In a recent high-profile incident, a Muslim woman of Lebanese origin was
rejected for employment by Denmark's two largest supermarket chains because
she refused, if employed, to remove the headscarf that she wore according to
Muslim tradition. The woman concerned, Maria Mawla, brought the matter to to
attention of the press in late July 1999. The national supermarket chains
concerned - the Danish Consumer Cooperative (Forenede Danske Brugsforeninger,
FDB) and Dansk Supermarked- refused to employ Muslim women in headscarves to
work at check-out desks or other visible places in their outlets. They
claimed that: individual headgear is contrary to their ways and customs;
headscarves are unhygienic and not compatible with the stores' principles
concerning uniforms; and the presence of staff in headscarves may put off
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.
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 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".
A summary of the results of research on the relationship between employment status and health. A bibliographic review was undertaken and data from the 1996 Second European Survey on Working Conditions complemented by Eurostat data was also analysed.
At the end of June 1999, trade unions and employers in private sector
industry appointed eight impartial chairs for their forthcoming collective
bargaining round. Under the March 1997 agreement on cooperation and pay
regulation in the industry sector (SE9703110N ), such impartial chairs on
their own initiative join the negotiations over a new collective agreement
one month before the existing agreement is to expire and ensure that the
negotiations end in due time. The 1997 agreement was signed by eight trade
union federations and 12 employers' associations, representing some 10,000
companies and 800,000 employees. The aims of the agreement include the
conclusion of new collective agreements without any strikes or lock-outs.
The president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Sir Clive
Thompson, has sparked controversy by warning that the much-discussed concept
of partnership may be hiding a "damaging build-up of trade union influence".
His remarks, made in a speech to an audience of employers on 23 June 1999,
have been strongly criticised by union leaders and have highlighted the
diverging interpretations placed on the idea of partnership by different
groups of practitioners and policymakers. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has
been actively promoting the concept of union-based partnership at work, but
the government and employers' organisations are unwilling to accept that
partnership arrangements necessarily require union involvement (UK9906108F
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.
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
This report analyses how working conditions, job quality and working life outcomes – such as work–life balance, health and well-being, and sustainability of work – changed between February 2020 and spring 2021. Following up on responses to the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2020, it explores the differences between three distinct groups of workers: those teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic, those who continued to work on their employers' premises as frontline staff, and those who were furloughed or worked reduced hours.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the gas 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the gas sector in the EU Member States.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the food and drinks 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 food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
The financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the electricity 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 electricity sector in the EU Member States.
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.