On 3 February 1998, France's AFB banking employers' organisation gave notice
of termination of the collective agreement which has regulated the banking
sector since 1947. Negotiations on updating this agreement have been
unsuccessful, and representatives of employers and staff now have until 1
January 2000 to agree a new package.
The Swedish Industrial Union (Industrifacket), which organises workers in the
leather and the clothing industries, campaigns actively against child labour.
In 1996 it drew the attention of the Swedish president of the European
football organisation, UEFA, to the fact that the footballs used in major
tournaments are manufactured by small children in Pakistan. The UEFA
president, Lennart Johansson, answered that he and the other representatives
of the sport shared the union's view on child labour. Mr Johansson in turn
took up the matter with the international football organisation, FIFA, and in
September the same year FIFA made an agreement with three international trade
union confederations not to order footballs manufactured by children. As a
result, the world's leading sports-equipment companies decided to invest in
projects to abolish child labour in Pakistani football factories.
A decree-law approved by the Italian Government on 10 February 1998 extends
the ongoing "privatisation" of the public sector employment relationship to
senior civil servants. It also introduces the use of fixed-term contracts and
temporary work, as well as mobility for public sector workers.
On 23 January 1998, the High Court in London ruled in nine test cases brought
by ex-mineworkers suing British Coal, the former nationalised coal authority,
for causing them chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The outcome was eagerly
awaited by tens of thousands other potential claimants, and could affect
miners who worked in coalmines as long ago as 1947. Over 100 other cases are
already awaiting judgment and there are thousands of other claims pending,
according to solicitors working on behalf of injured former members of the
National Union of Mineworkers. The test cases, taken by ex-miners from the
Durham, Yorkshire and South Wales coalfields took 17 months to reach the High
In February 1998, BBV - the second largest banking group in Spain - called on
the conservative Government to progress further with labour reform, reduce
the cost of dismissal and continue to reduce public expenditure in order to
meet the challenge of the single European currency.
In December 1997, the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of
Europe (UNICE) declared its willingness to enter into negotiations with the
European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises
of General Economic Interest (CEEP) and the European Trade Union
Confederation (ETUC) on the rights of workers on fixed-term contracts. These
negotiations would be held under the procedures set out in the Maastricht
social policy Agreement . This move follows the successful conclusion of
similar negotiations on parental leave in December 1995 (TN9801201S ) and
on part-time work in June 1997 (EU9706131F ). From the outset of the
latter negotiations, UNICE had rejected the trade unions' desire to negotiate
on all forms of "atypical employment", because of what it perceived to be the
very different issues pertaining to part-time and to fixed-term employment.
Regulation of fixed-term employment currently varies significantly between
Member States, particularly in relation to the possible maximum duration of
such contracts and the restrictions pertaining to their use. These are the
issues which will be of particular concern to the trade union side, now that
ETUC has agreed in March 1998 a mandate to enter into negotiations.
According to the recently published /Accident at work avoidance report 1997/
(Unfallverhütungsbericht Arbeit 1997) from the German Federal Government,
the number of accidents at work declined further in 1996, while in the same
period the number of suspected cases of occupational diseases rose.
The social partners in the tourism sector succeeded in signing a national
collective agreement on salaries but not on wages for the 12 months from 1
May 1997 (AT9706120N ). Instead, four wage agreements were concluded at
provincial level (Vienna, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Vorarlberg) by early
July, after which the negotiating process came to a halt. The impasse, in a
sector that is of great importance for Austria's balance of payments, has
begun to concern the Government. On 10 February 1998, the Prime Minister
himself convened the social partners to try to sort out the issues and to
press for a solution.
The Minister of Labour and Government Administration, Eldbjørg Løwer, in a
press conference on the 23 January 1998, informed the media of her decision
to permit the recruitment of foreign qualified doctors through private labour
exchanges, in addition to the recruitment carried out by the existing public
Over early 1998, the French Minister of Education, Claude Allègre, has been
faced with protests from teachers who are opposed to his proposed reforms.
The teachers' many demands indicate a deep underlying problem, and
negotiations have been limited or even deadlocked.
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 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?
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?