On 2 February 1998, a so-called "concertation table" (Tavolo di
concertazione) on child labour was officially established in Italy. This
institution is meant to be a forum where the social partners can tackle
issues related to child labour. Many other institutions, such as the
ministries and the governmental bodies involved, participate in this
concertation process alongside trade union organisations, the Confindustria
employers' confederation, trade and crafts associations and representatives
of the International Labour Organisation and UNICEF.
When the votes were counted on 12 April 1998 in the election for a new
general secretary, it emerged that members of the Services Industrial
Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) had elected John McDonnell, the
first non-Dubliner to assume the post, ahead of his closest challenger,
Brendan Hayes. With some 200,000 members, SIPTU is Ireland's largest trade
union. Cork-born Mr McDonnell, a political moderate, replaces the influential
Bill Attley, who also served as president of the Irish Congress of Trade
Unions (ICTU) and was a key figure in devising the trade union strategy to
re-enter tripartite national agreements in 1987.
6 April 1998 saw the national launch of the Government's GBP 3.5 billion "New
Deal" programme of "welfare to work" aimed at putting young unemployed people
into employment (UK9707143F ). The first stage of the programme will
involve up to 118,000 young people aged 18-24, who have been unemployed for
more than six months, being interviewed for participation in the scheme. Over
4,000 private sector companies have signed up to participate in the scheme
(UK9710175N ). However, the launch was overshadowed by a leaked document
which indicated that the scheme could run into financial problems because not
enough young people are finding unsubsidised jobs.
Over the early months of 1998, the CC.OO and UGT trade union confederations
have made serious criticisms of the Spanish Government's economic policy
(ES9804250F ), and in particular its National Action Plan  on
employment drawn up in response to the EU Guidelines for Member States'
employment policies 1998 , following the Luxembourg"Employment Summit" in
November 1997 (EU9711168F ). The unions state that the growth and economic
stability reflected in macroeconomic indicators are accompanied by an unequal
distribution of wealth, leading to greater social inequality. The unions
believe that the current economic situation is favourable to the creation of
employment, especially in a context of low inflation.
Greece's state-owned airline, Olympic Airways (OA) is the first in a series
of public corporations to be restructured in the framework of the measures
accompanying the devaluation in March 1998 of the drachma (GR9803161F ),
by which the Government is seeking to achieve Greece's participation in EU
Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). On 9 April 1998 - in a general national
climate of tension which culminated in a nationwide strike on the same day
called by the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) and the
Confederation of Public Servants (ADEDY) - Parliament passed the law that
will regulate terms and conditions of employment and other labour matters in
Apart from Austria, the Netherlands had the lowest level of strikes amongst
EU Member States in 1997. Figures from the Central Statistical Office
(Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, CBS) show that in 1997, for every 1,000
employees, only one working day was lost because of strikes. The total number
of days lost for 1997 was 15,000, approximately two and a half times the
figure for the previous year (6,000 lost days). Remarkably, 11 of the 17
strikes counted by the CBS started as unofficial/wildcat strike  s.
However, trade unions were usually involved: they were party to the
negotiations related to 13 of the strikes. In 1997, three-quarters of the
strikes took place in the industrial sector. Disputes also arose in the
transport, storage and communications sectors.
On 15 April 1998, the Austrian Government agreed the country's National
Action Plan  (NAP) on employment (AT9802164F  and AT9803172F ). All
EU Member States were required to draw up such plans based on the EU
Guidelines for Member States' employment policies 1998 , following the
Luxembourg"Employment Summit" in November 1997 (EU9711168F ). The plans
are to be submitted to the Cardiff European Council in June 1998. In addition
to the four areas which the NAP had to cover (employability,
entrepreneurship, adaptability and equal opportunities) - and for which 19
guideline policies were drawn up by the Government - the Austrian plan
defines five additional areas outside the immediate realm of employment and
labour market policy in which action is to be taken.
The "social sector", which has also been labelled the "care", "social-profit"
or "quartiary" sector, is of growing importance for the Belgian economy in
terms of employment. About 10% of all paid employees and 7.9% of the
self-employed work in this sector, which includes voluntary and social
services. Since the mid-1980s, the sector has witnessed a growth of
employment of about 25%. A further steady increase in employment is expected
as the population grows older and other client groups receive more services.
This sector also has a number of typical features in its employment
structure: about 80% of all employees are women, in contrast to about 40%
amongst the general labour force, while a fairly high degree of flexibility
characterises work organisation in the sector - weekend work, shiftwork and
changing work schedules are typical.
On 30 March 1998, the German Food and Restaurants Workers' Union
(Gewerkschaft Nahrung Genuß Gaststätten, NGG) and the employers'
association for the east German soft drinks industries concluded a new
framework collective agreement (Manteltarifvertrag) for about 4,000
employees. The most important part of the new agreement is a reduction in
weekly working time from 40 to 38 hours. Furthermore, the new agreement
contains the following provisions:
The Cgil, Cisl and Uil trade union confederations and the Confindustria
employers' organisation - with the participation of the Minister of Labour,
Tiziano Treu- signed an agreement on 16 April 1998 defining the rules and the
procedures to be applied in order for enterprises to use temporary agency
work (lavoro interinale). Temporary agency work is a new phenomenon in Italy,
having been introduced by law for the first time in 1997 (IT9801147N )
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.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
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.
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.
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.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.
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.
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.