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.
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.
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
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.
The UK Labour Government is committed by its election manifesto to obliging
employers to recognise a trade union where this is supported in a ballot by
employees (UK9704125F ). Details of how the Government intends to
implement this proposal are expected in a White Paper on "fairness at work"
to be issued in early 1998, and legislation is planned for the 1998-9
parliamentary session. As part of the policy-making process, government
ministers have encouraged the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the
Trades Union Congress (TUC) to engage in talks to resolve some of the
practical problems raised by recognition legislation, making it clear that an
agreed approach is likely to prove persuasive. The Government also indicated
that if the two sides failed to agree it would proceed to issue its own
proposals. Discussions between the CBI and TUC took place during the autumn
of 1997 and concluded in early December with the publication of a joint
statement identifying not only issues on which the parties could agree but
also significant areas of continuing disagreement.
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 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.
This report will map the existing regulations on telework in European Union Member States, including in legislation and collective agreements. It will present the most recent changes to these regulations and shed light on how the future of (tele)work could be regulated at both national and EU level, in order to improve working conditions in telework arrangements and reduce the risks associated with telework and with specific ways of working remotely.
As part of a process to collect information on essential services, the European Commission (DG EMPL) requested Eurofound to provide input on certain aspects of existing and planned measures in the Member States to improve access to essential services, in reference to Principle 20 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The scope of the exercise included energy services, public transport and digital communications, and the focus was on people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (in practice, people on low incomes in most cases).
This report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
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 policy brief will provide an update on upward convergence in the economic, social and institutional dimensions of the European Union, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying Social Scoreboard.
The financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the electricity 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 electricity 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 gas 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 gas sector in the EU Member States.
This report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. 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?