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  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Developments in European Union (EU) and national-level policy with a direct
    impact on industrial relations were influenced by a number of key trends and
    events in 1997, many of which are set to continue to be of relevance in the
    policy debate in 1998:

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The introduction of a statutory National Minimum Wage (NMW) was one of the
    commitments of the Labour Government that came to power in May 1997
    (UK9704125F [1]), and the National Minimum Wage Bill was published on 27
    November and received its first reading in Parliament. Margaret Beckett, the
    President of the Board of Trade, who is responsible for the bill, said that
    it would set the framework within which the Government would introduce the
    NMW, once it had carefully considered the recommendations of the Low Pay
    Commission [2] (LPC). The bill, she stated, will enable the Government to
    introduce a NMW which is as simple and universal as possible (UK9711177F


  • Article
    27 december 1997

    According to the Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt), German
    real GDP grew at a rate of 2.2% in 1997. As regards the Maastricht
    convergence criteria, the budget deficit reached 2.7% of GDP, whereas public
    debt amounted to 61.3% of GDP. On average, unemployment stood at 11.4% of the
    civilian labour force - 9.8% in the west and 18.1% in the east. Inflation, as
    measured by the consumer price index, amounted to 1.8%.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    During the spring of 1998, Norway's two-year pay agreements will be
    renegotiated. A tight labour market, increased public spending and reports of
    high wage increases amongst management has led to a certain uneasiness prior
    to the 1998 private sector pay settlement. The trade unions' strategy and
    claims for the 1998 settlement will not be decided upon before the general
    council of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions' (LO) meets in
    February 1998. At this meeting, both the type of settlement and the main
    claims will be decided upon.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Strikes and demonstrations in December 1997 indicated that social unrest is
    rising in Belgium's care services sector, where workers feel threatened by
    budgetary cuts. Workers want to defend not only the volume but also the
    quality of employment in this sector.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Spain's UGT and CC.OO trade union confederations want to put employment at
    the top of their collective bargaining agenda in 1998. Job creation and
    promoting secure employment are the main demands.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The 40-hour statutory working week finally came into force in Portugal on 1
    December 1997. This feature discusses the implementation phase, over the
    first year of the 40-hour week law. The simultaneous introduction of a
    reduction in working time and new forms of flexibility have led to conflict
    in a number of sectors.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Further problems have been looming in the UK's troubled and much-diminished
    mining industry for some time now, and came to a head at the beginning of
    December 1997 when the industry's largest producer, RJB, issued calls to the
    Government to step in to save the industry, with eight pits and some 5,000
    jobs said to be at risk. The crisis was triggered primarily by the fact that
    RJB had failed to secure enough contracts with power generators, which argue
    that the company's coal is too expensive.


  • COVID-19

    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.

  • Sectoral social dialogue

    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.

  • Minimum wages in the EU

    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.  

  • European Working Conditions Surveys

    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.

  • European Restructuring Monitor

    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.

  • Challenges and prospects in the EU

    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.

  • European Company Survey 2019

    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. 

  • National social partners and policymaking

    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).

  • New forms of employment

    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.

  • European Company Surveys

    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.

Forthcoming publications