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  • Article
    27 december 1997

    In June 1997, the Swedish Employers' Confederation (Svenska
    Arbetsgivareföreningen, SAF) gave the trade union negotiating cartel, the
    Federation of Salaried Employees in Industry and Services
    (Privattjänstemannakartellen, PTK) notice of termination of the so-called
    adjustment agreement (omställningsavtalet), the purpose of which is to
    facilitate the adjustment for workers and employers in the event of
    collective redundancies (SE9709137F [1]). SAF argued that the agreement was
    too costly for the employers and wanted /inter alia/ to convert the Council
    for Redundancy Support and Advice (Trygghetsrådet) - which is based on the
    agreement - from a foundation to a private company, subject to open


  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The Finnish Medical Association (Suomen Lääkäriliitto, SLL) is one of the
    few trade unions that have decided not to approve the central incomes policy
    agreement, signed on 12 December 1997 by trade union and employers'
    confederations (FI9801145F [1]). The employers of the doctors concerned, the
    Commission for Local Authority Employers (Kunnallinen työmarkkinalaitos,
    KT), made a proposal for an agreement but the doctors decided to reject it.
    According to SLL, the proposal did not resolve the dispute concerning
    doctors' working hours. The income of medical doctors will decrease
    significantly in 1998 if they become fully subject the new Working Hours Act
    ( which has been in force from the beginning of 1997). Until now, no drastic
    changes have taken place due to local agreements. If these local agreements
    cannot be prolonged, the limitations of the Act will take full effect. The EU
    Directive on certain aspects of the organisation of working time [2]
    (93/104/EC) forbids long sessions of emergency duty and the doctors want the
    resulting loss of income to be compensated by increasing wages for normal
    working time. Previously, the pay of hospital doctors consisted to a large
    extent of remuneration for emergency duties.


  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The Dutch economy continued to develop favourably in 1997. The level of
    economic growth stood at 3.3%, which is higher than the EU average. Although
    inflation in the Netherlands, at 2.2%, was considerably higher than the EU
    average, it was fairly stable. The General Government Financial Balance for
    1997 was -2.0% of GDP (NLG 14.2 billion - ECU 6.4 billion). Eurostat put
    public debt at 72.1% of GDP. Unemployment decreased significantly again in
    1997, and the number of unemployed persons stood at 336,000 (6.4%) in the
    last quarter of 1997.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    A November 1997 orientation debate on employment policy in Luxembourg's
    Chamber of Deputies has prompted several motions. The most important of these
    urges the Government to work towards an agreement between the social partners
    that contains both the outlines of a framework law on working time and ways
    of gradually reducing working hours, to be negotiated through collective or
    company-level agreements.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    On 22 May 1997, an "Employment Alliance" for eastern Germany was concluded
    between the German Federal Government, the German Trade Union Federation
    (DGB), the German Salaried Employees' Union (DAG), the Confederation of
    German Employers' Associations (BDA), the Confederation of German Industries
    (BDI), the German Association of Chambers of Commerce (DIHT), the Central
    Association of German Crafts (ZDH) and the Associations of the Credit
    Institutions (Kreditgewerbe). The primary objectives of the pact were to
    speed up the transformation process of the eastern German economy, to boost
    growth, to reduce unit labour costs, to stabilise employment in 1997 at the
    level of 1996, and to create 100,000 new jobs in each of the following years.
    Among other measures to be executed by the state and the private sector, the
    "Joint initiative for more jobs in eastern Germany" provided for several
    guidelines regarding industrial relations in eastern Germany - such as
    employment-oriented collective bargaining, working time flexibility,
    "hardship clauses" and special regulations for small and medium-sized
    enterprises (DE9706117F [1]).


  • Article
    27 december 1997

    At a tripartite meeting held on 17 December 1997 to discuss the spring 1998
    collective bargaining round, Danish government representatives advised the
    social partners to keep pay increases at a moderate level in order to
    stimulate job creation. However, the government representatives were
    reluctant to specify a precise figure for pay increases, stating that it was
    not the aim of government to tie the social partners to a certain figure or
    to intervene in the collective bargaining process, which they regarded as the
    sole prerogative of the social partners.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    In recent years the Spanish economy has undergone a process of recovery.
    After the recession of the early 1990s, a cycle of growth began, parallel to
    that of other countries in the European Union. In 1997, GDP rose by 3.4% -
    compared with 2.1% in 1994, 2.8% in 1995 and 2.1% in 1996. This was mainly
    due to the increase in domestic consumption, investment and industrial
    activity and the resurgence of construction. The prospects for growth in 1998
    are also optimistic, with forecasts of around 3.6%. This has been
    particularly helped by the fall in inflation, which at 2.1% in 1997, was the
    lowest for 30 years. This low inflation rate has led to a reduction in
    interest rates, which were very high in the 1980s. The public deficit has
    also been reduced through restrictive budgets and privatisation of public
    companies (ES9709123N [1]). The public deficit stood at 2.6% of GDP in 1997.
    According to Eurostat figures, the unemployment rate stood at 20.8% in 1997,
    compared with 22.2% in 1996 and 24.3% in 1995. The number of those in
    employment increased by about 371,000 in 1997 in comparison with 1996.
    Nevertheless, fewer jobs were created than in the previous year, despite
    greater economic growth.


  • Article
    27 december 1997

    There are two inter-related factors within UK workplace relations which,
    arguably, are both caused by, and solvable by British managers. The first is
    an increase in workplace stress - the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), for
    example, has recently released figures (in its /Health and safety statistics
    1996/7/) showing that half a million people believe that they are suffering
    from work-related stress. The second is the need for high-performing
    companies. Both of these are in large part dependent on the type of managers
    within the workplace. All too often in the UK - according to some
    commentators - job insecurity, work intensification and "bossy" management
    are seen as the answer to improving performance, but are also the cause of
    much stress.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The Austria Government has taken three new measures aimed at facilitating
    youth employment. In the first, a clause was added to the Federal Tendering
    Act (Bundesvergabegesetz), as part of the general tendering conditions,
    requiring that in awarding tenders for contracts, the employment of persons
    on a training contract be taken into account. Parliament approved this
    change. No explicit mention of apprenticeship contracts was made, because
    this would conflict with European Union regulations. The new clause takes
    effect from 1 January 1998.


  • 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