In the first half of May 1998, collective agreements for wage earners
(Arbeiter) in hotels and restaurants were concluded in three provinces and
for salary earners (Angestellte) on a national basis. Negotiations for wage
earners in tourism are being conducted on a province-by-province basis
because, for the second year in succession, national talks failed (AT9802167N
/Flexibility of working time is undoubtedly a topical theme in European
industrial relations at present. It is in the spotlight of EU social and
employment policy and is becoming an increasingly important issue for
collective bargaining in most countries. The emergence and implementation of
working time flexibility are explored in this EIRO comparative study./
On 7 May 1998, two of the world's leading car manufactures, the German
Daimler-Benz AG and the USA-based Chrysler Corporation announced the largest
industrial merger in history. The new company, to be called Daimler-Chrysler,
will be the world's fifth-largest car maker with combined revenues of around
USD 130 billion, a combined operating profit of around USD 7 billion, and a
combined workforce of more than 420,000 employees - see below.
The Dutch Government is seeking to promote the participation of people from
ethnic minorities on the labour market by means of a new law, adopted in
April 1998. Previous legislation was generally considered to be inadequate.
Many provisions of the new law have been borrowed from a 1996 agreement
between the central employers' and employees' organisations.
In May 1998, the board of the Confindustria employers' confederation approved
a document, aimed at the Government and other social partners, setting out
proposals for structural reforms (including labour market reform) seen as
necessary to ensure Italy's development under EMU.
Luxembourg's National Action Plan on employment was adopted by the Tripartite
Coordination Committee in April 1998. Among other issues, the Plan sets out
the terms on which working time legislation will be amended. The solutions
identified do not represent a move towards a reduction in statutory working
hours, but instead provide for greater flexibility.
On 7 May 1998, after 10 days of major industrial conflict, the Danish
Government chose to intervene in the stalled renegotiation process between
the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO)
and the Danish Employers' Confederation (Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening, DA) over
the 1998 bargaining round (DK9805168F ). Both parties were dissatisfied
with the Government's intervention and imposition of a settlement by law, and
as a protest LO has taken a radical step by withdrawing of the 1987 joint
statement. In a press release on 15 May 1998, the president of LO, Hans
Jensen, justified the decision by saying: "the trade union movement can no
longer be co-responsible for the development in overall costs which the
Government's intervention will entail, as LO has had no influence on the
Following the recent publication of official figures showing pay increases in
the private sector rising twice as fast as those in the public sector, the
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown told the Confederation of British
Industry (CBI) in a speech on 22 April 1998 that private sector employers
should be taking a far tougher stance on pay. Adair Turner, the director
general of the CBI, backed Mr Brown's warning on pay rises, stating that "the
figures should be used to make people aware of the fact that some pay claims
may be creeping above what is sustainable for the long term future."
May 1998 saw a one-day general strike in Spain's olive-growing districts, in
protest at the European Commission's proposals for reform of the sector and
the Spanish Government's handling of the negotiations.
On 29 April 1998, the European Commission adopted a Communication (Com (98)
259) outlining the Social Action Programme 1998-2000 . The Action
Programme complements and builds upon the previous medium-term Social Action
Programme 1995-7. It aims to further the future development of European
social policy by seizing upon the impetus given to the social arena by the
inclusion of the "employment title" and the incorporation of the Agreement on
Social Policy  in the Amsterdam Treaty (EU9707135F ), and also the 1998
Guidelines for Member States' employment policies , which have entailed
the development of an integrated employment strategy. Speaking in Brussels on
29 April, the Commissioner responsible for employment and social affairs,
Pádraig Flynn, said: "The new Social Action Programme 1998-2000 is designed
to provide a strategic overview of the future agenda for social policy."
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.