The Spanish government's 1999 National Action Plan (NAP) for employment, in
response to the EU Employment Guidelines, has been severely attacked by the
trade unions. The unions criticise the content of the NAP, approved in May
1999, and the funds assigned to it, and claim that it appeared late and
lacked social dialogue in its preparation.
The new President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi- chosen by the EU
Member States and approved by the European Parliament- announced his new
19-member team of Commissioners on 9 July 1999, by common accord with the
Member States. The first meeting of the proposed new-look Commission took
place on 16 July. Few of the sitting Commissioners survived the shake-out
following the allegations of irregularities which had beset the outgoing
administration. On announcing his team, Mr Prodi said that: "when I accepted
the job of Commission President, I promised to launch a new era of change in
the Commission. The Commission needs it. The European Parliament and Member
States have asked for it. The European public has urged us to carry it out.
This is what I intend to deliver, starting from today.".
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.
On 21 July 1999, the general council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC)
pledged its support for a campaign  organised by the Transport and General
Workers' Union (TGWU) to try to win reinstatement for 270 workers sacked in
November 1998 by the Lufthansa-owned airline catering company Skychefs.
After eight months of difficult negotiations, on 8 June 1999, Fim-Cisl,
Fiom-Cgil and Uilm-Uil, the metalworkers' unions belonging to the three main
trade union confederations, and the employers' associations Federmeccanica
and Assistal accepted a mediation proposal put forward by the Minister of
Labour, aimed at concluding the renewal of the collective agreement for the
Italian metalworking industry. During June and July, the procedure for
approval of the agreement involved consultation of trade union members on the
Ministry of Labour's proposal, and a referendum of all workers on the text of
the agreement agreed by the parties in June. In both consultations, the
majority of votes were cast in favour of the agreement, which opened the way
for its definitive signing.
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.
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
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, 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
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 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.
There have always been workers who have worked at different locations, on site with customers or while on the move. Companies have also developed open-plan workspaces to cut costs and foster cooperation. Cloud computing allows workers to access internal data from anywhere, while digitalisation increases the use of automated decision-making and control based on (big) data. This report addresses the extent to which place of work determines job quality.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the textiles and clothing 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 textiles and clothing sector in the EU Member States.
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.
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.
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.