A recent decree, approved in November 1997, has significantly reformed the
system of employers' representation for collective bargaining within the
Italian public administration. This article discusses the changes made to the
structure and tasks of Aran, the agency which negotiates with trade unions in
the public administration. An important effect of these changes will be a
greater role for individual units of the public administration in the
The Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union organised a special
Employment Summit  European Council meeting on 20-21 November 1997
(EU9711168F ). In order to prepare for the event, the Belgian Government
and social partners organised a conference aimed at formulating the point of
view of the Government and the social partners with respect to the four
priorities proposed by the European Commission for discussion at the Summit
in Luxembourg, as follows.
Four large Dutch trade unions, which already cooperate in the FNV
confederation, have recently decided to merge. The merger is to be finalised
in January 1998, resulting in a union with almost half a million members. For
the first time, those receiving social benefits and older people will be
incorporated into the organisation as a distinct industrial group. This
merger has also prompted more intensive cooperation between other Dutch
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.
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.
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.
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.
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
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 the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the gas 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 gas 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 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.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
The financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the electricity 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 electricity 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.
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.