entity will be the largest steel firm in Europe and the third biggest
in the world, producing 22.5 million tonnes of steel per year. As the larger
of the two parties, British Steel's shareholders will hold a 61.7% stake in
the new group, while those of Hoogovens, including the Dutch government, will
hold the remainder. The merger follows other cross-border tie-ups in the
European steel industry: Usinor of France has joined forces with
Cockerill-Sambre of Belgium (BE9812158N ), while Arbed of Luxembourg and
Aceralia of Spain have also merged.
The Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU), Ireland's
largest trade union, is in the process of establishing its own internal
employee forum which is separate from the traditional industrial relations
processes within the union. The role of SIPTU's staff representative council,
which deals with industrial relations issues such as pay and conditions, is
to remain unchanged.
On 20 April 1999, the first senate of the German Federal Labour Court
(Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) issued a judgment (/1 ABR 72/98/) which
acknowledged the right of trade unions to bring court cases against employers
which they accuse of operating a company arrangement that contravenes a
collective agreement in force. In July 1999, the BAG published a
comprehensive written statement in which it sets out the reasons for its
judgment. According to the statement, trade unions have the right to ask that
employers cease an unlawful company arrangement in order to safeguard the
unions' constitutional right to freedom of association 
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 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.
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.
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.
This study presents policy-relevant findings on differential pay rates for men and women at occupational level. Previous research has underlined that the gender pay gap is biggest – and has been slowest to narrow – in well-paid jobs requiring professional qualifications. These are also jobs in which the female worker share is increasing relatively fast. The report maps the extent of the gender pay gap across the job-wage distribution, taking into account the shifting gender composition of specific sectors, occupations and jobs.
Building on Eurofound’s previous research on youth, this report examines the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young people, in particular their economic and social situation, with a focus on employment. It will also estimate how the NEET population – young people not in employment, education or training – has changed in size and composition over the last decade, and how the current crisis might affect this.
This report examines the phenomenon of overtime in the EU, providing a comparative description of how it is regulated in EU Member States. It also assesses how contentious the issue can be and investigates the reasons behind the various disputes and debates. Finally, the report attempts to quantify and characterise the share of overtime for which workers are not paid or compensated. The analysis is based on information collected in EU Member States by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
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 report examines the labour market changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected sectors and occupations quite differently. It identifies those labour market categories most exposed to negative labour market outcomes. It analyses how differences in confinement and public health approaches may have contributed to different outcomes. It addresses previous assessments of the extent of occupational ‘teleworkability’ and of the sectoral impact of confinement rules. The report draws on EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) data for its analysis.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the audiovisual 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 audiovisual sector in the EU Member States.
This policy brief uses the data from the European Company Survey 2019 to examine the workplace practices of export-oriented companies and to analyse how these practices relate to outcomes. It also examines why these companies choose the workplace practices they adopt.