The confederation of Critical Shareholders (Kritische Aktionäre) is an
alliance of about 35 small shareholders' groups and other non-governmental
organisations such as environmental, consumer and anti-militaristic groups.
Currently, the Critical Shareholders are active in about 40 German
corporations including the most important German banks as well as various
industrial corporations in the automobile, electronic, chemical and food
industries. They can call on up to 5% of the votes cast in some of the
The framework agreement, signed on 15 November 1996, for the 625,000
employees in the 275 Danish municipalities and 14 counties, is the
culmination of six years of experiments with new structures for cooperation
between workers and employers. The agreement is a response to the increasing
demands imposed on local and regional authorities for quality services,
budgetary restraints and improvements in efficiency and increased flexibility
on the part of employees.
In autumn 1996, following what company management considered the constant
opposition of some works councils to worker participation, the
Electrolux-Zanussi group in Italy announced that it intended to terminate all
company-level agreements on participation from the end of March 1997. At the
same time, however, the company invited trade unions to negotiate a revision
of the participation model which had been developed within the group during
the previous years, in order to strengthen it and confirm joint and full
support from both unions and management. Consultations among company and
union representatives started in May, but they have not yet led to an
agreement. The issue at stake is very important, since the participation
model at Electrolux-Zanussi is generally considered one of the most advanced
in Europe and the most significant in Italy.
Protests in June 1997 against the termination of ship-refitting work at
Spain's publicly owned Astander shipyard met with a forceful response from
the police. The problem arose because the Ministry of Industry imposed a
unilateral amendment to the Strategic Competitiveness Plan for the naval
sector. The dispute is still continuing, even though the Ministry has
modified its position
On 17 June 1997 the Swedish Employers' Confederation, (SAF), gave notice of
termination of the "adjustment agreement" with PTK, a negotiating cartel of
27 salaried employees' unions. The agreement thus runs out on 31 December
After 18 years in the wilderness, being frozen out of influence in the
corridors of government by Conservative administrations, trade unions have
been informed that they will be offered places on working groups being formed
to advise various government departments. The Trades Union Congress (TUC)
reports a substantially changed mood in Whitehall and Westminster, after
years of unions being systematically excluded from representing their
According to a recent study of 1997 provisions by the Institute for Economics
and Social Science (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI),
most employees in Germany receive a collectively agreed holiday bonus, though
there are significant sectoral differences in the amount of the bonus. While
most employees are due 30 days' paid leave per year, the average annual
holiday bonus for a blue collar worker in a middle-range income group ranges
between DEM 200 and DEM 2,587.
Since the original introduction of early retirement schemes some 20 years
ago, the number of employees aged 60-66 taking early retirement has more than
tripled, from about 40,000 in 1980 to 127,000 in February 1997, equal to more
than two-thirds of everyone in that age group. In 1976 more than 75% of all
men remained in the labour force until they were 65; today only 28% stay on
until they become entitled to a pension at 67. Over the course of the last 20
years the average age of those taking early retirement has fallen from 63 to
60. TheMinistry of Finance estimates that there will be 160,000 recipients of
early retirement benefits by 2005, whereas theDanish Employers' Confederation
(DA) estimates that this figure will double to some 260,000 people. The wide
difference of opinion between the government estimates and those of the DA
accounts for the disagreement as to whether legislation is needed to stem the
flow of those opting to take early retirement.
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, conducted in three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
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.
Eurofound's representativness 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 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 European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief examines the characteristics of innovative companies and explores the types of workplace practices that are significantly associated with establishments' likelihood of introducing innovation. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Additionally, data gathered through case studies analyse the role of workplace practices in different phases of the innovation process.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, a high demand for labour and low unemployment levels made labour shortages one of the key policy concerns in the EU. Even where there is persistent and rising unemployment, individual countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages, which in some instances have been accentuated by COVID-19. This report explores various approaches to measuring labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.
The issue of regional convergence and whether disadvantaged regions are catching up with wealthier regions continues to attract enormous attention in the policy debate. This report presents the findings of an investigation into the evolution of social imbalances across EU regions over time, based on indicators including unemployment, social exclusion and poverty. It also examines various aspects of the relationship between growth, regional disparities and interpersonal inequalities.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.