During the last few decades, public administration workers have been subject to a number of structural, modernising reforms, in a framework often designated as ‘new public management’. The current economic and financial crisis has also meant that the steep rise in public debt has prompted many authorities to try to reduce public expenditure by introducing freezes and reductions in pay and employment for civil servants. This report sets out to provide an overview of the main causes and reasons for change in central public administration in the European member states plus Norway. It also looks at the impact these changes have had on the sector's working conditions, as well as exploring how this situation is expected to evolve.
On 19 March 2013, representatives of employee and employer organisations in
healthcare held a meeting to discuss the creation of the Tripartite Council
of the National Health System of Lithuania (LNSSTT). The council was
established on 7 May 2013.
In Slovakia, benefits for those ‘in material need’ are provided to
citizens who do not have enough income. This benefit is secured by the
Constitution and several hundred thousand people, including children, are
long-term recipients of this benefit. In 2012, 6.6% of the population were
living on this benefit. However, in southern and eastern regions, where
approximately 40% of the country’s most economically-deprived people are
living, the proportion of recipients was 11%. The benefit is not very
generous and figures from the Mutual Information System on Social Protection
(MISSOC ) show that in 2013 it was a maximum €398.14 for a household of
two adults with no other income, living with two children (aged 5 and 10
years) in a three-bedroom apartment.
A report published on 22 October 2013 by the Trades Union Congress (TUC )
makes the case for a stronger voice for workers in corporate governance
structures, including ‘a mandatory system for the representation of workers
on company boards’.
In August 2013, the social partners concluded a long-term national
centralised labour market settlement. The Pact for Employment and Growth
(23.8KB PDF)  envisages that pay increases will be made in two instalments
over the next two years. The first increase of €20 per month (or a
corresponding increase in hourly rates according to industry custom and
practice) will be paid in the first year of the agreement. The second
increase, a year later, will bring the total increase to 0.4% across the
board. The social partners will reconvene in the summer of 2015 to decide
whether the agreement should be continued for a third year.
In October 2013, a high-profile industrial dispute affected the Grangemouth
oil refinery and petrochemicals plant in Scotland, which is owned by the
Swiss-based company, Ineos . The site employs 1,370 permanent workers and
2,000 contractors and is of considerable importance to the UK’s energy
network. The dispute was notable for its political and energy policy
dimensions, as well as the controversial tactics used by both the company and
the union involved, Unite .
In early 2013, UK Prime Minister David Cameron committed a future
Conservative government to the renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with
the EU (*UK1302019I* ). He also promised a referendum on the outcome by
the end of 2017 ‘with a very simple in or out choice: to stay in the EU on
these new terms or to come out altogether’.
In 2003, after a protracted industrial dispute in the French film industry,
the social partners in the live performance and audio-visual sectors were
asked to clarify and simplify their collective bargaining system
(*FR1202041Q*). Both sectors make extensive use of short-term employment
contracts. The request to reform their bargaining procedures came from the
Ministry of Labour , which also asked the sectors to negotiate eight
national collective agreements, including one covering film production.
Since 2011, the poor quality of social dialogue in Poland has led to clashes
between the government and major trade unions on a number of subjects. They
have disagreed on proposed reforms to the retirement age, the minimum wage,
atypical employment and working time (*PL1202029I*).
The national minimum wage in Estonia has been fixed annually by tripartite
agreement since 1992. Since 2002, it has been negotiated between the Estonian
Trade Union Confederation (EAKL ) and the Estonian Employers’
Confederation (ETTK ) and then brought into effect by government decree
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.