Trade unions and management at Mercedes Benz's Spanish operations agreed in
mid-1997 to create a pool of working hours aimed at achieving greater
flexibility in the use of labour and avoiding redundancies. They have also
agreed to convert temporary contracts into permanent contracts and to
introduce a retirement procedure.
The European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopted a
report in October 1997 on the framework agreement on part-time work 
concluded by the European-level social partners on 6 June 1997 (EU9706131F
). The agreement is currently being given legal force via a draft Council
Directive (EU9707139N ) The Committee's report expresses the European
Parliament's support for enshrining the principle of non-discrimination
against part-time workers in legislation, but criticises the fact that the
agreement is limited to part-time work and does not cover other forms of
"atypical" employment. The agreement also excludes social security matters
which, it argues, need to be covered by legislation. In this respect the
agreement falls short of the standards enshrined in International Labour
Organisation (ILO) conventions. The report argues that, without such a basis,
the agreement allows exceptions to the principle of non-discrimination on the
basis of "technical" or "objective" reasons, such as part-time workers who
work only on a casual basis, or who do not qualify because of certain
thresholds based on length of service, working time and salary conditions.
As with other countries such as Sweden (SE9705120F ), Norway (NO9708118F
) and Spain (ES9702103N ), Germany is witnessing an ongoing debate on
employment with temporary work agencies (TWA s) and its industrial relations
consequences. Against the background of steadily increasing numbers of TWA
employees, the German Trade Union Confederation (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund,
DGB) recently published a report on employment with TWAs which includes calls
for legal restrictions and stricter regulations.
Austria's pension reform is now almost complete (AT9707118F ). Below, the
main features of the reform as they affect civil servants and employees are
reported. The pensions schemes for farmers and employers have also been
reformed, but are not reported here.
A new statute covering workers who attend study courses was published in
November 1997 in the /Diário da República/ (the Portuguese Official
Gazette). Though it widens the eligibility of workers who can benefit and has
been broadly welcomed, it does not go far enough for some organisations.
The finance law for 1998 approved by the Italian Government in November 1997
contains a number of proposals for welfare reform in the areas of social
security and pensions. As regards pensions, the Government has signed an
agreement with the Cgil, Cisl and Uil trade union confederations which makes
some changes to the previous reform introduced in 1995. The Government's
proposals have been severely criticised by the employers' associations.
In November 1997, prolonged negotiations finally led to a solution for the
employees of the bankrupt "labour pool" in the Amsterdam dockyard. Meanwhile,
in Rotterdam, labour pool members are threatening to take new industrial
action if no solution is found.
In late 1997, the Flemish social partners took the initiative to negotiate a
social agreement for the Flanders region covering the years 1998-2000. This
step is rather significant as it follows several years of failing to reach a
federal social agreement for the whole country (BE9710117F ), in the
context of clear differences of opinion between the Flemish and Walloon
social partners and the government parties.
One stage in the restructuring process of Electrolux, the Swedish-owned
multinational, seems to have been concluded in late 1997. Thanks to the
financial support of Spanish central and regional government, new investments
will be made in the Spanish plant in La Rioja. However, several of the
group's plants have been closed elsewhere in Europe.
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.
Eurofound's representativness 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 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 examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
This report examines the labour market changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected sectors and occupations quite differently. It identifies those labour market categories most exposed to negative labour market outcomes. It analyses how differences in confinement and public health approaches may have contributed to different outcomes. It addresses previous assessments of the extent of occupational ‘teleworkability’ and of the sectoral impact of confinement rules. The report draws on EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) data for its analysis.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
This report addresses the main developments in statutory and collectively agreed working time regulation in 2019 and 2020. It covers several aspects of the duration of working time in the EU, such as information on maximum numbers of working days and weeks, normal working weeks and paid annual leave across the countries and within selected sectors. The report focuses on the education, health, transport, retail and public administration sectors, and provides accounts of major developments in working time regulation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.
This policy brief uses the data from the European Company Survey 2019 to examine the workplace practices of export-oriented companies and to analyse how these practices relate to outcomes. It also examines why these companies choose the workplace practices they adopt.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the audiovisual 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 audiovisual sector 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 live performance 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 live performance sector in the EU Member States.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
This report analyses and compares the industrial relations landscape in a number of sectors and activities that form a public service cluster. The report draws on Eurofound’s recent representativeness studies investigating the following sectors: education, human health, central government administration and local and regional government sector (including social services).