The proposed European Company Statute would enable European multinational
undertakings to operate under rules governed by EU company law, rather than
the diverse regulations of different Member States. Such "European Companies"
would also benefit from a special tax status. The idea has been on the table
for over a quarter of a century without winning adoption in the Council of
Ministers, with the problems centring around the issue of worker involvement
in the European Company. In 1996, a high-level expert group was set up by the
Commission to help break the deadlock, particularly in respect of those
countries which feared that the Statute would undermine strong national
involvement rights, and those countries which currently have no legal
mechanisms for ensuring employee involvement.
Along with all the other EU Member States, Finland has drawn up a National
Action Plan (NAP) on employment in response to the EU Guidelines for Member
States' employment policies 1998 , following the Luxembourg"Employment
Summit" in November 1997 (EU9711168F ). The plans are to be submitted to
the Cardiff European Council in June 1998.
On 10 May 1998, employers and the trade unions in the Dutch healthcare sector
reached a new collective agreement. This was made possible after a debate in
the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, in which the outgoing Minister of
Health offered employers a chance for renegotiation in the autumn if the
budget proves to be inadequate.
According to Sergio Cofferati, general secretary of Italy's Cgil trade union
confederation, EU Economic and Monetary Union may have major consequences for
industrial relations, as the importance of the supranational level is bound
to increase. For this reason, in May 1998 Mr Cofferati suggested the
introduction of European-level collective agreements, provoking a hostile
reaction from employers.
Long-running disputes in the governing bodies of the FEP brought the union
organisation to a standstill in March 1998 and have led to the formation of a
new confederation for white-collar workers in Luxembourg's private sector.
The Spanish government, in drawing up its National Action Plan for employment
in response to the EU employment guidelines, for submission to the June 1998
Cardiff summit, has given priority to active employment policies supported by
training and local activity. However, the trade unions have severely
criticised the Plan and are organising protests against it.
In May 1998, the Portuguese Government announced proposals for a new basic
law on social security, containing structural measures designed to strengthen
system and address its financial sustainability. The proposals incorporate
some recommendations arising from the dialogue between the Government and the
Personnel leasing/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. In 1993, the
conservative-liberal-centre Government of the day repealed the requirement
that such firms had to have a licence in order to operate.
Viessmann, a family-owned heating equipment business which employs roughly
6,500 employees, is a member of the Hessen regional metalworking employers'
association, Verband der Metall- und Elektro-unternehmen Hessen eV. After 450
employees were made redundant in 1995, Viessmann did not plan further
workforce reductions. However, management discussed the production of a new
product line in the Czech Republic. According to the company, the proposal to
produce the new line abroad was mainly due to cost advantages in production.
In comparison with the Czech Republic, production costs in Germany would not
have allowed for production at competitive prices.
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 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 paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
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.
The civil aviation sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most severe crises the sector has ever experienced, giving rise to a number of significant challenges for companies and workers alike. 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?
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.
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 report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
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?
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
This report analyses the working lives of workers in Europe in 2021, when the continent was still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines working conditions during that period and the association between job quality and work outcomes such as health and well-being, work–life balance, and financial security. The report also considers how the shifts in working life during the pandemic are likely to affect work in the future.