In July 1999, the Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt)
published new figures on the development of annual incomes in the
manufacturing sector. According to the statistics, a full-time employee in
manufacturing earned an average of DEM 68,646 in 1998, including collectively
agreed annual income as well as other annual bonuses (Christmas bonus,
holiday bonus, annual profit-sharing payments etc). In comparison with the
previous year, average income increased by about 2.6% in 1998.
Since the UK introduced its National Minimum Wage in April 1999 (UK9904196F
), Ireland is the only EU Member State that currently has no provisions
for either a statutory or collectively agreed national minimum wage, or a
system of legally-binding industry-level collective agreements setting
minimum pay rates across almost all sectors of the economy. Not for long,
however: the current Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrat coalition government
has committed itself to introducing a National Minimum Wage (NMW) in April
2000. A rate of IEP 4.40 per hour for full-time adult workers (and IEP 3.08
for those aged under 18) has been proposed, following the publication of a
report by the National Minimum Wage Commission (NMWC) in April 1998
Backdated to 1 January 1999, the minimum income level which people must
attain in order to be entitled to sick pay benefits, has been raised from
approximately NOK 23,000 a year to around NOK 57,000. The implication of the
changes is that the number of employees not entitled to sick pay benefits
from the state - ie benefits beyond the first 16 days covered by the employer
- will increase by approximately 200,000 persons.
In mid-1999, Spain's current system of continuing training for workers in
employment had been operational for some six and a half years. Here, we
examine its development, focusing on its joint management by the social
partners and the impact that it has had on less qualified workers.
On 2 July 1999, the UK's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published
draft Regulations  to implement the EU European Works Councils (s)
Directive  in the UK, together with a consultation document  seeking
views on the government's proposed approach. After further refinement, and
subject to approval by parliament, the Transnational Information and
Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999 will come into force on 15
December 1999 - the deadline set by the 1997 Directive  which reversed the
previous UK government's "opt-out" from the original EWCs Directive.
Communiqué is the newsletter of the Foundation It is published 10 times per year and provides up-to-date news and information on the Foundation's work and research. The March issue contains the following articles: Ageing; EMU and industrial relations; Financial participation; EUCO cooperation.
On 6 July 1999, leading representatives of the federal government, trade
unions and employers' associations (see the annex at the end of this record
for details of the participants) met officially, chaired by the Federal
Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, for the third round of top-level talks within
the framework of the Alliance for Jobs, Training and Competitiveness 
(Bündnis für Arbeit, Ausbildung und Wettbewerbsfähigkeit). The Alliance
was established in December 1998 as a new permanent tripartite arrangement at
national level, including various working groups on specific topics as well
as regular top-level talks between the leading representatives of all three
parties (DE9812286N ).
On 14 July 1999, the Prime Minister (Taoiseach), Bertie Ahern, launched a new
joint training initiative from theIrish Business and Employers Confederation
(IBEC) and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), which was developed
with the assistance of the National Centre for Partnership (IE9706202N ) a
body established under the current three-year national programme, Partnership
2000  (P2000) (IE9702103F ). The initiative is seen as a practical
contribution by the social partners to the achievement of the aims of P2000
in relation to the development of enterprise-level partnership.
In two rulings issued on 30 June 1999, the Norwegian Supreme Court endorsed
the right of employees in some cases to avoid being transferred to a new
employer, when the enterprise is transferring support functions to another
employer (outsourcing). Both cases related to the outsourcing of defined task
areas with few employees, one concerning a switchboard operator and the other
three cleaners. The employees who brought the cases wanted to retain their
employment with the original employer. They claimed that employees have a
legal right to choose whether to work for the new employer or maintain
employment with the original employer.
The issue of the rehabilitation of workers who have become incapacitated has
been the subject of a number of special commissions in recent years, and on 3
June 1999 another commissioner - Gerhard Larsson, the former head of Samhall,
a governmental rehabilitation organisation - was asked to study and analyse
the situation. Since 1992, the main responsibility for the rehabilitation of
employees has been placed on employers, and several changes have been made to
the regulations since then. For example, the rules on the costs of
rehabilitation and sick leave have been altered, as has the system for
cooperation between employers and the local social insurance office and other
authorities. In August 1998, a government committee proposed a clarification
of employers' responsibilities (SE9810114F ).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 report examines the labour market changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected sectors and occupations quite differently. It identifies those labour market categories most exposed to negative labour market outcomes. It analyses how differences in confinement and public health approaches may have contributed to different outcomes. It addresses previous assessments of the extent of occupational ‘teleworkability’ and of the sectoral impact of confinement rules. The report draws on EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) data for its analysis.
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.
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 presents policy-relevant findings on differential pay rates for men and women at occupational level. Previous research has underlined that the gender pay gap is biggest – and has been slowest to narrow – in well-paid jobs requiring professional qualifications. These are also jobs in which the female worker share is increasing relatively fast. The report maps the extent of the gender pay gap across the job-wage distribution, taking into account the shifting gender composition of specific sectors, occupations and jobs.