The production and consumption of electricity, as well as employment in the electricity sector, has decreased in Lithuania because of the financial crisis and the closure of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. Two trade unions operating in the electricity sector represent the employees of almost all leading Lithuanian electricity production and distribution companies. As there is no organisation in the sector assuming the responsibilities of a sectoral employer, collective bargaining does not take place at sectoral level.
Employment in Portugal’s electricity sector has fallen sharply in recent years,both in absolute numbers and in the sector’s share of total employment. Simultaneously, the main operators (EDP and REN) have been privatised and have radically changed their relations with the major trade unions. The traditional culture of social partnership at EDP and REN (with SINDEL as the most important partner) has been replaced by a predominantly unilateral management policy. SINDEL and FIEQUIMETAL are the major unions in the sector.
The electricity sector in Poland generates 0.6 per cent of its overall employment. The sector, based mostly on Poland’s own coal reserves, has significant investment needs and is currently undergoing some difficulties, which result from restructuring rather than from the global economic downturn. In recent years, the sector has been consolidated into four major groups of companies. Social dialogue is strong: there are five national trade unions or trade union federations, and three employers’ organisations in the sector.
The electricity sector is of great importance to Dutch society and its economy. After the liberalisation of the market in 2006, the production and distribution of electricity have been privatised, although the network’s infrastructure has remained under state control. So far, the decrease in the number of employees has turned out to be lower than anticipated. Additionally, the organisation of the social partners has remained unchanged and the density is relatively high.
In 2010, the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning industry accounted for 3.8% of Latvia’s GDP. Electricity production, transmission, distribution and trade provided for 15% of industrial production and 8% of all employment in the industry sector. Since 1990, electricity consumption has fallen by 47%, production by 34%, imports by 44% and exports by 22%. Social dialogue is active in the sector. The trade union Energija has concluded a sector-level collective agreement with the main employers: Latvenergo group, and ABB.
In January 2012, the European Commission published a Green Paper on
restructuring and anticipation of change (*EU1201041I* ). It led to the
publication of a report drawn up by Spanish socialist member Alejandro
Cercas, known as the Cercas Report, which was endorsed by a large majority of
MEPs and led to a call from the European Parliament in January 2013 for
action from the Commission (*EU1301021I* ). On 13 December 2013, the
European Commission responded by issuing a Communication on an EU Quality
Framework for anticipation of change and restructuring (164KB PDF) .
The European Commission (EC ) has been looking at the issue of posted
workers for some time. In March 2012, the Commission issued a proposal for a
new Directive on the enforcement of the posted workers Directive 96/71/EC
(240 KB PDF) .
In the UK, debates about psychosocial risks in the workplace are led by the
Health and Safety Executive  (HSE ), the national independent regulator
for health and safety in the workplace. In consultation with the social
partners, the HSE has developed an approach to psychosocial risks at work
that focuses on collective issues related to the nature of work, the design
of work and the work environment, rather than focusing on the behaviour and
practices of individual workers.
This issue of Foundation Focus looks at issues surrounding pay, wages and income in Europe in the face of sustained difficult economic circumstances. For example, what sort of hardship are ordinary people experiencing? Which workers are being most affected by wage cuts? Are wage cuts the best way to achieve competitiveness? Given the pressure on pension systems, how many Europeans are returning to work after retirement? European countries make extensive use of collectively agreed pay; is real pay matching or surpassing the agreements reached through social dialogue? And what would be the impact of a Europe-wide minimum wage? These are among the questions addressed in this issue.
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.
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.
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.
This report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
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.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
The financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the textiles and clothing 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.