The Swedish work injury insurance system, which covers both accidents and
illnesses caused by work, was last changed in 1993. More stringent rules of
cause and effect made it much more difficult for certain kinds of illnesses
to be accepted as work-related. For example musculo-skeletal disorders,
normally considered to be caused by repetitive strain and heavy loads, were
no longer recognised as work-related injuries. The reason for the change of
policy was that it was considered to be difficult to decide if the inability
to work was related to working conditions or was a consequence of normal
ageing or the natural development of an illness.
At a meeting in Brussels on 16 February 1998, the EU Economic and Financial
Affairs Council of Ministers expressed their doubts over the real impact on
employment of a reduction of value-added tax (VAT) on labour-intensive
services. This proposal was included in a Communication from the European
Commission (EU9711161N ) drawn up in preparation for the special European
Council Jobs Summit  held in Luxembourg in November 1997 (EU9711168F ).
The Commission document examined the scope for Member States to reduce the
rate of VAT levied on a limited number of labour-intensive local services,
such as repair services, the renovation and repair of buildings, theme parks,
cleaning and laundry services, home helps and care for children, disabled and
older people. It was suggested that a reduction of VAT could be applied in
very limited number of cases in order to test the job-creation potential of
such measures, particularly for low-skilled and long-term unemployed
individuals. Calls for a reduction of VAT on labour-intensive services were
voiced by the social partners representing workers in the cleaning industry
at a seminar held in October 1997 to discuss new employment opportunities in
the sector (EU9710153F ).
The Brussels-Capital region, the third federal authority in Belgium
(alongside Flanders and Wallonia), has submitted its employment plan to the
Federal Government in preparation for the Cardiff European Council meeting in
This document summarises the findings of the second European survey on working conditions with regard to gender differences in the workplace. With these reports the Foundation hopes to provide policy makers with a better understanding of the problems to overcome in order to promote gender sensitive workplaces.
This summary is based on an analysis of findings of the second European survey on working conditions conducted in 1996. The survey findings show that stress and musculo-skeletal disorders are the main health risks at work and highlights the need for a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to the prevention of occupational risks in Europe.
The second European survey on working conditions (1996) shows the increase in the intensity of work. At the same time, workers' control over their work remains low. These two trends may explain why one-third of workers report stress. This report provides policy makers with information on stress factors in the workplace and therefore ways of preventing stress.
On 20 January 1998, the company works council (Gesamtbetriebsrat) and the
executive board of Adam Opel AG- the German subsidiary company of the General
Motors Corporation (GM) - signed a new works agreement on future investments,
safeguarding employment and reduction of labour costs. After more than 10
months of negotiations, this so-called "site pact" (Standortvertrag) was
concluded for the more than 44,000 employees at the three west German Opel
production sites at Rüsselsheim, Kaiserslautern and Bochum. In the pact,
Opel management commits itself to making new investments to secure the
existing German production sites until the end of 2001 and promises,
furthermore, that no redundancies on economic grounds (betriebsbedingte
Kündigungen) will be made until the end of 2002. In exchange, the company
works council agreed to further cuts in the company's "payments above
contract wages" (übertarifliche Leistungen).
In December 1997, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Confederation of
British Industry (CBI) agreed a joint statement identifying the key areas of
agreement and disagreement between them on the statutory trade union
recognition rules that the Government is committed to introducing (UK9801194F
). However, February 1998 saw a full-scale disagreement break out between
the social partners over how the Labour Party's pre-election manifesto
commitment to legislate on recognition should be interpreted (UK9704125F
). The argument centres around the wording in the manifesto, which states
that unions should be recognised "where a majority of the relevant workforce
vote in a ballot for the union to represent them".
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has expressed concern about a
proposal issued by the European Commission, which seeks to ensure the free
movement of goods within the European Union during periods when an industrial
dispute is taking place in a Member State.
Here we highlight two cases of company-level negotiations in Portugal over
working hours and revision of wages. There is a relative lack of knowledge in
Portugal about the scope and content of such informal, company-level
collective bargaining, and of the significance of this type of bargaining for
the country's industrial relations.
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.
The financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the electricity sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the electricity sector in the EU Member States.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the gas sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the gas sector in the EU Member States.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. 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?
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
This paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the food and drinks sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.
There have always been workers who have worked at different locations, on site with customers or while on the move. Companies have also developed open-plan workspaces to cut costs and foster cooperation. Cloud computing allows workers to access internal data from anywhere, while digitalisation increases the use of automated decision-making and control based on (big) data. This report addresses the extent to which place of work determines job quality.