In December 1997, the Federal Government agreed on a bill which includes a
variety of measures to improve the social security provisions for flexible
working time arrangements and to allow for easier application of the Partial
Retirement Law (DE9710133F ). The new law came into effect on 1 January
Between 20 December 1997 and 4 January 1998, the opinion poll institute,
Gallup Instituttet conducted a membership survey for the Confederation of
Danish Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO) on members'
priorities for the trade union movement's work in 1998. The ranking of
priorities given by the members surveyed was as follows:
In January 1998, the European Commission launched a "high-level expert group"
to analyse industrial change in the European Union. The group was formed in
response to one of the European Council's conclusions  at the Employment
Summit  held in Luxembourg in November 1997 (EU9711168F ). The European
Council considered that "particular attention should be given to sectors
undergoing major industrial change". More specifically, it called for the
setting up of a high-level expert group to analyse likely industrial changes
in the Community and to look into ways of anticipating them better, so as to
ensure a positive and coordinated approach to their economic and social
The political debate on employment policies in Belgium grew bitter just
before the Christmas break at the end of 1997. Recommendations on government
policies made by the new Higher Council for Employment provoked the anger of
the leaders of the two main trade union organisations and some critical
declarations from the chief executive of the employers' federation.
In December 1997 and January 1998, France has seen a growing wave of protests
by unemployed people, which has grown from specific local actions into a
nationwide movement. The demands of the protesters have challenged both the
Government and the trade unions which co-manage the unemployment insurance
fund, and raised basic questions about the collective representation of
unemployed people and the financial support for those unemployed long-term.
In an interview on national Norwegian television in January 1998, the
Minister of Labour and Government Administration, Eldbjørg Løwer, called
for the lifting of the ban on private employment agencies (reported in
/Aftenposten/ on 9 January 1998). Speaking in general terms about the
contemporary labour market situation in Norway, she recognised the need to
modernise the present system of regulations on private employment agencies as
well as on the temporary secondment of employees from one firm to another
(NO9708118F ). Ms Løwer envisages a reversal of the present legal
arrangements in both areas. The prohibitions on private employment agencies
and on the temporary secondment of employees from one company to another
should be abolished, while alternative restrictions may be put on certain
types of occupational groups, and on the quota of workers on "lease" in any
given firm or company.
At present, Sweden has no legislation expressly forbidding discrimination
against people with disabilities in working life. For example, there is
nothing preventing private employers from excluding job applicants with some
form of disability with express reference to their disability, as they are in
principle free to employ whomever they choose. On 3 December 1997 a committee
appointed by the Government therefore proposed a new act prohibiting
discrimination in working life against people with disabilities.
A perceived dearth of openings for apprentices, in the context of the
demographic trends leading to increasing numbers of 15-year-olds, was one of
the major employment issues in 1997 (AT9708128F ). Alerted, the Government
and the social partners intend not to be caught unawares in 1998.
Preparations are already underway to have the right incentives and sufficient
counseling capacity in place when school finishes at the end of June. For the
time being, however, the preparations are hampered by competing and
conflicting evaluations of the measures taken in 1997 (AT9706116F ), and
by disagreement over the scale the problem is likely to assume in 1998. They
are also hampered by the fact that the cost of the 1997 measures is not
At the end of December 1997, the Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD)
- the professional body for personnel managers - launched its /Management of
equality/ awards. These will be awarded annually by the Equal Opportunities
Commission (EOC), the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) and the Employers'
Forum on Disability (EFD) to students taking IPD qualifications who come up
with creative solutions to the problems of equal opportunities.
On 7 January 1998 the metalworkers' trade union, IG Metall, and the Steel
Employers' Association (Arbeitgeberverband Stahl) signed a new collective
agreement for the about 8,000 employees in the east German steel industry.
The collective bargaining parties agreed on a flat-rate payment of DEM 330
for the period October 1997 to December 1997 and a 2.6% wage increase from
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.
The European Jobs Monitor tracks changes in employment structure and contributes to the debate about whether European labour markets are polarising or upgrading. The European Jobs Monitor report in 2021 looks in particular at two dimensions of change in labour supply – increased female participation and population/workforce ageing – to show how they can contribute to an understanding of recent changes in employment structure.
This study presents policy-relevant findings on differential pay rates for men and women at occupational level. Previous research has underlined that the gender pay gap is biggest – and has been slowest to narrow – in well-paid jobs requiring professional qualifications. These are also jobs in which the female worker share is increasing relatively fast. The report maps the extent of the gender pay gap across the job-wage distribution, taking into account the shifting gender composition of specific sectors, occupations and jobs.
Following improvements in economic growth and labour market participation after the global financial and economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a new, unprecedented challenge for the EU. The crisis threatens to pose an existential challenge to the EU’s cohesion and legitimacy. The subject of upward convergence is once again centre stage in the European policy debate. Expanding on work done on this topic in previous years, this flagship report traces developments in economic and social indicators between the economic crisis and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While often considered staid, social partner organisations have developed different ways of using technology to communicate with their members, as well as to organise, mobilise and develop both internally, among staff, and externally, vis-à-vis members and the public. This topical update maps current practices in social partner organisations, describes developments in the use of technologies, and outlines the impact on social partner activities and organisation.
What have been the major trends and policy developments regarding digitalisation in Europe? What do we know about the deployment of automation, digitisation and the platform economy? This flagship publication provides an overview of developments in Europe in recent years, as well as mapping the observable or expected effects on employment and working conditions, as well as exploring the implications from a policy perspective.
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 COVID-19 pandemic radically reshaped workplace practices and work organisation across the EU. This report explores changes that occurred as a result of or during the COVID-19 pandemic in areas such as technological transformation, decision-making and remote working. The research sets out to learn from company experiences and measures that have proved critical to keeping businesses running. It aims to inform policymakers, employers and trade unions on how to make businesses, workplaces and workers more resilient in the face of a crisis such as COVID-19.
This report examines the phenomenon of overtime in the EU, providing a comparative description of how it is regulated in EU Member States. It also assesses how contentious the issue can be and investigates the reasons behind the various disputes and debates. Finally, the report attempts to quantify and characterise the share of overtime for which workers are not paid or compensated. The analysis is based on information collected in EU Member States by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
This report captures the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the quality of life of older citizens, including the impact on their well-being, finances, employment and social inclusion. It explores the effects on care use and reliance on other support. The report analyses policy measures that have been implemented in EU Member States that have proven particularly important for the quality of life of older citizens, for example, measures to support independent living.
This report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.