This report gives an overview of working conditions, job quality, workers’ health and job sustainability in the chemical industry (NACE 20 and 22). It is based mostly on the fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), which gathers data on working conditions and the quality of work across 34 European countries. Additional information on the structural characteristics of the sector is derived from Eurostat data. The fifth EWCS contains responses from 626 workers in the chemical industry. The sector covers the manufacture of chemicals and chemical products, and of rubber and plastic products. The report compares aspects of work in the sector with the EU28 as a whole. Read more information on other sectors.
The economic downturn and political changes are likely to have affected employment and collective bargaining. The crisis coincided with an already fragile economic and political situation. The deficit in the first three quarters of 2012 was HUF 375 billion or 1.8% of GDP, which would not have been so low without the ‘crises taxes’ – the asset transfer from private pension funds to state budget – and the increased revenue from income tax and social security contributions. In 2012 GDP was only equal to the nominal value in 2011, which is a de facto decrease.
The three main peak-level organisations for employees are the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO), the Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO) and the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (SACO). The Swedish organisation for managers (Ledarna) is not a member of any central confederation but it participates in the European Cross-Sectoral Social Dialogue.
Ireland has one peak-level trade union confederation, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU). The main peak-level cross-sectoral employer body is the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC). Prior to the economic downturn ICTU and IBEC were engaged in tripartite national collective bargaining under the Social Partnership process.
The economic crisis has affected Slovenia quite severely. GDP decreased by about 5% between 2009 and 2011 and was estimated to be negative at -2.3%, in 2012, while the unemployment rate increased from 7% in 2008 to 12% in 2012 The main framework of social dialogue remained in place (tripartite and bipartite negotiations, wage bargaining being a part of collective agreements); however, the quality and level of social dialogue deteriorated. The trade union density rate decreased, as did membership fee revenue of the employer organisations.
In Italy there are three levels of bargaining: cross-sector, national or sectoral, and second-level (territorial or company-level). Cross-sector bargaining can be bilateral – i.e. between employer associations and trade union organisations – or trilateral, when other national public authorities are involved.
Cross-sector social dialogue exists in the form of inter-sector collective bargaining in part of the public sector, and in the form of tripartite consultations – both at the national level. Inter-sector collective bargaining covers the education sector, part of the healthcare sector and some public service organisations.
European Union Member States are obliged to prevent abuse arising from the
use of successive fixed-term employment contracts or relationships, in
accordance with Article 2 of Council Directive 99/70/EC .
As part of the reorganisation and modernisation of the Cyprus
Telecommunications Authority (CyTA ) and with the immediate objective of
reducing its operating costs, CyTA announced a voluntary early retirement
scheme in December 2013. It aims to cut staff by between 550 and 600 and is
expected to save €366.4 million in wage costs between now and 2015.
However, the cost of implementing the scheme, including pension costs, is
estimated to be €102.9 million.
The social partner peak-level organisations mentioned in this study recognise each other as equal partners with respect to collective bargaining and employment regulation. There are four confederations on the employees’ side, one for basically private sector blue-collar workers (LO), one for basically public sector white-collar workers (FTF), and one for university graduates AC). The members of the fourth, LH, are managers and executives, i.e. traditionally trusted employees, and therefore not covered by a traditional collective wage agreement in the private sector.
The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This publication series include the ERM reports, as well as blogs, articles and working papers on restructuring-related events in the EU27 and Norway.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) 2021, an extraordinary edition conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series gathers all overview reports on developments in working life, annual reviews in industrial relations and working conditions produced by Eurofound on the basis of national contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents (NEC). Since 1997, these reports have provided overviews of the latest developments in industrial relations and working conditions across the EU and Norway. The series may include recent ad hoc articles written by members of the NEC.
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, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. 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 representativeness 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 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.
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.
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.
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).
In 2022, the European Semester was streamlined to integrate the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) established on 19 February 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2021/241). While facing the geopolitical and economic challenges triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States have been implementing the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for more than one year and around 100 billion euro in RRF funds have already been disbursed.
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
This paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
As economies emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report will look at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care and information and communications technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin digital and green transitions.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an extraordinary level of provision of social services across the EU. Healthcare and care providers carried much of the burden and, together with essential services, played a crucial role in getting citizens through the crisis. This report explores how public services adapted to the new reality and what role was played by the digital transformation of services. The aim is to contribute to the documentation and analysis of changes in funding, delivery and use of healthcare and social services during the pandemic.
The urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.