In late May 1999, the VOO parents' organisation proposed implementing a
four-day working week in Dutch primary education as the only plausible way to
reduce working time in the sector. The issue of how to cope with ongoing
working time cuts at a time of teacher shortages has caused concern in
parliament, while one parents' association has unsuccessfully challenged in
the courts a school's decision to introduce a four-day week every other week.
General elections were held in Belgium on 13 June 1999, resulting in the
defeat of the incumbent Christian Democrat/Socialist coalition. Negotiations
then began at federal and community levels on creating a so-called "rainbow"
coalition government. For the first time in its post-war history, Belgium
will be ruled by a political majority of Liberals, Socialists and Greens,
with the Christian Democrats being left on the sidelines.
Following legislation adopted in May 1999, Portugal's legal regime on
collective redundancies has been adopted to bring it fully into line with the
1992 EU collective redundancies Directive. Furthermore, the law abolishes a
previous rule that a worker who has accepted redundancy compensation cannot
legally challenge the redundancy.
In July 1999, four weeks of strike action by 130 midwives ended when members
of the midwives' trade union (Den almindelige Danske Jordmoderforening, DADJ)
voted by a large majority to accept the collective agreement which DADJ had
negotiated with the Association of County Authorities (Amtsrådsforeningen)
and Copenhagen's joint hospital administration (Hovedstadens
Sygehusfællesskab, HS). More than 60% of the union's members voted in the
ballot and more than 71% of those voting were in favour of the proposed
In July 1999, the collective agreement archive of the Institute for Economic
and Social Research (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI)
within the Hans-Böckler Foundation published an interim report on the 1999
collective bargaining round ("Die Drei vor dem Komma. Eine Zwischenbilanz der
Lohn- und Gehaltsrunde 1999", Reinhard Bispinck/WSI-Tarifarchiv, WSI
Informationen zur Tarifpolitik, Juli 1999). According to the WSI study,
collective bargaining has almost exclusively concerned wages and salaries in
1999, with other issues playing only a minor role. This is mainly because
trade unions have concentrated their demands very much on pay claims. After
some years of only very moderate increases, which sometimes even included
decreases in real pay, several unions called for an "end of modesty" and
entered the 1999 bargaining round with pay claims between 5.5% and 6.5%
(DE9810279F ). Employers' associations, however, constantly rejected such
demands and, instead, argued for a continuation of a policy of wage
The revised national Budget for 1999 was passed by the Norwegian parliament
(Stortinget) on 18 June 1999. The annual procedure for revising the Budget
enables the government to adjust its economic policy in the light of
developments that have taken place since the release of the Budget in the
autumn of the previous year (NO9811100N ). In conjunction with the revised
national Budget, the government also produced an up-to-date analysis of state
of affairs of the national economy. Statistics Norway (Statistisk
Sentralbyrå, SSB) and the Bank of Norway (Norges Bank) have also published
their own economic analysis for spring 1999.
Since the election of the Labour government in May 1997, much has been made
of the idea of "partnership" as the new "third way" for UK industrial
relations - representing, for its advocates, a modern alternative both to the
entrenched adversarialism of traditional collective bargaining and to the
unilateral managerialism of the 1980s and 1990s. A government "working
document" Competitiveness through partnership with people  and a Trades
Union Congress (TUC) statement /Partners for progress/, both published in
1997, set the tone. Since then, the concept has been promoted by
organisations such as the Institute of Personnel and Development (UK9811158F
) and the Involvement and Participation Association. At a TUC-sponsored
conference in May 1999, the partnership principle (although not every detail
of the TUC's own agenda) was endorsed by the prime minister, the trade and
industry secretary and the director general of the Confederation of British
Industry (UK9906108F ).
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.
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.
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 captures the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the quality of life of older citizens, including the impact on their well-being, finances, employment and social inclusion. It explores the effects on the use of care services and older people’s reliance on other support. The report presents policy measures that have been implemented in EU Member States to support older people along all of the above-mentioned dimensions.
This report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.
Social dialogue lies at the heart of the EU treaties and governance. Social partners are core stakeholders who can assess policy needs and contribute to policy formation and to designing and implementing national reforms in the social and employment fields. This report focuses on the timely and meaningful involvement of national social partners in the preparation of the new resilience and recovery plans and the national reform programmes (NRPs) that were temporarily integrated under the European Semester in 2021.
This policy brief explores the social situation of Europeans with a disability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from the March–April 2021 Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey, it compares the situation of respondents with and without a disability in three areas: perceptions of the healthcare system, mental well-being and financial precarity.
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.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2021 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2021. The range of topics as a result is broad, from the growing diversity of employment across EU regions to developments in minimum wages, and of course the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year, Eurofound compiles a report summarising the key developments in minimum wages across EU countries. The report explains how minimum wages are set and describes the role of social partners, covering the evolution of statutory rates, collectively agreed wages and the national debates on these issues.
This report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
This report will map the existing regulations on telework in European Union Member States, including in legislation and collective agreements. It will present the most recent changes to these regulations and shed light on how the future of (tele)work could be regulated at both national and EU level, in order to improve working conditions in telework arrangements and reduce the risks associated with telework and with specific ways of working remotely.
The civil aviation sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most severe crises the sector has ever experienced, giving rise to a number of significant challenges for companies and workers alike. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?