The leaders of the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO) and the
Federation of Norwegian Professional Associations (AF), Yngve Hågensen (LO)
and Magne Songvoll (AF), made headlines on 1 December 1997 when they called
for their members to boycott Norway's largest commercial bank, Den Norske
Bank (DnB). This followed DnB's decision to introduce new service charges and
to raise existing service charges from 1 November 1997. This is only the
latest of many clashes between the trade unions and the banking sector in
Norway on the issue of service charges. An opinion poll commissioned by LO
and AF revealed that a majority of the people asked expressed dissatisfaction
with existing service charges in the banking sector in general. The proposed
boycott was not directed at the DnB alone, but the bank was made the main
target due to its size and the scale of its service fees. DnB later
reconsidered its original decision, and decided to lower charges on some
Austria's current pensions reform aims to reduce the level of early
retirement. However, since the late 1970s, early retirement has been serving
as the main means to reduce the labour market participation rate among older
workers and thus make room for younger workers who would otherwise have been
unemployed. With early retirement now being squeezed, the social partners and
the Government have been looking for other measures to keep the participation
rate among older workers, and thus unemployment, at a relatively low level. A
new device - in the Austrian context - is a greater use of part-time work,
especially among men, which does not take workers off the labour market
altogether but reduces their hours of presence within it. As part of this
effort, the Government and the social partners agreed in November 1997 to
create, by law, the so-called "solidarity premium model"
"Personnel secondment "(personaluthyrning) is the Swedish term for the
situation whereby persons under an employment contract with one firm are
leased to work in another firm. It covers arrangements known variously as
hiring-out of labour or temporary agency work in other countries. The
practice was deregulated in Sweden in 1991 and has since increased
considerably. This led to the Social Democratic Government appointing a
commission in July 1996 to evaluate and analyse the consequences of the 1993
Act on private employment agencies and secondment of personnel. The
commission was headed by Björn Rosengren, former president of the
white-collar workers trade union federation, TCO. The Act of 1993, which was
designed by the then non-socialist government, removed the requirement that a
firm had to have a licence to be allowed to lease workers. Previously such
licences had been given to very few firms. The new Act contains only two
restrictive provisions: that the employee must not be restrained from
accepting employment in the client enterprise; and that a person who has left
his or her employment to work for a leasing firm must not be leased to his or
her previous employer until at least six months have passed.
In the last days of the campaign for the December 1997 election of the
members of France's Prud'hommesindustrial tribunals, the level of support for
each trade union is still uncertain. They have all been running intense local
campaigns since the beginning of 1997.
The Greek Government's proposals for the Luxembourg Jobs Summit in November
1997, drawn up following dialogue with the social partners, focused on two
groups of the population in need of special protection: young and long-term
On 17 November 1997, the Finnish social partners reached an agreement on the
so-called "EMU buffers", following negotiations which have been in progress
all autumn. In order to balance out cyclical economic changes within EMU, a
total sum of up to FIM 7 billion will be collected in two buffer funds
created in the occupational pension scheme and the unemployment insurance
A serious crisis between the two principal Spanish trade union confederations
has erupted following CC.OO's decision in October 1997 to sign the second
general agreement for the construction sector the day before the general
strike in the sector called by UGT to protest against the high industrial
National employers' and employees' organisations in the Netherlands
established guidelines in November 1997 for future collective bargaining. The
most important items on the bargaining table are the introduction of flexible
payment schemes and agreements regarding training and leave.
The second "European Health and Safety at Work Week" took place from 20-25
October 1997. This year the focus of the event was on assessing potential and
actual workplace risks, with a particular emphasis on risks within small and
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.
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.