There has, in recent years, been an increasing focus on corporate conduct in
terms of social, ethical and environmental performance. The experience of
large multinational corporations such as Nike and Shell, which have been
faced with protest campaigns against their social and environmental policies,
has galvanised actors in this area. Many organisations are beginning to
recognise that their profitability in the long term depends as much on on
their performance in satisfying the aspirations of their "stakeholders" -
including customers, suppliers, employees, local communities, investors,
governments, and interest groups - in terms of their social and environmental
record, as it does on price and quality.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Between 2021 and 2023 Eurofound is carrying out a pilot project on minimum wage on behalf of the European Commission. The question of how minimum wages and other forms of pay can be fixed for the self-employed is investigated as a part of this project through mapping national and sectoral approaches. Out of concern for the challenging conditions that the self-employed face, some Member States have established or are discussing establishing statutory forms of minimum pay for certain categories of self-employed.
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?
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.
This report analyses how working conditions, job quality and working life outcomes – such as work–life balance, health and well-being, and sustainability of work – changed between February 2020 and spring 2021. Following up on responses to the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2020, it explores the differences between three distinct groups of workers: those teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic, those who continued to work on their employers' premises as frontline staff, and those who were furloughed or worked reduced hours.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in European sectoral social dialogue taking place at cross-sectoral level. 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations at cross-sectoral level in the EU Member States.