The electricity sector has, in recent years, become increasingly important for the Swedish economy. Despite a decline in the number of companies and employees, the industry and structure of industrial relations have been largely unaffected by the crisis. The largest employer organisation, EnergiFöretagens Arbetsgivareförening (EFA), organises private sector companies including the three largest electricity producers (Vattenfall, E.ON and Fortum).
Employment in the electricity sector is a small part of Slovakia’s economy, and it has decreased over the last decade, standing at about 1% of aggregate employment in 2011. Industrial relations are quite stable but significant changes have taken place in the set-up of trade unions in the sector. The Slovak Trade Union Association of Energy merged with Chemical Trade Union Association in 2009 and established a new Energy-Chemical Trade Union Association. Some union members established a new Energy Trade Union Association.
The electricity sector in Luxembourg is concentrated in two companies – Enovos (an energy provider) and Creos (distribution) – and has limited employment. Social dialogue is well established at company level. There are two trade union federations that are responsible for this sector among others and one employer organisation. However, the social partners failed to negotiate a sector-level collective agreement in 2010.
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 The traditional culture of social partnership at EDP and REN (with SINDEL as the most important partner) has been replaced by a predominantly unilateral management policy.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) .
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 analyses the working lives of workers in Europe in 2021, when the continent was still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines working conditions during that period and the association between job quality and work outcomes such as health and well-being, work–life balance, and financial security. The report also considers how the shifts in working life during the pandemic are likely to affect work in the future.
This report is carried out in the context of the three-year pilot project (2021–2023), ‘Role of the minimum wage in establishing the Universal Labour Guarantee’, mandated to Eurofound by the European Commission. Its focus is module 3 of the project, investigating minimum wages and other forms of pay for the self-employed. Out of concern for the challenging conditions faced by certain groups of self-employed workers, some Member States have established or are in discussions about proposing some statutory forms of minimum pay for selected categories of the self-employed.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the civil aviation 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 study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the food and drinks 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. The aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.
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.
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.
This report offers the most up to date insight on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work and life of Europeans over the last two years. The main focus is on Eurofound’s e-survey Living, working and COVID-19 which was launched on 9 April 2020 just after the onset of the crisis. Through five rounds of the survey (two in 2020, two in 2021 and one in 2022), the range of questions changed to match the evolving situation and to understand the effects on the everyday lives of citizens and workers in the EU27.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the professional football 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. The aim of this Eurofound’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the professional football sector in the EU Member States.
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.
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.