A "High-Level Group" has advocated the continuation of the non-legalistic,
"voluntarist" approach to industrial relations in Ireland, in a set of
proposals aimed at tackling disputes over trade union recognition  rights
for workers. The High-Level group, drawn from representatives of Government,
state agencies, employer and trade union interests, was established in
accordance with the current /Partnership 2000/ agreement between the social
partners, which runs from January 1997 to March 2000 (IE9702103F ).
The Minister for Women's Affairs has made it clear that she wishes to make
progress in 1998 on the issue of women's careers in enterprises. Studies in
the past years have proven the existence of a "glass ceiling" through which
women are unlikely to pass. An 11-point women's petition submitted to
Parliament in 1997 put combating this glass ceiling first on the list of
demands. Specifically, the petition suggested that companies should be
excluded from public contracts and subsidies unless they had taken measures
to employ women at all hierarchical levels in proportion to their share in
the population. The Ministry sees little opportunity to go quite that far,
but it does want to take action in this direction.
Swedish employees are entitled to leave of absence for a number of reasons,
and the Government's plans to introduce yet another one - for starting or
working in their own businesses - were not met with overwhelming enthusiasm
when they were made public in spring 1997. The Swedish Employers'
Confederation (Svenska Arbetsgivareföreningen, SAF) and the National Agency
for Government Employers (Arbetsgivarverket) objected, and the Swedish Trade
Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen, LO) doubted that there was a need
for an act of the kind proposed.
Since the 1980s, intense product market competition among the industrialised
countries has led to a search for new products and new methods of production.
At the same time, new technology is changing the ways that labour markets
work and UK labour institutions have increasingly come into question. The UK
in particular has experienced a sharp decline in the coverage of collective
bargaining and of unionisation. Most of these developments have either been
the consequence of, or the reason for, increasing flexibility. Yet what is
"flexibility", what does it mean and what is it doing?
A new three-year collective agreement was signed at Cargolux SA, the
Luxembourg air freight company, in December 1997. It contains substantial
improvements, including the restoration of certain benefits lost in 1995.
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.
On 24 November 1997, the general meeting of the peak employers' association
(Vereinigung der Arbeitgeberverbände in Bayern, VAB) in the federal state
(Land) of Bavaria decided to merge with the Bavarian peak trade association
(Landesverband der Bayerischen Industrie, LBI). The new Landpeak association
for Bavarian enterprises is called Vereinigung der Bayerischen Wirtschaft
(VBW). On 17 December the constituent assembly of the VBW elected Erich
Sennebogen as president.
Although half of the private sector bargaining area conducted collective
bargaining in the spring (DK9705110F ), 1997 was a relatively peaceful
year on the Danish labour market, with fewer conflicts than in previous years
when bargaining occurred. According to statistics from the Danish Employers'
Confederation (Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening, DA) the number of working days
lost due to industrial action in 1997 - at 82,992 days - was significantly
lower than in 1995 and 1993. The main reason for the lower figure is that
only half of the private sector area conducted collective bargaining in 1997,
while the whole area did so in 1995 and 1993.
Ireland's Labour Court made its biggest ever individual equal pay award
recently when it held that four communications assistants represented by the
Civil and Public Services Union (CPSU) and employed by the Irish Aviation
Authority were entitled to equal pay with two male radio officers. The
government department with overall responsibility for the Authority, the
Department of Public Enterprise, has decided to accept the ruling, which was
issued on 28 November 1997 and which means each of the four women will
receive a total of IEP 100,000 on a backdated basis.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) 2021, an extraordinary edition conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series gathers all overview reports on developments in working life, annual reviews in industrial relations and working conditions produced by Eurofound on the basis of national contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents (NEC). Since 1997, these reports have provided overviews of the latest developments in industrial relations and working conditions across the EU and Norway. The series may include recent ad hoc articles written by members of the NEC.
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 study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the civil aviation 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 civil aviation sector in the EU Member States.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the civil aviation 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.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the professional football 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the professional football sector in the EU Member States.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
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.
In 2022, the European Semester was streamlined to integrate the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) established on 19 February 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2021/241). While facing the geopolitical and economic challenges triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States have been implementing the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for more than one year and around 100 billion euro in RRF funds have already been disbursed.
As economies emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report will look at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care and information and communications technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin digital and green transitions.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
The urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.