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:
The revised Basic Agreement between Norway's LO trade union confederation and
NHO employers' organisation was approved in February 1998. The attempt to
extend the agreement's new provisions on the minimum level of members
required for a union to enter into a collective agreement to other basic
agreements, has led to complications in the negotiations between NHO and the
YS vocational union confederation.
On 11 June 1997 Parliament instructed the Ministry of Labour, Health and
Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales,
BMAGS) to devise, by the end of the year, amendments to the Works
Constitution Act (Arbeitsverfassungsgesetz, ArbVG) that would remove
citizenship as a criterion for eligibility in works council elections. A
similar amendment was demanded for the Chamber of Labour Act
(Arbeiterkammergesetz, AKG) (AT9706121N ). One week late, on 8 January
1998, the Ministry circulated draft amendments to the AKG for review by the
social partners, other ministries, and provincial governments. In the
covering letter, the Ministry asked for comments not only on the Chamber of
Labour Act but also on similar proposed changes to the ArbVG. The review
period ended on 9 February 1998 but some organisations were still working on
their response by the end of the month, one of them being the Austrian Trade
Union Federation (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB).
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
This working paper consists of examples of good practice in combating age barriers in employment in a variety of European countries. Its primary intention is to inform the debate in Europe about age and employment by providing practical examples of how 'different' private and public organisations have set about trying to minimise the impact of age barriers in job recruitment and training.
The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO)
celebrates the 100th anniversary of its creation in 1998. The celebration
will be most noticeable through a wide range of cultural and union activities
unfolding throughout the year (which will be reported in subsequent EIRO
records), and here we take the opportunity to look at recent developments in
LO's organisation, membership and political links.
In the past decade, Ireland has developed a system of social participation
which plays a major role in the conduct of economic and social policy. This
approach began in 1987, with a three-year agreement  between the
Government, the trade union movement, employers and agricultural interests.
This lifted the country from the deep economic and social crisis of the 1980s
and facilitated a return to growth. That agreement was followed by three
further social partnership programmes, the latest of which is /Partnership
2000/ (IE9702103F ). These agreements determine the growth of pay in both
the public and private sector, but also embody a negotiated approach to a
wide range of economic and social policies. The consensus which underpinned
these agreements was, to a large extent, developed in the National Economic
and Social Council (NESC), a deliberative body in which the social partners
and senior civil servants undertake analysis and discussion of strategic
issues. Following agreement on the strategic priorities, negotiation of the
programmes was undertaken in a separate body, the Central Review Committee,
which also monitors the implementation of the programmes.
The Spanish trade unions and employers' organisations which signed the
important labour market reform agreements in April 1997 (the "April
agreements") have carried out a review of their results over the first six
months, which was published in January 1998. The social partners agree in
general that the results are positive, but have reservations on some points.
In 1992, the Municipal Workers' Union (Kommunalarbetareförbundet) and the
Swedish Association of Local Authorities (Kommunförbundet) agreed to change
the collective agreement on pensions then in force, with the effect that the
pensioners did not receive the benefits they had counted on (SE9709136F ).
A former sheet-metal worker, Knut Törling, sued his former employer, the
City of Stockholm, claiming in all SEK 7,794, plus interest on overdue
payment. Mr Törling argued that pension rights are the workers' acquired
rights which a trade union cannot dispose of without a special authorisation
from each member concerned, and he had never given such an authorisation to
the Municipal Workers' Union. Therefore the City of Stockholm could not
invoke the new collective agreement against him.
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.
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.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. 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?
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
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.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
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.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
The financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the textiles and clothing sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements.