The Belgian Government has drawn up on its own the National Action Plan 
(NAP) on employment which it will submit to the European Council summit
meeting in Cardiff in June 1998. It did not succeed in reaching agreement on
the plan with the social partners. All EU Member States were required to draw
up NAPs based on the EU Guidelines for Member States' employment policies
1998 , following the Luxembourg"Employment Summit" in November 1997
The Union of City-Centre Department Stores (Union des commerces de centre
ville, UCV) followed the example of the French Banks' Association
(Association française des banques, AFB) and entered into negotiations on
the reduction of working time at the beginning of 1998 (FR9802194F ). Like
the AFB, UCV too has now decided to terminate the sectoral collective
agreement covering 40,000 workers on the grounds that the negotiations had
"no chance of succeeding". The UCV entered the discussions with the aim of
securing the annualisation of working time to compensate for the forthcoming
move to a 35-hour statutory working week (FR9710169F ).
On 20 April 1998, main proceedings were due to begin in case before the
Labour Court, in which the Commercial Employees' Union (Handelsanställdas
förbund, Handels) had sued Small Shops Sverige AB, the company which
operates the 7-Eleven chain of shops, for SEK 1 million compensation for a
breach of the collective agreement (SE9703108N ). On 8 April, however, the
parties settled the dispute and agreed to withdraw the case from the court. A
new collective agreement has been drawn up, in which the company agrees to
pay its employees the same unsocial hours bonus as other employees in the
On 31 March 1998, the German construction workers' trade union, IG
Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt (IG Bau), and the three Italian construction workers'
unions, Feneal-Uil, Filca-Cisl and Fillea-Cgil, signed a new agreement for
closer cooperation and mutual recognition of union membership. This agreement
is a reaction by the unions to the constantly growing number of posted
workers in the construction industry since freedom of movement was guaranteed
by the introduction of the European single market. From now on, as a result
of the new agreement, all members of the Italian construction workers' unions
who work in Germany, even for a short period, are to get free legal advice
and aid from the German union's offices. Furthermore Italian union members
who work for a longer period in Germany can easily become members of IG Bau,
and vice versa. At the moment, IG Bau has about 5,000 Italian members
The long-awaited report of Ireland's National Minimum Wage Commission,
published in April 1998, is set to herald the introduction of a national
minimum wage of around IEP 4.40 per hour. The target date set by the
Commission is 1 April 2000, a date which would deliberately coincide with the
commencement of a new national agreement between the social partners when the
current /Partnership 2000/ (P2000) deal (IE9702103F ) expires. Therefore,
the precise details of the minimum wage will also, as asserted by Enterprise,
Trade and Employment Minister, Mary Harney, be hammered out "in the context
of negotiations on a successor to P2000".
The criteria for receiving social welfare benefits in Italy will change
considerably with the recent creation of the "economic situation indicator"
(Indicatore della situazione economica, Ise) (IT9803157N ). This means
that in order to receive welfare benefits, every citizen will have to submit
a self-declaration on his or her financial situation, which will also give
the public authorities permission to check the applicant's personal finances.
The Government and social partners believe that this system will be very
useful in the fight against tax evasion and that it also guarantees greater
fairness in the distribution of services.
The Portuguese subsidiary of the German-owned electronics company, Siemens,
began a collective dismissal  procedure involving 208 workers in February
1998, completing the final closure of a facility in Porto Alto that had
provided 400 temporary, short-term and permanent jobs.
On 6 April 1998, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) published the results
of a ballot which showed that 93% of its members who voted were prepared to
take industrial action, short of a strike, over the issue of too much "red
tape" and paperwork in schools. Doug McAvoy, the NUT general secretary said
that "this was an overwhelming vote in favour of reducing the workload on
teachers resulting from bureaucratic activities." However, the turnout in the
ballot was low at only 28%.
In April 1998, more than 20,000 workers in the postal services across the
whole of Spain supported rallies and protests called by the Unitary Trade
Union Platform (Plataforma Sindical Unitaria) against the liberalisation of
these services. Workers and all the representative trade unions (CC.OO, UGT,
CSI-CSIF,Sindicato Libre, CIG, ELA and CGT) have therefore now expressed
their unanimous opposition to a bill on liberalisation presented by the
At their fifth negotiating meeting on 21 April 1998, the social partners in
the construction industry succeeded in concluding an agreement on the wages
of 130,000 blue-collar workers in the sector (AT9804177F ). Basic rates
will rise by 2% from 1 May 1998, whilst actual wages will move up in line
with this increase.
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 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 two rounds – in April and in July 2020. 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 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.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
This report examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2020 yearbook, provides a snapshot of what is happening in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2020. The scope is broad, from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment and on people’s well-being to the inequalities in the working conditions of women and men. It also highlights the connections between Eurofound’s work and EU policy priorities in the coming years.
The third round of Eurofound's e-survey, fielded in February and March 2021, sheds light on the social and economic situation of people after nearly a full year of living with COVID-19 restrictions: How are people doing? What is their outlook on life? How has the availability of vaccinations changed their perceptions? This report presents an overview of the main findings and tracks the developments across the 27 EU Member States since the survey was first launched in April 2020.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief examines the characteristics of innovative companies and explores the types of workplace practices that are significantly associated with establishments' likelihood of introducing innovation. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Additionally, data gathered through case studies analyse the role of workplace practices in different phases of the innovation process.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.