Following a long dispute, in December 1997 employees at Electrabel, the
Belgian electricity-distribution company, approved an agreement that focuses
on the reduction of working hours and on recruitment.
The number of working days lost through strikes in France in 1996 decreased
sharply from the number recorded in 1995, according to figures published in
late 1997. Rates are now back to levels registered in the early 1990s.
In May 1997, the group of experts on "European systems of worker
involvement", known as the Davignon group, after its chair, issued its report
 (EU9705128N ). The group had been set up by the European Commission
essentially to suggest ways of breaking the deadlock on worker involvement
measures which had blocked the adoption of the European Company Statute for
many years. The report set out recommendations for the information,
consultation and board-level participation of employees in the European
Company (SE), which were then largely taken up by the Luxembourg EU
Presidency of the second half of 1997 in a new draft version of the Statute
Against the background of increasing mass unemployment, and following
legislation in 1996, partial retirement (Altersteilzeit) has become a very
prominent bargaining issue between the German social partners (DE9708224F
). According to a recent study by the Institute for Economics and Social
Science (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI) there are
now 15 branch-level collective agreements and several company agreements on
partial retirement covering altogether about 5 million employees.
A survey of 374 organisations by the recruitment company, Reed Personnel,
conducted prior to Christmas 1997, showed that the number of companies
opening on Christmas Day has grown by a third over the past decade.
Traditionally only organisations such as hospitals, the emergency services,
hotels, telephone operator services and the media worked on Christmas Day,
but this has now extended to the service sector in general and even to some
manufacturing establishments. The service sector showed the largest increase
in the proportion of establishments opening, up from 6% to 8% over the
decade, while manufacturing rose from zero to 1%.
1997 was a year with few industrial conflicts in Norway, according to
recently published statistics. The six-week strike on mobile oil
installations in the North Sea during the autumn was the only major labour
dispute during 1997.
At the 1995 congress of the Austrian Trade Union Federation
(Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) its member trade unions decided
to reorganise. The goal is to reduce the number of individual trade unions
from 14 to three, covering manufacturing, services, and public service. There
is no clear time-limit for the process. In the first two years little was
achieved by way of obvious results, but 1998 promises to bring the first of
these. On 21 January 1998 two trade unions, the Union of Printing and Paper
Workers (Gewerkschaft Druck und Papier) and the Union of Posts and
Telecommunications Employees (Gewerkschaft der Post- und
Fernmeldebediensteten) concluded a cooperation agreement. They are forming a
jointly and proportionately financed platform to decide policy measures and a
joint steering committee with proportional representation. The rationale is
the unions' shared activity in the media sector. By 2000, they want to unite
their offices in one location. A full merger in the future is not ruled out,
neither is it explicitly planned. According to press reports, the ÖGB's
president commented that a merger might have been the result if the ÖGB
could have taken decisions like a joint stock company.
Following demonstrations and work stoppages in December 1997, employers and
trade unions in Belgium's not-for-profit sector have submitted a joint
declaration to the Government calling for increased financing for employment.
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.
This report explores the impact of the use of digital technologies on work organisation and job quality, as well as the role of social dialogue and employee involvement in the digitisation process. The three technologies analysed are the Internet of Things, 3D printing, and virtual and augmented reality. The report draws on the views of experts and policy stakeholders and includes insights from 10 case studies of European establishments that have deployed one or more of the three digital technologies.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the live performance 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. The aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the live performance sector in the EU Member States.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
This report analyses and compares the industrial relations landscape in a number of sectors and activities that form a public service cluster. The report draws on Eurofound’s recent representativeness studies investigating the following sectors: education, human health, central government administration and local and regional government sector (including social services).
Building on Eurofound’s previous research on youth, this report examines the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young people, in particular their economic and social situation, with a focus on employment. It will also estimate how the NEET population – young people not in employment, education or training – has changed in size and composition over the last decade, and how the current crisis might affect this.
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.
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.
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.
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.