In September 1999, the views of Finland's social partners over a possible new
national incomes policy agreement were being sounded out. The willingness to
conclude a new incomes policy deal may have been strengthened by the report
of a tripartite fact-finding commission on the practical implementation of
the last two incomes policy agreements, which finds that purchasing power has
grown considerably faster than envisaged when the agreements were signed.
In early August 1999, a shop steward for the Belgian General Federation of
Labour (Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique/Algemeen Belgisch
Vakverbond, FGTB/ABVV) was made redundant by Carnoy, a manufacturer of metal
pipes based in Wondelgem near Ghent, for "pressing reasons". Workers promptly
launched strike action, with official recognition by the three trade unions
represented at the company. The administrative staff did not participate in
the strike, and were prevented from accessing the site by flying pickets.
Since 1998, systems for jointly resolving labour conflicts out of court
created by the social partners have progressed greatly in Spain, helping
promote a framework of industrial relations founded less on the courts and
more on collective autonomy. As well as the SIMA national joint
dispute-resolution body, by autumn 1999, all but one of Spain's 17 autonomous
communities had their own regional body.
During 1999, seven companies in the Ericsson telecommunications group became
covered by an agreement concluded by the parent company with the Union for
Technical and Clerical Employees in Industry (Svenska
Industritjänstemannaförbundet, SIF), the Association of Graduated Engineers
(Sveriges Civilingenjörsförbund, CF) and the Association of Managerial
Staff (Ledarna). The agreement contains provisions on six months of extra
parental leave pay for employees who stay at home with a new baby or a small
1999 is the United Nations International Year of Older Persons  and in
acknowledgement of this, the European Commission published in May a
Communication entitled Towards a Europe for all ages - promoting prosperity
and intergenerational solidarity(COM(1999) 221 final) . It details the
demographic, social and economic effects of ageing and proposes strategies
intending to ensure that an effective policy is in place to support the
ageing population. The aim of the Communication is to stimulate debate
between and with Member States.
From 10 to 17 September 1999, the Austrian Trade Union Federation
(Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) organised a week of action to
underline its demand for a harmonisation of the legal position of wage
earners and salary earners (AT9906153N ). Legal distinctions between the
two categories persist in areas such as compensation during sick leave and
regulations governing dismissal. About 200 events were scheduled in the week
of action. The opening event took place in a square in Vienna and included
speeches and a pantomime. It was preceded by 6,000 faxes sent to the Austrian
Chamber of the Economy (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ), asking it to
give up its resistance to harmonisation. In other areas, information
hand-outs and homing pigeons were used in the actions. The public spaces
around provincial WKÖ headquarters were targeted for activities while others
took place in companies, without disrupting production.
Finland's current two-year national incomes policy agreement expires in
January 2000. The AKAVA trade union confederation, which represents
professional staff, announced in September 1999 that it is seeking a new
wide-ranging, two-year incomes policy solution which will strengthen the
Finnish economy, promote employment and "coping" at work, and safeguard the
positive development in employees' purchasing power of recent years.
In the first six months of 1999, collective bargaining progressed well in
Spain, according to figures from the CC.OO trade union confederation, though
greater success has been achieved in revising agreements than in reaching new
ones. Wage moderation has prevailed, and the agreements contain more clauses
on employment and on shorter working hours, though the reduction is moderate.
By making state funding for working time reductions contingent upon a company
agreement signed by majority trade unions or approval by a majority of the
employees, France's draft bill for a second law on the 35-hour week - issued
in summer 1999 - has brought the issue of unions' representative status to
the fore. Unions are split over the law's provisions on this issue.
A governmental committee chaired by special commissioner Hans Stark, a former
chief judge in the Labour Court, has been reviewing certain parts of the Act
concerning Equality between Men and Women (jämställdhetslagen, /1991:
433/). The review has primarily been conducted in order to achieve
harmonisation with EC equality law, and should also been seen in conjunction
with the three new Acts forbidding discrimination at work - covering
discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, sexual orientation and disability
- adopted in March 1999 (SE9903148F ). The issues that have been
considered by the committee include the nature of the ban on discrimination
set out in the Act, damages for victims of discrimination, wage surveys and
issues related to work evaluation.
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, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. 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 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.
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.