The business landscape in Bulgaria’s electricity sector has been gradually changing since the beginning of 2000, due to restructuring and privatisation, and the commitment to follow the European energy policy, in developing new subsectors based on renewable energy sources, and taking into account climate change, energy efficiency and energy security. However, until now, renewable energy sources have not been broadly developed (except for the generation of hydropower).
In 2011, the electricity sector in Romania accounted for 0.6% of the employment and 1.2% of the number of employees in the Romanian economy. The sector’s rate of collective bargaining coverage is estimated at over 70%, higher than the national average. The collective agreements at company level have a high coverage rate. There is also a multi employer collective agreement in force, signed by one trade union federation and one employer organisation.
The Belgian electricity sector has almost 17,000 employees (0.5% of the total number of employees in Belgium). The European liberalisation process has created a substantial transformation of the sector since 2003. The production, import and sale of electricity are no longer the monopoly of one organisation. Consequently, the market has changed fundamentally and the number of enterprises has increased. The changes did not affect the process of collective bargaining as the collective agreements cover all employees including those who are not members of a trade union.
In Hungary the electricity sector is quite well organised. The Trade Union Federation of Electricity workers’ Unions (EVDSZ) and the Mining and Energy Industry Workers’ Union (BDSZ) claim to cover all employees in the sector. There is only one representative employer organisation, the Alliance of Electricity Sectors Employers’ Associations (VMTSZ). The collective agreement is extended, thus covering the entire sector.
As the latest comparable data shows, aggregate employment rose from 295,000 in 2009 to 325,000 in 2011 in the German electricity sector. Employees are mainly organised by the Mining, Chemicals and Industrial Energy Union and the United Services Union. Employers (including the largest companies in the market) are either represented by regional member associations of the Federation of Employer Organisations for Energy and Utility Providers and the Municipal Employers’ Association, or conduct single-employer bargaining.
Although the Maltese government has, in recent years, incentivised the use of renewable energy sources for the production of electricity, uptake remains well below the established projections. Malta thus depends heavily on heavy fuel oil for the production of electricity. The small size of the country makes the local electricity sector an unattractive one for private investors, resulting in the sector being monopolised by Enemalta, a government-run corporation.
The number of electricity companies in Finland increased between 2001 and 2011, but aggregate employment decreased from a total of 14,817 people working in the sector in 2001, to 11,176 in 2011. The sector is male-dominated. The Finnish Energy Industries Association (Energiateollisuus ry) is the only employer association making collective agreements in the private sector, and public sector workers have one joint collective agreement in the electricity sector.
Since the onset of EU-driven competition, Ireland’s electricity sector has witnessed the growth of a range of producers and distributors, such as Bord Gáis Energy and Airtricity who, in recent years, have engaged in sometimes aggressive marketing campaigns based on providing cheaper electricity for customers. These campaigns were all launched before price restrictions, imposed by the Commission for Energy Regulation, were lifted from the largest state utility, ESB.
The electricity sector is relatively important in Denmark. It is subject to constant change because of the development of alternative energy sources and practices. The sector is known for its traditionally high representativeness of the social partners and a high level of collective agreement coverage.
The Greek electricity sector accounted for 0.6 % of total employment in the economy in 2012, with 22,911 employees (of which 15,117 are men and 7,794 women). This accounted for 0.9% of the total paid employees, of which 80% are public-sector employees. In Greece, collective agreements are at company level, as far as the main provider is concerned. In this case there is no difference between producers and distributors.
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).
As economies begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident despite the impact of the war in Ukraine on energy and commodity prices. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report looks at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care, and information and communication technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin green and digital transition.
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 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.
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.
As part of its response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the EU swiftly activated its Temporary Protection Directive for those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine – enabling displaced persons to settle in the EU and have access to the labour market and basic public services. This policy brief highlights the main barriers encountered by these refugees (over 5 million people to date) when seeking a job and provides suggestions on how to facilitate their integration.
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.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2022 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2022. Eurofound’s research on working and living conditions in Europe provides a bedrock of evidence for input into social policymaking and achieving the Agency’s vision ‘to be Europe’s leading knowledge source for better life and work’.
The term ‘hybrid work’ became popular due to the upsurge of telework during the COVID-19 pandemic. The term has been increasingly used to refer to situations in which (teleworkable) work is performed both from the usual place of work (normally the employer’s premises) and from home (as experienced during the pandemic) or other locations. However, the concept of hybrid work is still blurry, and various meanings are in use. This topical update brings clarity to this concept by exploring available information from recent literature and the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
Housing affordability is a matter of great concern across the EU. Poor housing affordability leads to housing evictions, housing insecurity, problematic housing costs and housing inadequacy. These problems negatively affect health and well-being, create unequal living conditions and opportunities, and come with healthcare costs, reduced productivity and environmental damage. Private market tenants face particularly large increases in the cost of housing.
Eurofound's annual review of minimum wages reports on the development of statutory and collectively agreed minimum wages across the EU and the processes through which they were set. The focus of this year’s report is on the impact of high inflation on the setting of minimum wage rates. In addition, new figures on the net value of minimum wages are presented, along with the latest policy-relevant research in the EU Member States and Norway.