Attempts at mediation in bargaining over a new collective agreement in the
transport sector broke down in May 1998, and 5,700 workers had gone on strike
by 22 May. The strikes involve those covered by the collective agreements for
scheduled bus transport, long-distance freight transport by road, and bus
drivers employed by Norwegian Railways (NSB). The conflict will be stepped up
incrementally until 6 June 1998 unless a new agreement is reached.
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conservative-liberal-centre Government of the day repealed the requirement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.
The Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister), unveiled Ireland's National Action Plan
 on employment on 20 April 1998. All the EU Member States have drawn up
such National Action Plans (NAP s) in line with the Employment Guidelines 
which arose from the special Employment Summit  in Luxembourg in November
1997 (EU9711168F ). The Guidelines set out a a framework for national
action under the four "pillars" of employability, adaptability,
entrepreneurship and equal opportunities. The NAPs were to be considered at
the Cardiff European Council meeting in June 1998.
In a speech delivered to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in April
1998, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, cited latest figures
showing that the UK has a "productivity gap" of 20%-30% with France and
Germany and of 40% with the USA. Although there are British "success stories"
(such as chemicals and paper/printing) and although the productivity gap has
been steadily reduced, it still remains significant and the productivity of
UK manufacturing trails behind that achieved elsewhere, almost regardless of
sector. The Chancellor argued that "it is time to develop a sense of national
purpose, to agree a long-term direction for Britain." He went on to say that
the Government promises to do everything it can to create the conditions in
which business can succeed, including major structural reforms of the UK
product, capital and labour markets. In terms of the labour market, the
Government's reform would include not just employment policy, but also
welfare, education, taxation and social security policy.
In March 1998, the metalworking employers' organisation, CONFEMETAL, and the
metalworking federations of the UGT, CC.OO and CIGA trade unions signed an
/Agreement on the structure of collective bargaining in the metalworking
industry/, aimed at rationalising bargaining in the sector. This is the first
agreement of this type to be signed following 1997's intersectoral agreement
on collective bargaining.
Finland's mainly state-owned Leonia finance group gave notice in spring 1998
of massive reorganisation involving large-scale redundancies. Employees are
vigorously opposed to the dismissals, which are now under negotiation in the
works council. If a solution cannot be reached, the dispute will escalate
into a widespread boycott.
Elections in Belgian companies for works councils and workplace health and
safety committees are likely to be postponed from 1999 until 2000, at the
employers' request. The elections involve half the workers in the private
In April 1991, German employers stated their support for European
integration, the single market, and a reasonable social dimension. Following
the June 1997 Amsterdam summit and the related Treaty changes (EU9707135F
) as well as in face of the coming Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the
Confederation of German Employers' Associations (Bundesvereinigung der
Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände, BDA) published its current positions
regarding European social policy in spring 1998 ("EuropäischeSozialpolitik -
Die Perspektive der Arbeitgeber, BDA, Cologne (1998)). This feature
summarises the BDA statement.
The revised national Budget for 1998 was made public by the Norwegian
Government on 15 May 1998. The Government is concerned about the present
overheating in the economy, and proposes that employers must set aside 2% of
paybill as well as paying a larger share of the cost of sick pay benefits.
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.