In his speech traditionally delivered on New Year's day, the Prime Minister,
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, emphasised the need for improved conditions for
families with small children, and state that the social partners should play
a more prominent part in this regard.
The parties in bargaining over the pay and conditions of Swedish ships'
officers are the Swedish Engineers Officers' Association (Svenska
Maskinbefälsförbundet, SMBF) the Swedish Ship Officers' Association
(Sveriges Fartygsbefälsförening, SFBF) and the Sea Officers' Union
(Föreningen Sjöbefälet), on the one hand, and the Swedish Ship Owners'
Association (Sveriges Redareförening, SRF) on the other. When the 1998 talks
started, the trade unions called for pay increases which would increase the
employers' costs by 11% - far beyond what other unions have claimed in the
1998 bargaining round.
The 1969 Night Work of Women Act (Frauen-Nachtarbeitsgesetz, FrNArbG)
originally ruled out the employment of women over an 11-hour period including
that from 20.00 to 06.00. The bulk of the law comprised detailed exemptions
and exceptions. When Austria acceded to the European Economic Area on 1
January 1994 the law was amended to permit night work indiscriminately from
the year 2001. Driven by employment concerns, new legislation was enacted in
late 1997 permitting the social partners to conclude collective agreements on
the night-time employment of women from 1 January 1998 provided that the
right to return to a daytime occupation in case of a proven health hazard
were included along with measures to compensate for the burdens of night work
or to alleviate them. Special consideration has to be given to any necessary
care of children up to the age of 12 (AT9711148N ). Collective agreements
may empower plant-level agreements to make exceptions to the ban on night
The death in hold-ups of three Belgian security guards collecting and
delivering cash sparked off a general strike in the sector in January 1998,
which continues at the time of writing (mid-February). Demanding better
security and the recognition of risks specific to this kind of job, security
guards are seeking to define the conditions for the practice of this new
profession. However, these demands, which result in new costs for the
employers (the security and patrol companies) jeopardise their business. The
principal customers, banks and large stores, are pressing for a reduction in
the costs of these services and seeking ways of doing without them, and jobs
On 14 January 1998, procedures began for the definitive dissolution of
Intersind, the organisation representing the publicly-owned enterprises of
Italy's Iri Group. The companies belonging to Intersind will now "directly
and totally" join the main Confindustria organisation, a move which marks the
end of the experience of public sector employers' associations in Italy.
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.
The UK - then led by a Conservative Government - was one of two European
Union (EU) Member States (along with Denmark) that decided to "opt out" of
the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) which was agreed as part of the
Maastricht Treaty on European Union of 1992. The third stage of EMU,
involving a single currency - the euro - is due to get underway at the
beginning of 1999.
Total membership of the world's largest sectoral free trade union, the German
metalworkers' union, IG Metall, stood at 2.7 million on 31 December 1997, a
fall of 960,000 (or 27%) since 1991. For the first time since German
unification, annual membership figures have now fallen below the 1989
pre-unification level, when IG Metall existed in western Germany only. The
1991 post-unification net growth of 897,675 members ( 33%) has thus melted
away. The development of IG Metall's membership is examined in a new report
from the Institute of the German Economy (Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft,
IW) - "Rücksturz auf 1989 - Zur Entwicklung der IGM-Mitgliedszahlen 1997", W
Pege, in IW-Gewerkschaftsreport 1/98 (forthcoming). The table below provides
details of changes in membership levels since 1989.
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.
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 fifth round of Eurofound's e-survey, fielded from 25 March to 2 May 2022, sheds light on the social and economic situation of people across Europe two years after COVID-19 was first detected on the European continent. It also explores the reality of living in a new era of uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine, inflation, and rising energy prices.
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).
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?
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.
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.
Between 2021 and 2023 Eurofound is carrying out a pilot project on minimum wage on behalf of the European Commission. The question of how minimum wages and other forms of pay can be fixed for the self-employed is investigated as a part of this project through mapping national and sectoral approaches. Out of concern for the challenging conditions that the self-employed face, some Member States have established or are discussing establishing statutory forms of minimum pay for certain categories of self-employed.
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.