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.
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.
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
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.
At the end of January 1998, the Low Pay Commission  (LPC) completed its
oral hearings on the forthcoming National Minimum Wage (NMW) in sessions with
the Equal Opportunities Commission, Commission for Racial Equality and
UNISON, public sector union which is the UK's largest union. The LPC will now
have to consider more than 400 pieces of written evidence, along with the
results of hearings with companies, employees, trade unions and other bodies.
The LPC's findings are expected to be published later in the spring of 1998,
along with a recommendation for a NMW rate (UK9711177F ).
In 1957, the German Trade Union Federation (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB)
and its affiliated trade unions set up a joint company pension scheme
(Unterstützungsfonds) for their employees. Traditionally, the scheme was
financed on a pay-as-you-go basis. In the last couple of years, however, the
financing of the pension scheme has become increasingly problematic for a
number of reasons:
Spanish employers have supported continuity in electing José María Cuevas
as chair of the CEOE-CEPYME employers' confederation for the fifth time, in
February 1998. In his inaugural speech, he advocated policies including
fiscal reform to reduce employers' social security contributions.
According to recently-published official figures, 1997 was a year in which
collective bargaining in Portugal did not differ much, in numerical terms,
from previous years. This demonstrates that the bargaining system still
sticks to a certain formal rigidity that is not accompanied by substantive
change. Figures also indicate that although the number of strikes remained
stable, some reduction in other indicators of strike mobilisation - workers
involved and days lost, for example - is noticeable.
This is the latest in a series of articles examining the industrial relations
systems of the Central and Eastern European countries which are due to start
European Union accession negotiations in 1998 - see EU9708143F ,
EU9709146F  and EU9710152F . Here we focus on Poland, drawing on recent
Following the recent demonstrations by unemployed groups, the French Prime
Minister, Lionel Jospin, announced in February 1998 the main measures that
the Government will be implementing to assist those most affected by
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.
Digitisation and automation technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), can affect working conditions in a variety of ways and their use in the workplace raises a host of new ethical concerns. Recently, the policy debate surrounding these concerns has become more prominent and has increasingly focused on AI. This report maps relevant European and national policy and regulatory initiatives. It explores the positions and views of social partners in the policy debate on the implications of technological change for work and employment.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
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.