After a year of existence, in January-February 1998 Greece's first union of
unemployed people began mobilising dynamically and formulating demands for
improving the living and working conditions of the unemployed in
After more than a year of negotiations, an agreement was reached in early
1998 between one of Portugal's largest banks, the BCP/BPA Group, and the
Union of Banking Employees, which marks a major departure from traditional
bargaining in this sector.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
This series brings together publications and other outputs of the European Jobs Monitor (EJM), which tracks structural change in European labour markets. The EJM analyses shifts in the employment structure in the EU in terms of occupation and sector and gives a qualitative assessment of these shifts using various proxies of job quality – wages, skill-levels, etc.
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 2016, the fourth 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 2015, the sixth 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 1996, the second 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 2001, which was an extension of the EWCS 2000 to cover the then 12 acceding and candidate countries. 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 2000, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
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 first edition of the survey carried out in 2004–2005 under the name European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eurofound's annual review of minimum wages reports on the development of statutory and collectively agreed minimum wages across the EU and the processes through which they were set. The focus of this year’s report is on the impact of high inflation on the setting of minimum wage rates. In addition, new figures on the net value of minimum wages are presented, along with the latest policy-relevant research in the EU Member States and Norway.