In 1993, the Restaurants and Brewery Workers Union in Denmark (Restaurations-
og Bryggeriarbejder Forbund i Danmark, RBF) signed a collective agreement
with a nationwide restaurant chain. RBF was able to come to terms with the
restaurant chain, which was not a member of an employers' organisation, only
by agreeing to less favourable terms and conditions (in terms of flexible
working hours and overtime premia) than those specified in its main agreement
with the sectoral employers' association, the Association of the Hotel,
Restaurant, and Leisure Industry in Denmark (Hotel, Restaurations- og
Turisterhvervets Arbejdsgiverforening, HORESTA).
The 1997 /Warwick pay and working time survey/ shows, on the one hand, that
formal "benchmarking", or even measurement, of employee performance is not as
common in the UK as might be expected. Benchmarking against the international
competition is particularly infrequent, even where firms are experiencing an
internationalisation of market boundaries or in the nature of their
competition. On the other hand, the survey finds that employers do have
access to a wide range of other formal and informal networks through which
they can share and compare their experiences. The evidence shows that
managers do use these opportunities for information-sharing when making
changes to pay and working time systems. In practice, therefore, a looser
form of benchmarking might already be widespread, and this might be a useful
consideration to take into account when the Government - which regards
benchmarking as a vital tool for improving employment relations and business
performance - seeks to develop policy proposals in a White Paper in 1998.
The European Commission has long emphasised the importance of small and
medium-sized enterprises (SME s) in job creation. The recently published 1997
annual report  by theEuropean Observatory for SMEs  shows a complex
picture in terms of the employment impact of SMEs. According to the report,
there are over 19 million enterprises active in the non-primary private
sector in Europe (including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).
Of these, around 99.8% fall into the EU classification of SMEs. Based on the
analysis of trends between 1988 and 1997, the report suggests that during the
1990-3 recession, the decline in employment was greater in large or
medium-sized companies than in SMEs, thus suggesting that larger enterprises
are more vulnerable to fluctuations in the business cycle. However,
employment figures in SMEs nevertheless declined to 110 million persons. The
report shows that while employment remains more stable in SMEs during periods
of recession, in times of economic recovery, employment growth tends to be
concentrated in the larger enterprises. SMEs were found to create more jobs
than large enterprises, but they equally destroy more jobs. Significantly,
the net rate of employment growth tends to be the same for enterprises of
A law governing the financing of France's social security system was adopted
on 2 December 1997. This legislation continues along the same lines as the
plan put forward by the previous Government and aims to reduce the social
security deficit radically.
At the beginning of 1997 the Minister for Equal Opportunities Affairs, Labour
Law and Working Hours appointed the director general of the National
Institute of Economic Research, Svante Öberg, as a special investigator with
the task of proposing measures to promote a satisfactory system of pay
determination (SE9704111F ). On 27 November 1997, he presented his first
results (Medlingsinstitut och lönestatistikSOU 1997:164).
At the beginning of December 1997, the Austrian Government announced plans
for a "clean workplace campaign" (Aktion sauberer Arbeitsplatz) aimed at
combating illegal employment. The main objective is to get a better grip on
taxable income but a secondary aim is clearly to please the social partners
after 1997's acrimonious pensions debate (AT9709134N ). At the Ministry of
Labour, Health and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit
und Soziales, BMAGS), six working groups were set up with a remit to devise
tighter controls and more adequate penalties. In all working groups, the
social partners are included along with representatives of various
Traditionally there has not been a great deal of rivalry over members between
the different employers' organisations in Norway, and in most cases the
boundaries between the largest organisations have been clear. Recently,
however, there have been indications that in the future we will see increased
rivalry over members. The two largest employers' organisations, the
Confederation of Norwegian Business and Industry (NHO) and the Commercial
Employers' Association (HSH), both have ambitions of continued membership
After more than eight months of negotiations, new collective agreements were
concluded in November and December 1997 for the 1.8 million or so employees
in the west German retail trade, ending the 1997 collective bargaining round.
New agreements were concluded in most regional bargaining areas between the
trade union responsible, Gewerkschaft Handel Banken Versicherungen (HBV), and
the regional employers' associations - which are members of the national peak
employers' association for the retail trade, Hauptverband des Deutschen
Denmark has experienced five years of uninterrupted economic recovery, and in
1997 economic growth was estimated at approximately 3%. This has led to
sizeable reductions in unemployment rates which have few parallels in Europe
during this decade. Unemployment has been reduced from a record-high rate of
12.4% in 1993 to 7.4% in December 1997 - a reduction equal to 205,800
unemployed persons. The reduction has been beneficial for all groups, and
especially for women. These positive tendencies are mirrored by an
improvement in general government finances. Denmark will be one of the first
countries in Europe to be able to show a surplus on the general government
account in 1997. The current surplus of 0.7% is expected to increase to DKK
14 billion (ECU 1.9 billion) or 1.2% of GDP in 1998. Inflation stood at 1.9%
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 will map the existing regulations on telework in European Union Member States, including in legislation and collective agreements. It will present the most recent changes to these regulations and shed light on how the future of (tele)work could be regulated at both national and EU level, in order to improve working conditions in telework arrangements and reduce the risks associated with telework and with specific ways of working remotely.
As part of a process to collect information on essential services, the European Commission (DG EMPL) requested Eurofound to provide input on certain aspects of existing and planned measures in the Member States to improve access to essential services, in reference to Principle 20 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The scope of the exercise included energy services, public transport and digital communications, and the focus was on people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (in practice, people on low incomes in most cases).
This report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
This policy brief will provide an update on upward convergence in the economic, social and institutional dimensions of the European Union, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying Social Scoreboard.
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 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 report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?