In May 1999, France's Ministry for Employment and Solidarity published an
initial progress report on the 1998 law on the 35-hour working week, aimed at
fueling discussions on the second law on the issue, which is to be voted on
by the end of 1999. On 21 June, Martine Aubry, the Minister concerned,
publicly announced the principal outlines of the proposed second law. She
plans a one-year transition period between the law being passed and its
coming into effect, while her comments have triggered a debate on the
legitimacy of the agreements on working time signed by minority trade unions.
Worker representatives and the management of Michelin in Spain have used
collective bargaining to adapt prevailing legislation to their own
circumstances, by creating a contractual formula half way between the
full-time and the part-time employment contract. The result, agreed in June
1998, is a permanent contract that allows full-time workers to be switched to
part-time work in line with production requirements. The agreement stresses
the participation of worker representatives in this process. The agreement
permitted 400 new permanent contracts to be signed by June 1999.
Ireland's largest trade union, SIPTU, and the Danish-owned multinational
cleaning company, ISS, have concluded a formal "partnership" agreement,
believed to be the first of its kind within the industry, it was reported in
June 1999. The company has been in business for almost 100 years, starting as
a small security operation in Denmark, and is currently a major Europe-wide
company, with important operations in Asia and South America, and has over
100,000 employees worldwide. When ISS established its European Works Council
in 1995, it was one of the first such bodies in the services sector to
include representation from Ireland. ISS is the second-largest contract
cleaning company in Ireland but it has a very high rate of turnover among its
2,500 staff, which it is urgently seeking to address. The new agreement,
which is also aimed at staff retention, is likely to be examined by other
firms with high staff turnover problems.
A new Bill presented to parliament on 6 May 1999 provides a new definition of
"occupational healthcare" in the Swedish Work Environment Act
(arbetsmiljölagen, /SFS 1977:1160, 2b§/
). It states that the employer should be responsible for making arrangements
for all kinds of occupational healthcare required by the working conditions
at the specific workplace. By "occupational healthcare", the law means an
independent expert resource in the areas of the work environment and
rehabilitation. Occupational healthcare should be designed so as to prevent
health risks in workplaces and to outline the links between the work
environment, organisation, productivity and health. The new paragraph will
become operative from 1 January 2000.
Territorial Employment Pacts (TEP s) are an EU initiative aimed at
stabilising local and regional labour markets in selected European regions by
promoting consensus and cooperation between all relevant local actors. In
mid-1999, there are seven TEPs operational in six of Austria's nine
provinces. The agreement on an eighth pact is expected by September 1999. In
the two remaining provinces, Burgenland and Styria, TEPs are under
preparation. Burgenland, which stretches along the Hungarian border, is the
poorest province and has the highest unemployment rate, whilst Styria has the
highest rate of long-term unemployment outside Vienna. The first three TEPs
were initiated in the three westernmost provinces, all of which have
relatively low unemployment. However, all three experienced a surge of
long-term unemployment in 1997. The fourth, also initiated in 1997, covers
Vienna  where unemployment is above the national average. These four pacts
will all expire at the end of 1999 but will be renewed. The fifth pact, also
in Vienna, and the only one linked explicitly to Austria's National Action
Plan  (NAP) for employment implementing the EU Employment Guidelines 
(AT9901120F ), took effect in autumn 1998 and will run until the end of
2004. The shortest-term pact covers Upper Austria- it is limited to the
calendar year 1999 but will also be renewed. The TEP in Carinthia is
scheduled to run for four years from the beginning of 1999 to the end of
2002. The TEP for Lower Austria will run from the beginning of 2000 until the
end of 2004.
On 24 May 1999, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) held a major conference to
promote "partnership" at the workplace and to showcase some of the more
innovative of recent, union-based partnership agreements. The event was
attended by some 400 managers, policymakers and trade union representatives.
Of particular significance was the participation in the conference of the
Prime Minister, the trade and industry secretary and the director-general of
the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), all of whom supported the spread
of partnership arrangements though they stopped short of endorsing every
specific aspect of the TUC's partnership agenda.
Italy is celebrating the Millennium with a year of "Great Jubilee"
celebrations during 2000. In June 1999 the social partners signed a "protocol
of intent" on a "social truce" for 2000. The text sets out the partners'
strategies, objectives and commitments for starting the new Millennium in a
climate of social peace.
After three weeks of industrial action, which forced the closure of the major
national museums and historic sites, staff at France's Ministry for Culture
protesting at job insecurity called a halt to their strike in early June
1999, until the forthcoming budget negotiations. They accepted a protocol
agreement, which provides for a five-year plan to turn temporary jobs into
The management of Iveco-Pegaso, the Spanish vehicle manufacturer, will
convert temporary posts into permanent ones, but only on condition that the
workers' committee accepts an automatic dismissal clause for the workers on
the new contracts in the event of a fall in production. Over May-July 1999,
trade unions in the company organised a series of strikes in protest.
According to an Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) survey,
published on 22 June 1999, Irish companies are introducing a range of
"partnership"-type measures in cooperation with their employees (IE9811264N
). The survey was based in a sample of 400 enterprises - all with 50 or
more employees - and employing a total of 207,847 workers between them. The
vast majority are private sector companies but there is also an unspecified
number of commercial semi-state and non-commercial state organisations.
Unionised and non-unionised companies are both included, across all regions,
sectors and sizes.
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.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief investigates associations between innovation and the implementation of workplace practices in companies. It examines the characteristics of innovative companies and the associations between their workplace practices and performance and well-being. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Data gathered from case studies is used to shed light on the motives and processes of innovative companies.
Building on Eurofound’s previous research on youth, this report examines the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young people, in particular their economic and social situation, with a focus on employment. It will also estimate how the NEET population – young people not in employment, education or training – has changed in size and composition over the last decade, and how the current crisis might affect this.
This report sets out the major findings of the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2020, the seventh edition of this survey. Based on interviews with approximately 45,000 workers in 37 European countries, the EWCS 2020 looks at different aspects of their working life – working time, work organisation, work–life balance and work-related health issues. The survey provides up-to-date and objective data to policymakers and researchers on working conditions and the quality of work and employment in Europe, to help improve working lives for all people at work.
What have been the major trends and policy developments regarding digitalisation in Europe? What do we know about the deployment of automation, digitisation and the platform economy? This flagship publication provides an overview of developments in Europe in recent years, as well as mapping the observable or expected effects on employment and working conditions, as well as exploring the implications from a policy perspective.
This flagship report incorporates updated data on trends and all the main findings produced over the course of Eurofound’s research on upward convergence in the EU. Specifically, it provides an overarching and comprehensive discussion on convergence in the dimensions of employment, working conditions, living conditions and other socioeconomic factors.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this report aims to offer a better understanding of how skills mismatches are related with skills strategies, approaches to and challenges in recruitment, and other workplace practices with regard to work organisation, human resource management and employee involvement. The report will also look at the assocations of skills mismatches with workplace well-being and establishment performance.
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.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the live performance 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 Eurofound’s studies on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the field of industrial relations in the EU Member States.
The European Jobs Monitor biannual report comprises two sections: one providing a jobs-based analysis of labour market developments, while the other has a thematic focus on shifts in the employment structure from both a gender and an age perspective. The age-based analysis examines how the age profile of employment has evolved since the crisis and explores whether employment continues to be more resilient in jobs with an older age profile. The gender analysis reassesses the findings of the jobs approach using more gender-disaggregated job-ranking data, based on both wage and education.