In December 1997, management and company works council  at the German car
producer Audi AG concluded a works agreement on the introduction of a new
permanent profit-sharing system for all employees, which comes into effect
from 1998. This is the latest in a number of new personnel policies that have
been introduced since 1988. Furthermore, both sides agreed the continuation
of the 1996 agreement entitled /Audi for work and maintenance of the
production location/ (Audi für Arbeit und Standortsicherung).
Recent statistics from Danmarks Statistik, the official statistical office,
show that unskilled male workers' share of total employment in Denmark has
remained unchanged at 18% over the period from 1980 to 1996. Overall, the
share of all unskilled workers dropped from 23% in 1980 to 20% in 1996. The
largest change has occurred for unskilled female workers, whose share dropped
from 26% in 1980 to 21% in 1996. Out of a workforce of 2.8 million,
approximately one million workers are categorised as "unskilled" or
"lower-skilled" in Denmark.
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.
A report published by the Statistical Office of the European Communities
(Eurostat) on 9 December 1997 shows that, despite the adoption of equal pay
legislation at European level more than 20 years ago, a large pay gap remains
between men and women. The report (, Eurostat statistics in focus, Population
and social conditions, 15/97 ), summarises the findings of a survey on pay
in four Member States and gives the hourly earnings of women as a percentage
of those of men as 84% in Sweden, 73% in France and Spain and just over 64%
in the UK. The study includes data on both full- and part-time workers, but
excludes overtime payments (which means that in certain occupations, pay gaps
are likely to be underestimated as women are less likely than men to work
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.