On 3 February 1998, the 40-nation Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers
recommended that the German Government change the country's restrictive legal
provisions on industrial action. According to a recommendation (No. RChS(98)2
) agreed by an absolute majority of two-thirds of the Council of Europe's
members, the German legislation on strikes does not conform with the
Council's European Social Charter  in which the contracting parties
recognise: "the right of workers and employers to collective action in cases
of conflicts of interest, including the right to strike, subject to
obligations that might arise out of collective agreements previously entered
into" (Article 6, para. 4).
In February 1998, the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) appealed
to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other international
organisations and national bodies, with a view to repealing a new law which
provides for labour relations in some public corporations to be governed by
law rather than collective bargaining.
According to a large-scale survey conducted by Statistics Sweden (Statistiska
Centralbyrån, SCB) on behalf of the National Board of Occupational Safety
and Health (Arbetarskyddsstyrelsen), stress in working life has increased
during the 1990s. The main findings include the following:
On 22 January 1998, the Guarantee Authority for the enforcement of Italy's
law on strikes in essential public services (law 146/90) issued new
regulations on the right to strike on the railways, which have received
criticism from some quarters.
Recent reforms of the labour market in Spain propose new forms of
institutional control over dismissal for objective reasons, through
collective bargaining. However, a December 1997 subsectoral local agreement
in the Vilafranca del Penedès wine-making sector has revealed certain
constraints on the power of workers' representatives to negotiate and monitor
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 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
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.
Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2003, the first edition of the survey.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2007, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2012, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2005, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2010, the fifth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series explores scenarios for the future of manufacturing. The employment implications (number of jobs by sector, occupation, wage profile, and task content) under various possible scenarios are examined. The scenarios focus on various possible developments in global trade and energy policies and technological progress and run to 2030.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
This report analyses how working conditions, job quality and working life outcomes – such as work–life balance, health and well-being, and sustainability of work – changed between February 2020 and spring 2021. Following up on responses to the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2020, it explores the differences between three distinct groups of workers: those teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic, those who continued to work on their employers' premises as frontline staff, and those who were furloughed or worked reduced hours.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in European sectoral social dialogue taking place at cross-sectoral level. 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 at cross-sectoral level in the EU Member States.