Joining the European Union in 1995 made it necessary for Austria to improve
the regulations on employee protection against hazards. This included
particularly the appointment of safety officers in enterprises, the
documentation of hazards, and the availability and job descriptions of
occupational medical practitioners. A plan was drawn up to implement better
protection in stages, starting in 1997 with firms employing more than 100
workers. On 1 January 1998, firms with between 51 and 100 employees became
subject to the new regulations, and on 1 January 1999 those with 11 to 50
employees will follow. Finally in 2000, the remaining companies with 10 or
fewer employees will also be covered.
An unusual collective agreement has been concluded between the Swedish Energy
Employers' Association (Energiföretagens Arbetsgivareförening, EFA) on the
one hand, and the Association of Graduate Engineers
(Civilingenjörsförbundet, CF), the Swedish Union for Technical and Clerical
Employees in Industry and Services (Svenska Industritjänstemannaförbundet
SIF), the Association of Management and Professional Staff (Ledarna) and the
Union of Service and Communication (SEKO) on the other. The agreement, which
came into force on 1 January 1998, regulates general terms of employment for
around 15,000 workers in private energy enterprises and in the state-owned
Vattenfall group. The agreement fulfils many of the current requirements put
forward by employers, and the managing director of EFA, Björn Tibell, calls
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 December 1995 framework agreement on parental leave was the first such
accord between the EU-level social partners, and was given legal force by a
Council Directive in June 1996. This comparative study: outlines current
parental leave provisions in the Member States (plus Norway); examines the
perceptions of the framework agreement/Directive and the changes it requires
in national provisions; and assesses the practical impact of current parental
leave provisions and the likely effect of the agreement/Directive./
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:
Taking a detailed look at the available data on labour turnover in the UK,
the independent employment researchers, Industrial Relations Services, argued
in 1997 that the economic recovery in the UK is leading to increasing numbers
of resignations and skill shortages, which in turn are leading to substantial
resourcing problems for employers ("Benchmarking labour turnover: an update",
Employee Development Bulletin 87, IRS, March 1997). At the same time, labour
turnover is being adopted by many organisations as a "benchmark" indicator of
performance and business efficiency. Furthermore, a survey by the
Confederation of British Industry (reported in "Employers can influence
labour turnover, say CBI", Employee Development Bulletin 93, IRS, September
1997) argues that management intervention in employee relations can make a
large difference to labour turnover rates and improve the performance of the
In December 1997, Luxembourg's Employment Administration and the Union of
Temporary Employment Agencies signed an agreement, aimed at better using
temporary work top help unemployed people return to the labour market.
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.
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.
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.
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.