In December 1997, the Italian State Railways signed an agreement with
transport workers' trade unions on the management of redundancies. The
agreement provides for the creation of a fund to deal with redundant staff by
means of "mobility" procedures, the Wages Guarantee Fund, job-security
agreements and early retirement. An important aspect of the agreement was the
mediation by the Government.
At the end of 1997, the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament rejected a
proposal to give employees the legal right to work part time. Employers
opposed the bill, while the trade unions were divided on the subject.
On 27 November 1997, the Finnish Firefighters' Union (Suomen Palomiesliitto,
SPAL) called a strike which continues at the time of writing (11 December).
The action arises from disagreements about firefighters' pay system, working
hours and retirement age. An attempt at conciliation ended without results
and the national conciliator, Juhani Salonius, came to the conclusion that
the parties stood so far apart that not even a proposal for a settlement
could be made.
EUROCADRES (the Council for European Professional and Managerial Staff)
represents over 4 million professional and managerial staff in Europe who are
members of trade unions affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation.
The organisation hosted a conference on 2-3 December 1997 to showcase what it
sees as the underpublicised problem of long working hours among Europe's
managers. Trends in working hours for these workers, who are potentially
excluded from the coverage of much of the 1993 EU Directive on certain
aspects of the organisation of working time (93/104/EC ), have run counter
to the general trend towards a reduction of working hours. The conference,
which was attended by 150 individuals from among EUROCADRES' member
organisations and other European and national social partner organisations
and institutions, focused on the findings of a report on /Professional
employees' working hours in Europe/ produced by Jean-Yves Boulin (University
of Paris-Dauphine) and Robert Plasman (Free University of Brussels).
On 11 November 1997, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a judgment in
case of Hellmut Marschall v Land Nordrhine-Westphalia (C-409/95) ,
according to which a national law which guarantees priority for women in
promotions in the public sector in cases where there are male and female
candidates who are equally qualified for the post in question does not
conflict with Community law provided that certain conditions are satisfied.
HK/Industri- the industrial section of the Union of Commercial and Clerical
Employees in Denmark (Handels- og Kontorfunktionærernes Forbund, HK) - has
published a comprehensive proposal on a "European collective industrial
relations system". The aim is to initiate a debate on how European-wide
industrial relations issues can be resolved. The union proposes the
conclusion of transnational agreements, with an industrial tribunal to
adjudicate on matters of dispute. These proposals were presented at a
conference in Denmark on 28-29 November and at a press conference in Brussels
on 8 December.
Work on Sunday is in principle prohibited in Austria. However, the law
permits exemptions to be made by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
for basic necessities or for economic or technological reasons, and by the
heads of provincial governments for exceptional regional supply purposes. New
legislation in 1997 also opened the door for the social partners to conclude
collective agreements permitting Sunday work if this is deemed necessary in
order to safeguard or create employment (AT9703107N ). If the proposed
Sunday work is to be only temporary and connected with the introduction of
new technology, an exemption can also be granted by the Central Labour
Inspectorate (Zentrales Arbeitsinspektorat). Recently, a number of
enterprises - some industrial, some in retailing, some in other services -
have made demands for such exemptions. This has, in turn, led to a debate
among the social partners and the broader public about the use and abuse of
Sunday work regulations.
Meaningful pay negotiations at the Portuguese operations of Rhode, a
prominent German transnational footwear company, have been delayed, prompting
strike action in November-December 1997. Management is waiting for the
conclusion of the sectoral agreement before opening the process of
A study of transport conditions for workers in the Athens area, carried out
between July and October 1997 on behalf of a trade union-based research
institute, reveals that poor commuting conditions are a factor that causes
both a deterioration in the quality of life and one million lost working
hours a year.
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 analyses how working conditions, job quality and working life outcomes – such as work–life balance, health and well-being, and sustainability of work – changed between February 2020 and spring 2021. Following up on responses to the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2020, it explores the differences between three distinct groups of workers: those teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic, those who continued to work on their employers' premises as frontline staff, and those who were furloughed or worked reduced hours.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in European sectoral social dialogue taking place at cross-sectoral level. 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 at cross-sectoral level 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 study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the food and drinks 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 food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.
This report offers a backward look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work and life of Europeans. The main focus is on Eurofound’s e-survey ‘ Living, working and COVID-19’ which was launched on 9 April 2020 just after the onset of the crisis. Through four rounds of the survey (two in 2020 and two in 2021), the range of questions changed to match the evolving situation and to understand the effects on the everyday lives of citizens and workers. A fifth round of the e-survey is planned for March–May 2022, with initial findings available in July.
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 pandemic triggered an extraordinary level of provision of social services across the EU. Healthcare and care providers carried much of the burden and, together with essential services, played a crucial role in getting citizens through the crisis. This report explores how public services adapted to the new reality and what role was played by the digital transformation of services. The aim is to contribute to the documentation and analysis of changes in funding, delivery and use of healthcare and social services during the pandemic.
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.
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.