A "High-Level Group" has advocated the continuation of the non-legalistic,
"voluntarist" approach to industrial relations in Ireland, in a set of
proposals aimed at tackling disputes over trade union recognition  rights
for workers. The High-Level group, drawn from representatives of Government,
state agencies, employer and trade union interests, was established in
accordance with the current /Partnership 2000/ agreement between the social
partners, which runs from January 1997 to March 2000 (IE9702103F ).
The adjustment of Spain's national minimum wage in line with the projected
rate of inflation for 1998 is considered insufficient by the trade unions. A
dispute has arisen owing to the loss of the minimum wage's purchasing power,
repeated failures to increase it and its wide differential with the average
national wage, at a time when the Spanish economy is progressing favourably.
The Minister for Women's Affairs has made it clear that she wishes to make
progress in 1998 on the issue of women's careers in enterprises. Studies in
the past years have proven the existence of a "glass ceiling" through which
women are unlikely to pass. An 11-point women's petition submitted to
Parliament in 1997 put combating this glass ceiling first on the list of
demands. Specifically, the petition suggested that companies should be
excluded from public contracts and subsidies unless they had taken measures
to employ women at all hierarchical levels in proportion to their share in
the population. The Ministry sees little opportunity to go quite that far,
but it does want to take action in this direction.
Swedish employees are entitled to leave of absence for a number of reasons,
and the Government's plans to introduce yet another one - for starting or
working in their own businesses - were not met with overwhelming enthusiasm
when they were made public in spring 1997. The Swedish Employers'
Confederation (Svenska Arbetsgivareföreningen, SAF) and the National Agency
for Government Employers (Arbetsgivarverket) objected, and the Swedish Trade
Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen, LO) doubted that there was a need
for an act of the kind proposed.
There has, in recent years, been an increasing focus on corporate conduct in
terms of social, ethical and environmental performance. The experience of
large multinational corporations such as Nike and Shell, which have been
faced with protest campaigns against their social and environmental policies,
has galvanised actors in this area. Many organisations are beginning to
recognise that their profitability in the long term depends as much on on
their performance in satisfying the aspirations of their "stakeholders" -
including customers, suppliers, employees, local communities, investors,
governments, and interest groups - in terms of their social and environmental
record, as it does on price and quality.
On 24 November 1997, the general meeting of the peak employers' association
(Vereinigung der Arbeitgeberverbände in Bayern, VAB) in the federal state
(Land) of Bavaria decided to merge with the Bavarian peak trade association
(Landesverband der Bayerischen Industrie, LBI). The new Landpeak association
for Bavarian enterprises is called Vereinigung der Bayerischen Wirtschaft
(VBW). On 17 December the constituent assembly of the VBW elected Erich
Sennebogen as president.
Since the 1980s, intense product market competition among the industrialised
countries has led to a search for new products and new methods of production.
At the same time, new technology is changing the ways that labour markets
work and UK labour institutions have increasingly come into question. The UK
in particular has experienced a sharp decline in the coverage of collective
bargaining and of unionisation. Most of these developments have either been
the consequence of, or the reason for, increasing flexibility. Yet what is
"flexibility", what does it mean and what is it doing?
Although half of the private sector bargaining area conducted collective
bargaining in the spring (DK9705110F ), 1997 was a relatively peaceful
year on the Danish labour market, with fewer conflicts than in previous years
when bargaining occurred. According to statistics from the Danish Employers'
Confederation (Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening, DA) the number of working days
lost due to industrial action in 1997 - at 82,992 days - was significantly
lower than in 1995 and 1993. The main reason for the lower figure is that
only half of the private sector area conducted collective bargaining in 1997,
while the whole area did so in 1995 and 1993.
Ireland's Labour Court made its biggest ever individual equal pay award
recently when it held that four communications assistants represented by the
Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU) and employed by the Irish Aviation
Authority were entitled to equal pay with two male radio officers. The
government department with overall responsibility for the Authority, the
Department of Public Enterprise, has decided to accept the ruling, which was
issued on 28 November 1997 and which means each of the four women will
receive a total of IEP 100,000 on a backdated basis.
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.
Eurofound's representativness 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 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 offers a backward look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work and life of Europeans. The main focus is on Eurofound’s e-survey ‘ Living, working and COVID-19’ which was launched on 9 April 2020 just after the onset of the crisis. Through four rounds of the survey (two in 2020 and two in 2021), the range of questions changed to match the evolving situation and to understand the effects on the everyday lives of citizens and workers.
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.
Platform work – the matching of supply of and demand for paid labour through an online platform or app – is gaining increasing importance in Europe. It has attracted policy attention due to its inherent opportunities and challenges. Across Europe, initiatives have been introduced by governments, social partners and grassroots organisations aimed at harnessing the potential and reducing the risks of this employment form. The areas covered include regulation, representation, advice and information provision, as well as measures addressing social protection, ratings and training.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.