The 1997 /Warwick pay and working time survey/ shows, on the one hand, that
formal "benchmarking", or even measurement, of employee performance is not as
common in the UK as might be expected. Benchmarking against the international
competition is particularly infrequent, even where firms are experiencing an
internationalisation of market boundaries or in the nature of their
competition. On the other hand, the survey finds that employers do have
access to a wide range of other formal and informal networks through which
they can share and compare their experiences. The evidence shows that
managers do use these opportunities for information-sharing when making
changes to pay and working time systems. In practice, therefore, a looser
form of benchmarking might already be widespread, and this might be a useful
consideration to take into account when the Government - which regards
benchmarking as a vital tool for improving employment relations and business
performance - seeks to develop policy proposals in a White Paper in 1998.
In 1993, the Restaurants and Brewery Workers Union in Denmark (Restaurations-
og Bryggeriarbejder Forbund i Danmark, RBF) signed a collective agreement
with a nationwide restaurant chain. RBF was able to come to terms with the
restaurant chain, which was not a member of an employers' organisation, only
by agreeing to less favourable terms and conditions (in terms of flexible
working hours and overtime premia) than those specified in its main agreement
with the sectoral employers' association, the Association of the Hotel,
Restaurant, and Leisure Industry in Denmark (Hotel, Restaurations- og
Turisterhvervets Arbejdsgiverforening, HORESTA).
Traditionally there has not been a great deal of rivalry over members between
the different employers' organisations in Norway, and in most cases the
boundaries between the largest organisations have been clear. Recently,
however, there have been indications that in the future we will see increased
rivalry over members. The two largest employers' organisations, the
Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO) and the Commercial
Employers' Association (HSH), both have ambitions of continued membership
At the beginning of December 1997, the Austrian Government announced plans
for a "clean workplace campaign" (Aktion sauberer Arbeitsplatz) aimed at
combating illegal employment. The main objective is to get a better grip on
taxable income but a secondary aim is clearly to please the social partners
after 1997's acrimonious pensions debate (AT9709134N ). At the Ministry of
Labour, Health and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit
und Soziales, BMAGS), six working groups were set up with a remit to devise
tighter controls and more adequate penalties. In all working groups, the
social partners are included along with representatives of various
At the beginning of 1997 the Minister for Equal Opportunities Affairs, Labour
Law and Working Hours appointed the director general of the National
Institute of Economic Research, Svante Öberg, as a special investigator with
the task of proposing measures to promote a satisfactory system of pay
determination (SE9704111F ). On 27 November 1997, he presented his first
results (Medlingsinstitut och lönestatistikSOU 1997:164).
A law governing the financing of France's social security system was adopted
on 2 December 1997. This legislation continues along the same lines as the
plan put forward by the previous Government and aims to reduce the social
security deficit radically.
Following the special Jobs Summit  which took place in Luxembourg on 20-21
November 1997 (EU9711168F ), the European Commission adopted a final
proposal for Guidelines for Member States' employment policies for 1998 
on 3 December 1997. The proposal, which was adopted by the Council of Labour
and Social Affairs Ministers on 15 December 1997 (EU9712175N ), launches
the European employment strategy agreed at the Amsterdam European Council
meeting in June 1997 (EU9706133N ). These guidelines now have to be
incorporated into national employment action plans drawn up by the Member
States in the form of national objectives. Member States are committed to
submitting these plans in time for their examination by the European Council
meeting to take place in Cardiff in June 1998. The implementation of these
guidelines will be monitored regularly and an annual report will be produced
by the Commission. This approach draws on the existing practice of
multiannual surveillance established after the December 1994 Essen summit, to
monitor the implementation of the recommendation drawn up at that meeting.
After more than eight months of negotiations, new collective agreements were
concluded in November and December 1997 for the 1.8 million or so employees
in the west German retail trade, ending the 1997 collective bargaining round.
New agreements were concluded in most regional bargaining areas between the
trade union responsible, Gewerkschaft Handel Banken Versicherungen (HBV), and
the regional employers' associations - which are members of the national peak
employers' association for the retail trade, Hauptverband des Deutschen
Toyota, the Japan-based motor manufacturer, has a UK plant at Burnaston in
Derbyshire, which is said to have the third-highest productivity levels of
any car plant in Europe. It was widely expected that the company would
continue its investment in the UK by building a new plant aimed at production
for the small-car market in that country. However, on 10 December 1997, the
announcement was made that the GBP 400 million assembly plant, which is
likely to create over 2,000 jobs, will be built in Valenciennes, northern
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.