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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
Platform work – the matching of supply of and demand for paid labour through an online platform or app – is gaining increasing importance in Europe. It has attracted policy attention due to its inherent opportunities and challenges. Across Europe, initiatives have been introduced by governments, social partners and grassroots organisations aimed at harnessing the potential and reducing the risks of this employment form. The areas covered include regulation, representation, advice and information provision, as well as measures addressing social protection, ratings and training.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.