The Norwegian Union of Hotel and Restaurant Workers (Norges Hotell- og
Restaurantarbeider Forbund, HRAF) and the Norwegian Hospitality Association
(Reiselivsbransjens Landsforening, RBL), agreed a new collective agreement
for the hotel and restaurant sector on 24 April 1998. The agreement involves
a general pay increase of NOK 3 per hour, and a low-pay bonus of NOK 2 per
hour. The low-pay bonus will cover a large proportion of salaried employees
in the sector. An additional increase in the minimum wage rate will add to
the pay increases for certain groups of employees. Wages for employees
working at night will increase by NOK 15 per hour. The parties have also
included a provision stating that part-time employees already employed who
want to extend their working time have priority over additional recruitment
in cases where their company needs additional labour. Companies which fail to
comply with this provision are obliged to state the reason for not doing so.
The Union of City-Centre Department Stores (Union des commerces de centre
ville, UCV) followed the example of the French Banks' Association
(Association française des banques, AFB) and entered into negotiations on
the reduction of working time at the beginning of 1998 (FR9802194F ). Like
the AFB, UCV too has now decided to terminate the sectoral collective
agreement covering 40,000 workers on the grounds that the negotiations had
"no chance of succeeding". The UCV entered the discussions with the aim of
securing the annualisation of working time to compensate for the forthcoming
move to a 35-hour statutory working week (FR9710169F ).
On 31 March 1998, the German construction workers' trade union, IG
Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (IG Bau), and the three Italian construction workers'
unions, Feneal-Uil, Filca-Cisl and Fillea-Cgil, signed a new agreement for
closer cooperation and mutual recognition of union membership. This agreement
is a reaction by the unions to the constantly growing number of posted
workers in the construction industry since freedom of movement was guaranteed
by the introduction of the European single market. From now on, as a result
of the new agreement, all members of the Italian construction workers' unions
who work in Germany, even for a short period, are to get free legal advice
and aid from the German union's offices. Furthermore Italian union members
who work for a longer period in Germany can easily become members of IG Bau,
and vice versa. At the moment, IG Bau has about 5,000 Italian members
On 20 April 1998, main proceedings were due to begin in case before the
Labour Court, in which the Commercial Employees' Union (Handelsanställdas
förbund, Handels) had sued Small Shops Sverige AB, the company which
operates the 7-Eleven chain of shops, for SEK 1 million compensation for a
breach of the collective agreement (SE9703108N ). On 8 April, however, the
parties settled the dispute and agreed to withdraw the case from the court. A
new collective agreement has been drawn up, in which the company agrees to
pay its employees the same unsocial hours bonus as other employees in the
The criteria for receiving social welfare benefits in Italy will change
considerably with the recent creation of the "economic situation indicator"
(Indicatore della situazione economica, Ise) (IT9803157N ). This means
that in order to receive welfare benefits, every citizen will have to submit
a self-declaration on his or her financial situation, which will also give
the public authorities permission to check the applicant's personal finances.
The Government and social partners believe that this system will be very
useful in the fight against tax evasion and that it also guarantees greater
fairness in the distribution of services.
The long-awaited report of Ireland's National Minimum Wage Commission,
published in April 1998, is set to herald the introduction of a national
minimum wage of around IEP 4.40 per hour. The target date set by the
Commission is 1 April 2000, a date which would deliberately coincide with the
commencement of a new national agreement between the social partners when the
current /Partnership 2000/ (P2000) deal (IE9702103F ) expires. Therefore,
the precise details of the minimum wage will also, as asserted by Enterprise,
Trade and Employment Minister, Mary Harney, be hammered out "in the context
of negotiations on a successor to P2000".
In April 1998, more than 20,000 workers in the postal services across the
whole of Spain supported rallies and protests called by the Unitary Trade
Union Platform (Plataforma Sindical Unitaria) against the liberalisation of
these services. Workers and all the representative trade unions (CC.OO, UGT,
CSI-CSIF,Sindicato Libre, CIG, ELA and CGT) have therefore now expressed
their unanimous opposition to a bill on liberalisation presented by the
On 6 April 1998, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) published the results
of a ballot which showed that 93% of its members who voted were prepared to
take industrial action, short of a strike, over the issue of too much "red
tape" and paperwork in schools. Doug McAvoy, the NUT general secretary said
that "this was an overwhelming vote in favour of reducing the workload on
teachers resulting from bureaucratic activities." However, the turnout in the
ballot was low at only 28%.
The Portuguese subsidiary of the German-owned electronics company, Siemens,
began a collective dismissal  procedure involving 208 workers in February
1998, completing the final closure of a facility in Porto Alto that had
provided 400 temporary, short-term and permanent jobs.
At their fifth negotiating meeting on 21 April 1998, the social partners in
the construction industry succeeded in concluding an agreement on the wages
of 130,000 blue-collar workers in the sector (AT9804177F ). Basic rates
will rise by 2% from 1 May 1998, whilst actual wages will move up in line
with this increase.
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.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief examines the characteristics of innovative companies and explores the types of workplace practices that are significantly associated with establishments' likelihood of introducing innovation. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Additionally, data gathered through case studies analyse the role of workplace practices in different phases of the innovation process.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, a high demand for labour and low unemployment levels made labour shortages one of the key policy concerns in the EU. Even where there is persistent and rising unemployment, individual countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages, which in some instances have been accentuated by COVID-19. This report explores various approaches to measuring labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue.
The issue of regional convergence and whether disadvantaged regions are catching up with wealthier regions continues to attract enormous attention in the policy debate. This report presents the findings of an investigation into the evolution of social imbalances across EU regions over time, based on indicators including unemployment, social exclusion and poverty. It also examines various aspects of the relationship between growth, regional disparities and interpersonal inequalities.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
This report examines the labour market changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected sectors and occupations quite differently. It identifies those labour market categories most exposed to negative labour market outcomes. It analyses how differences in confinement and public health approaches may have contributed to different outcomes. It addresses previous assessments of the extent of occupational ‘teleworkability’ and of the sectoral impact of confinement rules. The report draws on EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) data for its analysis.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.
This report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
This study presents policy-relevant findings on differential pay rates for men and women at occupational level. Previous research has underlined that the gender pay gap is biggest – and has been slowest to narrow – in well-paid jobs requiring professional qualifications. These are also jobs in which the female worker share is increasing relatively fast. The report maps the extent of the gender pay gap across the job-wage distribution, taking into account the shifting gender composition of specific sectors, occupations and jobs.