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
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
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."
On 9 May 1998, the Mining, Chemicals and Energy Union (Industriegewerkschaft
Bergbau, Chemie, Energie, IG BCE) and the employers' association for the
chemical industry (Bundesarbeitgeberverband Chemie, BAVC) signed new
collective agreements for the 590,000 or so employees in the west German
chemicals industry. With a term of 14 months, the new collective agreements
provide for a 2.4% wage increase and, in addition, a one-off payment of about
1.1% of collectively agreed annual income. According to IG BCE, the overall
wage increase calculated on an annual basis is equivalent to a 3% pay rise.
Originally, IG BCE started the 1998 collective bargaining round with demands
for 5% wage increases.
The Austrian Chamber of the Economy (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ) is
engaged in an ongoing reform process with the stated goal of reducing its
cost to members. Compulsory membership fees amounted to a total of almost ATS
6,600 million in 1997, ATS 920 million less than in 1994. There are three
different kinds of fee: one that is to be paid by all members; one as a
percentage of turnover if turnover exceeds ATS 2 million per year; and one as
a percentage of the paybill. A reduction in fees by another ATS 450 million
is projected over the next three to five years. Various percentages are
earmarked for the provincial Chambers, the federal Chamber and the foreign
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.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2020. 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.
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.
How can working conditions be improved to make work more sustainable over the life course? This question has been the guiding principle for analysis of the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey data during the period of Eurofound’s work programme for 2017–2020. This flagship report brings together the different research strands from this work and gives a comprehensive answer to the question. It includes an analysis of trends in working conditions, examining whether these are the same for all workers or whether inequalities between different groups of workers are increasing.
Access to key social services, especially education and healthcare, as well as stable family life and decent housing are necessary for the well-being and development of children. Ensuring that all children have these resources is an EU priority; the European Commission is currently undertaking to recommend a Child Guarantee to address the situations of children in need. Service provision has been complicated by the COVID-19 outbreak, however, and the pandemic has put psychological and material strains on families.
This report builds on Eurofound's existing research on social mobility, assessing the distribution and transmission of wealth in Member States. It examines the roles of inheritance and household debt in explaining the transmission of advantage or disadvantage between the generations across Member States. The analysis is based on Eurosystem's Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
This report analyses the involvement of the national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, and their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and other key policy documents of the European Semester cycle.
This report will focus on assessing the employment impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including its effects across sectors and for different categories of workers. It will also be looking at measures implemented to limit negative effects following the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
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.
This report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the civil aviation (flight crew) 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 European Green Deal is at the very top of Member State agendas across the EU. This topical update maps the national discussions – in policy, public and research debates – on the potential, ongoing or already felt impact on work and employment of the transition to a low-carbon economy. It attempts to identify the most active actors involved in these discussions (governments, social partners, NGOs and so on) and their perspectives.
This report will draw from case studies of establishments across the EU that have introduced advanced digital technologies in the workplace. The technologies in focus are the Internet of Things, 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality. Each case study – illustrated in the report - will explore the approach or strategy taken by the establishment to manage the digital transition and the impact of the deployment of the technology on the work organisation and job quality.