In June 1999, the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, representing small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), was given a mandate by four of its
affiliates to participate in national incomes policy negotiations. The
organisation thus aims to achieve the status of a central social partner
organisation with negotiation rights. The existing central organisations are
unsympathetic toward such a move and would like to maintain the status quo
Under the terms of a Royal Decree dated 1 June 1999, the Belgian government
has agreed to make payments backdated to 1 January 1999 to cross-border
workers in compensation for inequalities in their remuneration compared with
other employees. The Decree will be in force initially for three years. Such
compensation payments have already been in existence since 1994 for Belgian
workers employed in the Netherlands, but the system is now being improved.
Wage ceilings have been increased, cross-border workers who started work
after 1993 are now included and part-timers covered on a pro rata basis. For
Belgians working in France, no system had been in operation, and inequalities
have developed gradually over time as a result of the same unfavourable
combination of social contributions and high taxes.
Several years ago, the Danish government suggested a target of creating
40,000 "flexi-jobs" - subsidised jobs on special terms for people with a
disability, illness or reduced ability to work - before 2005 (DK9704108N
). In mid-1999, it appears that a total of 36,500 people are presently
employed in this way. Figures from the Central Statistical Office (Danmarks
Statistik) that 20,406 people receive disability pensions in addition to
being wage earners employed on special terms of some kind, while private
sector employers employ more than 16,000 people in special sheltered jobs
which are not publicly subsidised. In addition, the number of jobs with
special flexible working hours has doubled in the course of a year.
The FNV trade union confederation has successfully persuaded the Dutch
government to revise the new tax system scheduled to take effect in 2001,
which was up for debate in parliament at the end of June 1999. The unions are
concerned about employees who work limited hours in part-time jobs and who,
under the terms of the plan, would not have been eligible for a new annual
tax exemption of NLG 1,500. The government has now extended the concession to
a much larger group.
On 5-6 February 1999, the Mining, Chemical and Energy Union (IG Bergbau
Chemie Energie, IG BCE) held a conference in Hanover, bringing together
around 270 local union members in order to evaluate recent developments in
German collective bargaining. The contributions to the conference, which were
subsequently published by the union, give a broad overview of the experiences
in IG BCE-related sectors (/Allgemeine Arbeitsbedingungen - tarifliche
Bindung oder betriebliche Gestaltung. Protokoll der Fachtagung in Hannover am
5/6 Februar 1999/, IG BCE (ed)).
Temporary employment is increasing significantly in Greece, and now
constitutes the basic form of employment for many workers, according to data
published in June 1999 by the Institute of Labour of the Greek General
Confederation of Labour (INE/GSEE).
In May 1999, the immigrants' department of Luxembourg's OGB-L trade union
confederation has called for the regularisation of the position of foreign
workers in an irregular situation, and for the introduction of a 40-hour
working week in the hotels, catering and cafés sector.
In June 1999, Finland's SAK trade union confederation outlined the trade
union movement's shared objective of strengthening the principle of the
general validity of collective agreements - their applicability to all
employers and employees in a sector, and not just members of the signatory
organisations - in the next incomes policy round. This can be interpreted
especially as a signal to the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, which wishes
to become a negotiating party in the incomes policy talks, despite its
previous aim of abolishing general validity. SAK's demand is creating some
tension between left- and right-wing parties within the "rainbow" coalition
A suggestion from the Social Democrats, the largest party in the coalition
government, on obligatory supplementary training funds has created
dissatisfaction among employers and trade unions. The Social Democrats'
proposal , issued in June 1999, takes as its point of departure the fact
that the government has done a great deal to improve education for children
and young people, and now wishes to make basic reforms in connection with
adult education and supplementary training courses.
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.
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.
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.