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.
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.
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
Sweden's present act against ethnic discrimination in working life is
ineffective and should be replaced by a new act as from 1 January 1999. This
is the conclusion of a committee appointed by the Government to review the
legislation, which issued its proposals on 1 December 1997.
Finland's central social partner organisations reached a national incomes
policy agreement for 1998-2000 in early December 1997 (FI9801145F ). The
deal required approval by the member organisations of the signatory
confederations, and a deadline of 11 December was set for the completion of
this ratification process. The settlement was threatened by the failure of
the Paperworkers' Union (Paperiliitto) - which is considered a key union in
the incomes policy deal - to meet the deadline, as it sought the resolution
of outstanding sectoral issues. However, a truce was later achieved in the
paper industry, with the union prevailing on employers to maintain the
current position on "outsourcing", allowing the ratification of the central
agreement. The Paperworkers' Union is an affiliate of the SAK confederation.
In December 1997, employees recruited on projects for the long-term
unemployed went on strike in Amsterdam on the grounds that they were owed
shift bonuses by the municipality. An agreement in principle was later
reached on their payment for irregular work.
In late 1997, the International Monetary Fund once more asked Spain for
greater flexibility in its labour market, but stated that it should be based
on social dialogue. The Prime Minister and several of his ministers have
stated their support for the introduction of such a new reform, but the trade
unions are radically opposed to any changes until the results of 1997's
"April agreements" have been analysed.
Over the five years to 1997, growth and productivity levels in the UK have
shown above average figures for the EU. In 1997, GDP continued to grow at
between 3% and 3.5%. Average earnings growth fluctuated within the range of
4.25% to 4.75%, with average pay awards remaining at around 3% for most of
1997, but moving towards the 4% mark in the last quarter.
In the context of the special Employment Summit  held in Luxembourg on
20-21 November 1997, the European Centre of Enterprises with Public
Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP) issued
an "opinion on employment policies in Europe". In the document CEEP outlines
its priorities in the area of employment policy, with the aim of creating
more jobs and achieving a more even balance between the economic and social
aspects of the EU single market.
According to recently published information, the regional metalworking sector
employers' association Nordmetall- which represents 350 enterprises in the
German states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and
is a member of the federal sectoral employers' association Gesamtmetall- has
founded an employers' association called Arbeitgeberverband Norddeutschland
which will neither conclude, nor be bound by, industry-level collective
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.
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.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.
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.