On 3 February 1998, the Danish Association of Professional Technicians
(Teknisk Landsforbund, TL) publicly announced its intention to seek a shift
from a 37-hour working week with overtime payments for any additional hours
to a fixed monthly salary (known as joblønor "job-salary"), whereby
technicians would not receive overtime payments for working more than 37
hours per week.
A month-long dispute over industrial restructuring hit Spain's publicly-owned
coalmining companies in December 1997-January 1998. The dispute arose
following the Government's amendments of agreements reached in May 1997,
following the release of a critical report by the European Commission. A
satisfactory settlement was eventually reached on 27 January 1998.
Among the conclusions of the special European Council Employment Summit 
held in Luxembourg in November 1997 (EU9711168F ) was a requirement for an
action plan on employment, based on the European Commission's guidelines, to
be drawn up in each European Union Member State.
At the beginning of February 1998, the media reported that the 56-year-old
managing director of the Stora forestry company, who was about to leave his
job after six years, would receive a "golden handshake" (or severance
package) worth SEK 58 million. In the first two years following his
resignation, he would receive SEK 2.8 million and from the age of 60 a large
pension. What made the information conspicuous, apart from the large sum, was
that the managing director was said not to have been dismissed but to have
left on his own initiative, and that his terms of resignation had been
renegotiated and improved shortly before he had made his decision.
While current sectoral agreements in Belgium favour the redistribution of
work, a variety of companies have been adopting novel approaches to the
reduction of working time in agreements signed in late 1997 and early 1998.
The last collective agreement on pay in the French civil service was signed
on 9 November 1993. Five trade unions signed the deal - the French Democratic
Confederation of Labour (Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail,
CFDT ), the Federated Education Union (Fédération de l'Education Nationale-
FEN), the Independent General Confederation of Civil Servants (Fédération
Générale Autonome des Fonctionnaires, FGAF), the French Christian Workers'
Confederation (Confédération Française des Travailleurs Chrétiens, CFTC)
and the General Confederation of Managerial Staff-French Confederation of
Managerial Staff (Confédération Française de l'Encadrement-
Confédération Générale des Cadres, CFE-CGC). On the basis of the results
of workplace-level elections, these five unions together represented the
majority of civil servants.
Teleworking (fjernarbeidor telependling) is becoming an issue of increasing
importance on the agenda of the Norwegian social partners. Home-based
teleworking is the main focus of attention. Although the level of home-based
telework activity has remained relatively constant in the last 10 years, it
is expected to increase in the future. The existing statutory provisions, as
well as collective agreements, are regarded by many as inadequate for this
type of work, and home-based teleworking in particular seems to be completely
unregulated. A declaration on teleworking has been incorporated into the new
Basic Agreement between the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions
(Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, LO) and the Confederation of Norwegian Business
and Industry (Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon, NHO), which was formally
ratified in February 1998. The legal state of affairs in relation to
teleworking is also undergoing scrutiny, and the likely outcome is amendments
to the 1977 Working Environment Act.
Owing to the use of "social shock absorbers" to ease the blow of
redundancies, the restructuring of Italian industry - especially in the 1980s
- has proceeded without excessive social costs, though with substantial
economic costs to the state. A reform of these measures is envisaged as part
of the current reform of the welfare state and broader redefinition of
employment policies. Moreover, a still unresolved issue is the definition of
new measures to deal with the employment crisis in the service sector.
In February 1998, it was announced that the Government is to draw up a
voluntary code on combating age discrimination in recruitment. The statement
came as the charity, Age Concern, launched an "Age discrimination awareness
campaign". A survey conducted for Age Concern estimates that more than 18
million adults have experienced age discrimination in employment, health or
welfare. The study found that 70% of the population believe age
discrimination exists, while only half of those who reported it were aged
over 45, showing that it is a problem that affects most ages.
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.
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.
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.
This report captures the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the quality of life of older citizens, including the impact on their well-being, finances, employment and social inclusion. It explores the effects on care use and reliance on other support. The report analyses policy measures that have been implemented in EU Member States that have proven particularly important for the quality of life of older citizens, for example, measures to support independent living.
This report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.
Social dialogue lies at the heart of the EU treaties and governance. Social partners are core stakeholders who can assess policy needs and contribute to policy formation and to designing and implementing national reforms in the social and employment fields. This report focuses on the timely and meaningful involvement of national social partners in the preparation of the new resilience and recovery plans and the national reform programmes (NRPs) that were temporarily integrated under the European Semester in 2021.
This policy brief explores the social situation of Europeans with a disability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from the March–April 2021 Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey, it compares the situation of respondents with and without a disability in three areas: perceptions of the healthcare system, mental well-being and financial precarity.
This report examines the phenomenon of overtime in the EU, providing a comparative description of how it is regulated in EU Member States. It also assesses how contentious the issue can be and investigates the reasons behind the various disputes and debates. Finally, the report attempts to quantify and characterise the share of overtime for which workers are not paid or compensated. The analysis is based on information collected in EU Member States by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2021 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2021. The range of topics as a result is broad, from the growing diversity of employment across EU regions to developments in minimum wages, and of course the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
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.
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?