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 The traditional culture of social partnership at EDP and REN (with SINDEL as the most important partner) has been replaced by a predominantly unilateral management policy.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 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.
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) .
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.
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).
The report describes trends in social and economic discontent across the EU between 2002 and 2020, highlighting in particular the turbulent times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report explores the evolution of social cohesion and its impact on economic and social discontent. It assesses the relationship between social cohesion and discontent during the pandemic, allowing for a comparison of the situation as it stands in 2023. The focus of the report is on regions where social cohesion is low, where a contrast is drawn with regions where social cohesion is much higher.
This report analyses the working conditions and job quality of different types of self-employed workers. Drawing on data from the European Working Conditions Survey, it looks into policies in Member States aimed at addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with specific types of self-employment.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the chemical 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 chemical sector in the EU Member States.
The focus of this report is on the role that human capital plays in determining inequalities across the EU, as well as within Member States. Using Cedefop’s work in this area, the report provides a comparative analysis of national trends in education and lifelong learning, including differences between educational groups in terms of income, living conditions and health.
The report maps trends in income inequality and examines the situation of the middle classes in the EU during 2020, the year most associated with the COVID-19 lockdowns. It charts developments in the size and composition of middle-class households across countries, identifies those that suffered disproportionately in 2020. Taking a longer lens, the report describes the evolution of income inequalities over the last 15 years, comparing the Great Recession (2007–2009) with the COVID-19 pandemic, and outlines the trends both between and within Member States.
This report explores the implications of the right of all EU citizens to live independently. It investigates the barriers faced by people who wish to live independently, and the situation of people at risk of living in institutional settings. It maps the various measures taken by EU Member States to foster independent living and autonomy. The report also includes policy pointers to support future decision-makers and provides a review of lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.