/It seems inevitable that increasing economic integration and competition
within Europe will have some influence on national collective bargaining. The
aim of this comparative study is to provide an assessment, as of summer 1999,
of the extent to which the processes and outcomes of bargaining in the 15
Member States of the EU, plus Norway, are developing a cross-border, European
dimension. The study outlines the diverse processes, both implicit and
explicit, which can be said to be leading towards a "Europeanisation" of
collective bargaining. Developments across the 16 countries concerned are
examined at intersectoral, sectoral and enterprise levels, with a special
focus on metalworking and financial services, and the views of the social
partners are summarised./
A survey of the most important collective agreements signed in the
Netherlands so far in 1999, published in June, finds moderate average pay
increases of 2.7%. The number of agreements on training, flexible pension
schemes and the accumulation time off has increased in recent years. While
employers and, to a lesser extent, trade unions are in agreement on the
issues to be addressed in negotiations during the coming year, both sides
criticise aspects of the Netherlands' consultation and consensus-based system
- the "polder model".
From 29 June to 2 July 1999, 500 delegates from 33 countries attended the
ninth Statutory Congress of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in
Helsinki. Issues debated ranged from the importance of combining Economic and
Monetary Union with employment and social progress, to the role of trade
unions in a changing world of work, equality of opportunity, union
participation in the process of enlargement and the provision of aid for
economic and democratic reconstruction in Kosovo.
On 7 July 1999, the trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers, initiated
consultations with employer and trade union organisations on two proposed
amendments to the Working Time Regulations 1998, which seek to implement the
EU working time Directive (93/104/EC). The amendments - relating to the scope
of the derogation for "unmeasured working time" and the record-keeping
requirements for workers who have signed an "individual opt-out" from the
48-hour limit on average weekly working hours - are intended to "help
employers come to terms with the Regulations". The government's move follows
extensive complaints from employers' groups that the working time
Regulations, which came into force in October 1998 (UK9810154F ), have led
to confusion and increased bureaucracy.
At the end of 1998, membership of the Austrian Trade Union Federation
(Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) stood at 1,480,016, or 17,568
less than at the end of 1997. This is a reduction of 1.2%. The number of
women members decreased by 0.7% to 471,091, while the number of men fell by
1.4% to 1,008,925. The share of women among ÖGB members thus climbed to
31.8%, the highest since 1945. The number of young people (below the age of
22) and apprentices increased by 4.2% to 51,972, after having fallen below
50,000 in 1997. The number of (white-collar) salary earners in membership
dropped by 1.0%, compared with 4.2% in 1997. In the public sector (including
the railways and posts/telecommunications) membership declined by 2,228 or
0.4% to 588,269 while the number of (blue-collar) wage earners in the private
sector declined by 12,038 or 2.0% to 577,501 following a loss of 2.9% in
It is expected that the fate of the Forges de Clabecq steelworks will be
sealed on 15 June 1997. However, whatever the outcome of the recovery
operation by the Swiss-Italian industrial concern, Duferco, something will
have changed in this Belgian enterprise located some 15 miles from Brussels
in the province of Brabant. Beyond the event in itself - the closure of a
firm leading to the loss of 1,800 jobs - which has not itself been
exceptional over the last few months in Belgium, it is the style of activity
undertaken by the Forges de Clabecq union delegation  that has revealed a
new union climate.
The collective agreement for France's banking sector has to be renegotiated
by 1 January 2000, following the decision in 1998 by the AFB employers'
organisation to terminate the accord. In June 1999, AFB tabled a draft of a
new agreement, which has been deemed unacceptable by all the trade unions
In June 1999, the Institute of Labour of the Greek General Confederation of
Labour (INE-GSEE) published a study examining the prevalent orthodox thinking
in Greece that increases in real wages reduce profitability, investments,
employment and competitiveness. The study claims that this belief is not
borne out by the statistical data for Greece.
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 three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
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.
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.
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.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, a high demand for labour and low unemployment levels made labour shortages one of the key policy concerns in the EU. Even where there is persistent and rising unemployment, individual countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages, which in some instances have been accentuated by COVID-19. This report explores various approaches to measuring labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue.
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.
The issue of regional convergence and whether disadvantaged regions are catching up with wealthier regions continues to attract enormous attention in the policy debate. This report presents the findings of an investigation into the evolution of social imbalances across EU regions over time, based on indicators including unemployment, social exclusion and poverty. It also examines various aspects of the relationship between growth, regional disparities and interpersonal inequalities.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.