In March 1998, the metalworking employers' organisation, CONFEMETAL, and the
metalworking federations of the UGT, CC.OO and CIGA trade unions signed an
/Agreement on the structure of collective bargaining in the metalworking
industry/, aimed at rationalising bargaining in the sector. This is the first
agreement of this type to be signed following 1997's intersectoral agreement
on collective bargaining.
Elections in Belgian companies for works councils and workplace health and
safety committees are likely to be postponed from 1999 until 2000, at the
employers' request. The elections involve half the workers in the private
On 17 April 1998, the blue-collar Municipal Workers' Union (Svenska
Kommunalarbetareförbundet, Kommunal) signed collective agreements with the
Association of Local Authorities (Kommunförbundet), the Federation of County
Councils (Landstingsförbundet) and the Association of the Parishes within
the Church of Sweden (Svenska Kyrkans Församlings- och Pastoratsförbund),
regulating pay and working conditions for around 420,000 employees in county
councils, municipalities and parishes. Average monthly pay will rise from SEK
13,606 in 1998 to SEK 14,898 in 2000, or by 9.5% expressed as a percentage.
In April 1991, German employers stated their support for European
integration, the single market, and a reasonable social dimension. Following
the June 1997 Amsterdam summit and the related Treaty changes (EU9707135F
) as well as in face of the coming Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the
Confederation of German Employers' Associations (Bundesvereinigung der
Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände, BDA) published its current positions
regarding European social policy in spring 1998 ("EuropäischeSozialpolitik -
Die Perspektive der Arbeitgeber, BDA, Cologne (1998)). This feature
summarises the BDA statement.
The revised national Budget for 1998 was made public by the Norwegian
Government on 15 May 1998. The Government is concerned about the present
overheating in the economy, and proposes that employers must set aside 2% of
paybill as well as paying a larger share of the cost of sick pay benefits.
Finland's mainly state-owned Leonia finance group gave notice in spring 1998
of massive reorganisation involving large-scale redundancies. Employees are
vigorously opposed to the dismissals, which are now under negotiation in the
works council. If a solution cannot be reached, the dispute will escalate
into a widespread boycott.
Findings from a recent national workplace survey of workplace change in
Ireland stand in stark contrast to popular claims of the widespread diffusion
of new working practices and initiatives which facilitate employee
"empowerment". The findings suggest that new work structures are very much a
minority practice in Irish companies. In comparison to other European
countries, Ireland lags some way behind and, as a consequence, many Irish
companies are not reaping the economic benefits which accompany the
introduction of these new initiatives.
At the special Jobs Summit  in Luxembourg in November 1997 (EU9711168F
), EU Member States agreed to a set of Employment Guidelines  designed
to provide a framework for national action under four main headings -
employability, adaptability, entrepreneurship and equal opportunities.
National governments were asked to draw up National Action Plans (NAP s) on
employment by 15 April 1998, and to give the social partners the opportunity
to make a specific input into the Plan on those aspects of the
"employability" and "adaptability" guidelines which give them a direct role.
National governments were also expected to consult the social partners about
the Plan as a whole and make appropriate arrangements for their views to be
incorporated. Member States' NAPs will be considered by the Cardiff European
Council meeting in June 1998.
In May 1998, the regional Government and the main Catalan employers'
organisations and trade unions signed the /Pact for employment in Catalonia./
This is the first employment pact at regional level that has been signed
following the November 1997 EU Employment Summit, and the first of its kind
ever reached in Catalonia.
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.
Automation and digitisation technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), are undergoing a rapid evolution. This impacts working conditions in a variety of ways and raises a host of new ethical concerns. In recent times, the policy debate surrounding these concerns has become more prominent and has increasingly focused on AI. Key EU policy developments, especially in relation to AI, have shaped the policy debate in many EU Member States, and in some instances they have led to the adoption of new policy initiatives that address these concerns in the context of work and employment.
Every year, Eurofound compiles a report summarising the key developments in minimum wages across EU countries. The report explains how minimum wages are set and describes the role of social partners, covering the evolution of statutory rates, collectively agreed wages and the national debates on these issues.
As part of a process to collect information on essential services, the European Commission (DG EMPL) requested Eurofound to provide input on certain aspects of existing and planned measures in the Member States to improve access to essential services, in reference to Principle 20 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The scope of the exercise included energy services, public transport and digital communications, and the focus was on people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (in practice, people on low incomes in most cases).
The civil aviation sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most severe crises the sector has ever experienced, giving rise to a number of significant challenges for companies and workers alike. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
This report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
This report will map the existing regulations on telework in European Union Member States, including in legislation and collective agreements. It will present the most recent changes to these regulations and shed light on how the future of (tele)work could be regulated at both national and EU level, in order to improve working conditions in telework arrangements and reduce the risks associated with telework and with specific ways of working remotely.
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
This report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
This policy brief will provide an update on upward convergence in the economic, social and institutional dimensions of the European Union, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying Social Scoreboard.