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 The traditional culture of social partnership at EDP and REN (with SINDEL as the most important partner) has been replaced by a predominantly unilateral management policy.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.
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.
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 use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.