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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In September 1999, the Institute of Labour of Greece's GSEE and the ADEDY
trade union confederations issues its first /Annual economic and employment
outlook/. Such reports have long been produced by employers, the central bank
and the Ministry of National Economy. The report finds that Greece is very
likely to meet the nominal convergence conditions for EMU membership on 1
January 2001, while real convergence is being achieved thanks to an effective
policy of demand management. However, despite rapid economic and employment
growth, the unemployment rate is rising.
In 1999, the number of interest groups representing self-employed people
without employees in the Netherlands has rapidly grown, while some trade
unions affiliated to the FNV confederation now also include these individuals
as a target group for recruitment. The increase in self-employment without
staff stems from the healthy economic situation, diminished social security
for employees and perceived greater opportunities for people to apply their
talents in a self-employed capacity. Whether the current trend will continue
in the future remains to be seen.
The Danish trade union movement lost another union when a substantial
majority of the members of the Danish Union of Graphical Workers (Grafisk
Forbund) - an affiliate of the Danish Federation of Trade Unions,
(Landorganisationen i Danmark, LO) - voted to dissolve the organisation in a
ballot held on 9 June 1999. There was an unusually large turnout for a trade
union ballot, with 82% of the union's 23,000 members voting, and of these 62%
voted to dissolve the union, which had existed in its current form for only
six years. General secretaryTom Durbing and the union leadership had
recommended this course of action, and the general secretary was relieved at
the clear decision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.