On 14 June 1999, the UK government launched a new, non-statutory code of
practice to encourage employers to adopt policies designed to avoid age
discrimination in employment. The code - Age diversity in employment -
covers good practice in six areas of the employment "cycle", urging employers
June 1999 saw the conclusion of new national agreements for Italy's key
metalworking and food industries. The most innovative aspects of the deals
concern pay increases, the role of Rsu representative bodies in decentralised
bargaining, and the reduction and management of working time.
The reduction of taxation on labour and other non-wage labour costs has been
part of the European Commission's strategy to raise employment for almost
five years, as it is considered that high non-wage labour costs, particularly
on low-paid labour, are leading to high rates of unemployment among
low-skilled workers and are encouraging clandestine, undeclared activity. The
Commission's 1999 Broad Economic Policy Guidelines  re-emphasised the
importance of Member States' reducing taxes, particularly on low-paid labour.
It is intended that this reduction in taxation of labour be offset by new
taxes or tax increases on environmental pollution, energy or consumption. The
social partners are similarly called upon to commit themselves to control
wage and other non-wage costs, as a contribution to the European employment
strategy. The draft Broad Economic Policy Guidelines estimate that, with an
average rate of 43% of GDP, the tax burden in the European Union in 13%
higher than in the USA. The tax burden indeed exceeds 40% in most of the EU
Member States, with only Ireland being comparable with the USA in this
respect. Despite the fact that the effective tax rate on labour and the
labour "tax wedge" have declined in the EU since 1994, the level of the "tax
wedge" indicates that around 50% of the gross wage is absorbed by taxes in a
number of EU Member States,
On 15 June 1999, the Austrian government failed to approve a legislative
proposal for submission to parliament that would have removed the remaining
legal differentiation between wage earners and salary earners (AT9801160N
). The two main distinctions that remain between them relate to
compensation during sick leave and regulations governing dismissal
(AT9903138N ). The Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer
Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) and the Austrian Chamber of the Economy
(Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ) had failed to resolve their own
differences on the question at a meeting on 9 June. WKÖ had submitted a
number of counter-demands in exchange for harmonisation, including:
At its congress in June 1999, France's CFE-CGC trade union confederation,
which represents managerial and professional staff and supervisors, elected a
new management team. After some years of falling membership and support, the
confederation sought to present a united front and to refocus on its
traditional goals and grassroots.
In May 1999, the Greek government submitted its 1999 National Action Plan
(NAP) for employment, in response to the EU Employment Guidelines. With
regard to industrial relations, and in particular measures aimed at
modernisation of work organisation, strong emphasis is laid on labour market
and working time flexibility.
From 1 July 1999, Dutch employers must comply with obligations stemming from
the Flexibility and Security Act. Following three consecutive contracts,
temporary agency workers must be offered a permanent contract. However, in
anticipation, temporary work agencies began dismissing staff in June. The FNV
union confederation has condemned the mass dismissals.
Denmark is not participating in the third stage of EU Economic and Monetary
Union (EMU), which has seen the introduction of the euro single currency.
This is one of the consequences of the country's initial "no" vote on the
Maastricht Treaty in a 1992 referendum, which led to Denmark having a number
of reservations inserted in the Treaty, including non-participation in the
third stage of EMU. A subsequent referendum resulted in a majority in favour
of the modified version of the Treaty among the otherwise "EU-sceptic" Danish
Speaking at the national conference of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)
on 3 June 1999, Stephen Byers, the trade and industry secretary, devoted his
speech to the issue of regulation and the Labour government's commitment to
reduce the burden of regulation on business, including employment
legislation. He said that "getting regulation right" was a major priority for
the government, and that an essential element of this was to avoid burdening
businesses - especially small businesses - with unnecessary regulation.
In June 1999, the Italian government approved a legislative decree which
allows for the Tfr end-of-service allowance, to which employees are entitled
when they leave their jobs, to be converted into bonds or shares.
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.
Closing gender gaps in the labour market by achieving the equal participation of women is among the key objectives of the new Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025. Despite significant progress in reducing the gender employment gap, it has stagnated over the past few years. Moreover, segregation in employment across sectors and occupations is still pervasive.
The long-term care (LTC) sector employs an increasing share of workers in the EU, with increasing shortages. The LTC workforce is mainly female and a relatively large and increasing proportion is 50 or older. Migrants are often concentrated in certain LTC jobs. This report maps the working conditions, the nature of employment and the role of collective bargaining in the sector. It also discusses policies to make the sector more attractive, combat undeclared work and to improve the situation of a particular vulnerable group of LTC workers: live-in carers.
The EU strives for the upward convergence of its Member States, where their performance improves and gaps between them decrease. Nearly a decade after the Great Recession, the COVID-19 crisis has again put this objective under pressure. This policy brief focuses on convergence in material well-being in Europe. Trends in several indicators largely follow the economic cycle, with upward convergence in good times and downward divergence in bad times.
Social, economic and technological changes are giving rise to new forms of employment. These differ from 'traditional' work either in the relationship between employer and employee or in the unconventional work patterns and places of work that characterise them. While these new forms of employment can contribute to more inclusive labour markets, legalise undeclared work and offer preferential working conditions, some also raise concerns about, for example, job quality and representation. This report updates Eurofound's 2015 mapping of emerging trends.
New digital technologies have expanded the possibilities of employee monitoring and surveillance, both in and outside the workplace. In the context of the increasing digitalisation of work, there are many issues related to employee monitoring that warrant the attention of policymakers. There are the often-cited privacy and ethical concerns but also important implications for worker–employer relations, as digitally enabled monitoring and surveillance inevitably shift power dynamics in the workplace.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the local and regional administration 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.
This flagship report consolidates findings in the industrial relations field from research conducted by Eurofound over the course of its multiannual work programme for 2017–2020. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of European social dialogue, including the linkages with national social dialogue and the capacity constraints of the actors. A national comparative analysis draws on projects that have mapped the key features of national industrial relations systems.
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.
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.