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
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
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
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 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 an interview on national Norwegian television in January 1998, the
Minister of Labour and Government Administration, Eldbjørg Løwer, called
for the lifting of the ban on private employment agencies (reported in
/Aftenposten/ on 9 January 1998). Speaking in general terms about the
contemporary labour market situation in Norway, she recognised the need to
modernise the present system of regulations on private employment agencies as
well as on the temporary secondment of employees from one firm to another
(NO9708118F ). Ms Løwer envisages a reversal of the present legal
arrangements in both areas. The prohibitions on private employment agencies
and on the temporary secondment of employees from one company to another
should be abolished, while alternative restrictions may be put on certain
types of occupational groups, and on the quota of workers on "lease" in any
given firm or company.
A perceived dearth of openings for apprentices, in the context of the
demographic trends leading to increasing numbers of 15-year-olds, was one of
the major employment issues in 1997 (AT9708128F ). Alerted, the Government
and the social partners intend not to be caught unawares in 1998.
Preparations are already underway to have the right incentives and sufficient
counseling capacity in place when school finishes at the end of June. For the
time being, however, the preparations are hampered by competing and
conflicting evaluations of the measures taken in 1997 (AT9706116F ), and
by disagreement over the scale the problem is likely to assume in 1998. They
are also hampered by the fact that the cost of the 1997 measures is not
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.
At present, Sweden has no legislation expressly forbidding discrimination
against people with disabilities in working life. For example, there is
nothing preventing private employers from excluding job applicants with some
form of disability with express reference to their disability, as they are in
principle free to employ whomever they choose. On 3 December 1997 a committee
appointed by the Government therefore proposed a new act prohibiting
discrimination in working life against people with disabilities.
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.
The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This publication series include the ERM reports, as well as blogs, articles and working papers on restructuring-related events in the EU27 and Norway.
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.
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).