In January 1998, the Italian Government passed a legislative decree on the
reorganisation of the commerce sector. This first step towards a more
"European" model of commerce has been opposed by employers but welcomed by
According to estimates by the Association of Social Security Providers
(Hauptverband der Sozialversicherungsträger, HSV) released at the beginning
of February 1998, the average duration of sick leave was 13.3 calendar days
per worker in 1997. Final figures will be known only in June. The early
estimate for 1996 was 14.7 days and the final figure was 14.0 days. Both the
1996 final data and the 1997 estimate are the lowest in well over a decade.
This development continues a trend in evidence since 1991. During the period
1989 to 1991 the average annual duration of sick leave peaked at 15.3 days.
Since then it has been falling, at first by roughly 0.1 days per year until
it reached 14.9 days in 1995, and much faster since then. The data include
all recipients of wages and salaries but exclude civil servants and most
In November 1997, the social partners represented on the Netherlands' Labour
Foundation seemed to have reconfirmed the reputation of the Dutch
"consultation model" by jointly averting a possible end to the policy of pay
moderation. It was agreed in the Foundation to continue moderate pay
increases in exchange for employee training opportunities and sick leave.
However, initial analysis of negotiations in early 1998 reveals that, in
practice, it is very difficult to translate the provisions of such an
agreement reached at central level into a form that is acceptable to the
social partners at sector or company level.
A collective agreement for Finnish doctors was signed on 28 February 1998,
taking into account the application of the 1993 EU Directive on working time
to their work. As a result, pay will increase by FIM 1,400 per month, and
weekly working time by 1.25 hours.
On 12 February 1998, the European Commission adopted a report on the
implementation of the Council Recommendation of 31 March 1992 on childcare
(92/241/EEC ). The Recommendation was adopted as part of the Community's
Third Equal Opportunities Action Programme (1991-5) and the Commission's
social Action Programme accompanying the 1989 Community Charter of the
Fundamental Social Rights of Workers  (the "Social Charter"). Both the
Third Action Programme and the Social Charter emphasised the importance of
measures to enable men and women to reconcile work and family life. Such
measures were to act as a means to achieve greater equality of opportunity
for women and men in the labour market. The 1998 guidelines for Member
States' employment policies , which were adopted by the Council of
Ministers in December 1997 (EU9712174N ), also call for adequate provision
to be made for the care of children and other dependants in order to enable
greater equality in the labour market.
A European "cross-border employment centre" has recently been established in
Valença, as part of a European Community EURES project that covers northern
Portugal and Galicia in Spain. The initiative aims to combat clandestine
labour, promote greater transparency in the labour market and encourage the
mobility of workers within Europe.
The distribution of earned and household incomes (Arbeits- und
Haushaltseinkommen) in Germany has been displaying growing "social
polarisation" for some considerable time. This is the finding of a new report
published by the Institute for Economics and Social Science (Wirtschafts- und
Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI) - "Verteilungspolitik; Chronik eines
angekündigten politischen Selbstmords", Claus Schäfer, in WSI-Mitteilungen
Vol. 50, No.10 (1997). The reasons for this development range from structural
changes in employment relationships to the implementation of moderate
collective bargaining policies and active redistribution through state social
and tax policies.
In February 1998, a law was passed by the Greek Parliament under which labour
relations may be altered in public enterprises in financial difficulties. The
Government subsequently decided to implement a package of measures on public
enterprises, one of whose aims, according to the Prime Minister, is Greece' s
immediate integration and participation in EU Economic and Monetary Union.
These developments have sparked opposition from the trade unions, and Greek
General Confederation of Labour has drawn up alternative proposals.
In January 1998, the Italian Government passed a decree law which grants ITL
800,000 per month to cover the accommodation expenses of young people willing
to move from the South to the North in order to participate in employment
A dispute in the Dutch secondary education sector, which had been brewing for
several months, finally erupted into a national "relay" strike in February
1998. The teachers' workload is at the heart of the conflict: the trade
unions demand that the number of teaching hours be reduced, while the
employers respond that they lack the funds.
The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This publication series include the ERM reports, as well as blogs, articles and working papers on restructuring-related events in the EU27 and Norway.
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 European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) 2021, an extraordinary edition conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series gathers all overview reports on developments in working life, annual reviews in industrial relations and working conditions produced by Eurofound on the basis of national contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents (NEC). Since 1997, these reports have provided overviews of the latest developments in industrial relations and working conditions across the EU and Norway. The series may include recent ad hoc articles written by members of the NEC.
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.
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 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 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.
In 2022, the European Semester was streamlined to integrate the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) established on 19 February 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2021/241). While facing the geopolitical and economic challenges triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States have been implementing the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for more than one year and around 100 billion euro in RRF funds have already been disbursed.
As economies emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report will look at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care and information and communications technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin digital and green transitions.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
As part of its response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the EU swiftly activated its Temporary Protection Directive for those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine – enabling displaced persons to settle in the EU and have access to the labour market and basic public services. This policy brief highlights the main barriers encountered by these refugees (over 5 million people to date) when seeking a job and provides suggestions on how to facilitate their integration.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2022 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 2022. Eurofound’s research on working and living conditions in Europe provides a bedrock of evidence for input into social policymaking and achieving the Agency’s vision ‘to be Europe’s leading knowledge source for better life and work’.
The term ‘hybrid work’ became popular due to the upsurge of telework during the COVID-19 pandemic. The term has been increasingly used to refer to situations in which (teleworkable) work is performed both from the usual place of work (normally the employer’s premises) and from home (as experienced during the pandemic) or other locations. However, the concept of hybrid work is still blurry, and various meanings are in use. This topical update brings clarity to this concept by exploring available information from recent literature and the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
Housing affordability is a matter of great concern across the EU. Poor housing affordability leads to housing evictions, housing insecurity, problematic housing costs and housing inadequacy. These problems negatively affect health and well-being, create unequal living conditions and opportunities, and come with healthcare costs, reduced productivity and environmental damage. Private market tenants face particularly large increases in the cost of housing.