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 ).
In June 1999, the debate on Italy's collective bargaining system was revived
by a call on the part of employers for greater flexibility and
decentralisation. Trade unions, though with differing emphases, do not share
this point of view and stress the importance of maintaining the current
two-tier bargaining structure. Another issue at stake is the redefinition of
bargaining units and the possible creation of new sectoral agreements,
notably for those branches which are affected by privatisation and
Only 13 of the 22 national affiliated trade unions of the Danish
Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsforeningen i Danmark, LO) are represented
on LO's executive committee. Kirsten Nissen, president of the Union of
Socio-Educational Workers (Socialpædagogernes Landsforbund, SL), which does
not have an executive committee seat, wants to change this state of affairs.
At the LO congress in October 1999, she will propose that the present
executive committee is extended to create a central board with representation
from all 22 national unions.
Shortly before the 1999 summer recess, the Lower House of the Dutch
parliament amended a government legislative proposal for unpaid care leave,
proposing instead a paid arrangement. The proposed 10 days of care leave is
aimed at enabling employees to take care of their ill children or other
family members. The Lower House want the arrangement to be funded from the
existing Unemployment Fund, which is financed by employer and employee
A conference in June 1999 examined "regional employment networks" in
Portugal. These networks have been growing in importance as means for
implementing labour market policies, in line with the objectives of the
National Action Plan for employment. The social partners have been involved
in various ways, mostly at the strategic and economic level.
On 21 June 1999, the temporary employment agency Adecco
Personaldienstleistungen GmbH and a bargaining cartel of six trade unions
signed a "collective agreement on the hiring-out of labour on the occasion of
the EXPO 2000 world exhibition" (Tarifvertrag zur Arbeitnehmerüberlassung
anläßlich der Weltausstellung EXPO 2000 ).The unions involved were the
IG Metall metalworkers' union, the Food and Restaurants Workers' Union
(Gewerkschaft Nahrung Genuß Gaststätten, NGG), the Building, Agriculture
and Environmental Union (IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt), the Trading, Banking and
Insurance Union (Gewerkschaft Handel Banken und Versicherungen, HBV), the
Public Services, Transport and Traffic Union (Gewerkschaft Öffentliche
Dienste, Transport und Verkehr, ÖTV) and the German White-Collar Workers'
Union (Deutsche Angestellten-Gewerkschaft, DAG) The agreement will cover
approximately about 7,000 employees who will be recruited by Adecco in order
to work at the EXPO 2000 exhibition, which will take place in Hanover from 1
June until 31 October 2000. Adecco is the exclusive provider of personnel
services to EXPO 2000 Hannover GmbH, the company which is responsible for the
overall organisation of the world exhibition.
Following the publication of statistics indicating a sharp rise in
unemployment in Greece, and government analyses of the connection between
unemployment and the increased presence of immigrants, the GSEE trade union
confederation has reiterated its positions on addressing rising unemployment
and on dealing with economic immigrants.
In July 1999, after long-running protest actions, three trade unions - UGT,
CC.OO and UTS - reached agreement with Telefónica, the Spanish
telecommunications provider. The unions have agreed a redundancy procedure
affecting 10,800 workers and a new collective agreement that guarantees the
employment and working conditions of the rest of the employees.
The Confederation of Vocational Unions (Yrkesorganisasjonenes Sentralforbund,
YS) held its eighth national conference  on 15-16 June 1999. The YS chair,
Randi Bjørgen was re-elected for a second period, and at the top of the
agenda was the proposed creation of a new trade union confederation with the
Confederation of Academic and Professional Associations (Akademikernes
Fellesorganisasjon, AF). In her opening speech, Ms Bjørgen also announced
willingness for closer cooperation with the Norwegian Confederation of Trade
Unions (Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, LO). The Confederation of Norwegian
Business and Industry (Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon, NHO) was heavily
criticised for allegedly undermining the legitimacy of the national system of
An analysis of labour disputes in 1998, published by the Office for National
Statistics in the June 1999 issue of /Labour Market Trends/, showed that
strike activity remains at its lowest level since records began in 1891. The
number of recorded disputes was the smallest ever and the number of workers
involved the fewest for 70 years, while the number of days not worked because
of industrial action was lower than in every previous year except 1997.
Stoppages in summer 1998 on the railways and the London Underground
(UK9806132N ) accounted for much of the latter figure.
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, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
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.
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.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
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.