The Netherlands' 1996 Working Time Act granted hospitals until 1 January 1999
to meet its requirements. In summer 1999, the health and safety inspectorate
drew up an official report on nine hospitals that had still not properly
arranged their schedules in line with the Act. The long working weeks of
physicians' assistants raised special concern, partly due to the fact that
their schedules are modelled on specialists' working weeks. Occupational
disability amongst this category has risen dramatically over recent years,
particularly due to emotional problems resulting from excessive on-the-job
pressure. Preventive measures, including a more normal working week, are now
In autumn 1999, a law revising the Labour Procedural Code has been approved
by Portugal's Council of Ministers and now awaits affirmation by the
President of the Republic and official publication. The upcoming changes in
procedures for court cases on labour and employment issues involves a
considerable broadening of trade unions' abilities to act in such cases.
In early September 1999, the General Confederation of Greek Labour (GSEE)
presented its positions on pensions. The trade unions downplay the importance
of demographic trends, taken alone, and stress the importance of economic
policy and renewal of the labour force.
While legislation outlawing discrimination on the grounds of gender and
marital status in relation to pay  and other aspects of employment was
introduced in Ireland in the 1970s, primarily as a response to EU Directives,
until recently there has been little legislative provision in relation to
other forms of discrimination. The enactment of the Employment Equality Act
1998 has changed this situation dramatically. This legislation, which had
been in the pipeline for a number of years, comes into force in October 1999.
The debate on the level of minimum pensions in Spain has been prominent
during summer 1999. Pressure from trade unions and others to increase these
pensions has been mounting against a background of some 3 million pensioners
living below the poverty line. The issue is also important in the context of
the forthcoming general election in spring 2000.
In late August 1999, France's Credit Institution Council ruled against the
attempt by the BNP banking group to merge with Société Générale. In
addition to the position of the financial markets, the opposition of
employees played a role in the Council's decision.
In Germany, collective agreements are directly binding only for the members
of the trade union and the members of the employers' association (or the
individual company) signing the agreement. By means of an official procedure
called an "order imposing extension" (Allgemeinverbindlicherklärung),
however, the applicability of an existing collective agreement can be
extended to include employees and employers not bound by the agreement. Such
a generally applicable agreement then has the same direct and mandatory force
for these employees and employers as it has for the employment relationships
already bound by the agreement by virtue of membership of a signatory
organisation. The rationale behind this incorporation of non-union members
and non-organised employers is that otherwise there could be a situation
where many employees were not covered by any collective agreement, especially
in sectors such as the building industry or retail trade with a large number
of small enterprises whose owners are not members of any association.
The advantages of Denmark joining the third stage of EU Economic and Monetary
Union (EMU, or Den Økonomiske og Monetære Union, ØMU) far outweigh the
disadvantages. On the other hand, seen in the light of the economic policy
which Denmark has pursued since the end of the 1980s, it would not trigger
economic chaos if, following a new referendum, the Danes chose to remain
outside EMU. However, if they do, they will of course lose the advantages
connected with EMU.
In October 1999, the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) is 25 years old.
At the time of its adoption in 1974, the HASAWA was hailed as a landmark
piece of legislation that brought 8 million mainly public service workers
within the scope of the law and stimulated greater interest in health and
safety amongst employers and trade unions. Although the UK's health and
safety record compares favourably with most other EU countries, anniversary
celebrations are muted. There is a growing sense that the existing regulatory
framework is ill-adapted to the changing labour market of the late 1990s.
Whilst employers are anxious about whether they are complying with health and
safety requirements, employees and trade unions express concern about the
relatively few prosecutions for health and safety offences and the low levels
of fines imposed on employers when breaches of the HASAWA are proven.
In September 1999, a new national collective agreement for the Italian
commerce sector was signed. The agreement's provisions include: wage
increases; a working time reduction linked to flexibility; new part-time work
regulations; and new sickness and maternity leave regulations.
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 2009, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
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 2013, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2003, the first edition of the survey.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2007, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2012, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2005, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2010, the fifth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series explores scenarios for the future of manufacturing. The employment implications (number of jobs by sector, occupation, wage profile, and task content) under various possible scenarios are examined. The scenarios focus on various possible developments in global trade and energy policies and technological progress and run to 2030.
The report describes trends in social and economic discontent across the EU between 2002 and 2020, highlighting in particular the turbulent times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report explores the evolution of social cohesion and its impact on economic and social discontent. It assesses the relationship between social cohesion and discontent during the pandemic, allowing for a comparison of the situation as it stands in 2023. The focus of the report is on regions where social cohesion is low, where a contrast is drawn with regions where social cohesion is much higher.
This report analyses the working conditions and job quality of different types of self-employed workers. Drawing on data from the European Working Conditions Survey, it looks into policies in Member States aimed at addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with specific types of self-employment.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the chemical 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 chemical sector in the EU Member States.
The focus of this report is on the role that human capital plays in determining inequalities across the EU, as well as within Member States. Using Cedefop’s work in this area, the report provides a comparative analysis of national trends in education and lifelong learning, including differences between educational groups in terms of income, living conditions and health.
The report maps trends in income inequality and examines the situation of the middle classes in the EU during 2020, the year most associated with the COVID-19 lockdowns. It charts developments in the size and composition of middle-class households across countries, identifies those that suffered disproportionately in 2020. Taking a longer lens, the report describes the evolution of income inequalities over the last 15 years, comparing the Great Recession (2007–2009) with the COVID-19 pandemic, and outlines the trends both between and within Member States.
This report explores the implications of the right of all EU citizens to live independently. It investigates the barriers faced by people who wish to live independently, and the situation of people at risk of living in institutional settings. It maps the various measures taken by EU Member States to foster independent living and autonomy. The report also includes policy pointers to support future decision-makers and provides a review of lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.