1999 is the United Nations International Year of Older Persons  and in
acknowledgement of this, the European Commission published in May a
Communication entitled Towards a Europe for all ages - promoting prosperity
and intergenerational solidarity(COM(1999) 221 final) . It details the
demographic, social and economic effects of ageing and proposes strategies
intending to ensure that an effective policy is in place to support the
ageing population. The aim of the Communication is to stimulate debate
between and with Member States.
By making state funding for working time reductions contingent upon a company
agreement signed by majority trade unions or approval by a majority of the
employees, France's draft bill for a second law on the 35-hour week - issued
in summer 1999 - has brought the issue of unions' representative status to
the fore. Unions are split over the law's provisions on this issue.
In the first six months of 1999, collective bargaining progressed well in
Spain, according to figures from the CC.OO trade union confederation, though
greater success has been achieved in revising agreements than in reaching new
ones. Wage moderation has prevailed, and the agreements contain more clauses
on employment and on shorter working hours, though the reduction is moderate.
In an unusual move, the first collective agreement of the 1999-2000
bargaining round covers about 50,000 salaried employees in crafts and trades,
excluding metalworking and the construction and timber sectors. From 1
January 2000, their minimum salaries will, on average, rise by 1.6%. The
lowest full-time annual gross salary will then be ATS 161,980. Actual
salaries may rise by less, since their increase is not specified in the
agreement. The deal was concluded between the Union of Salaried Employees
(Gewerkschaft der Privatangestellten, GPA) and 30 trades associations of the
Austrian Chamber of the Economy (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ).
In September 1999, the Finnish Metalworkers' Union announced its aim of
achieving a new incomes policy agreement to succeed the current national
deal, which expires in January 2000. The union has threatened a general
strike, if necessary, in the event that sector-specific problems in the
forestry and chemical industries, which form an obstacle to reaching an
overall national agreement, cannot be resolved.
A governmental committee chaired by special commissioner Hans Stark, a former
chief judge in the Labour Court, has been reviewing certain parts of the Act
concerning Equality between Men and Women (jämställdhetslagen, /1991:
433/). The review has primarily been conducted in order to achieve
harmonisation with EC equality law, and should also been seen in conjunction
with the three new Acts forbidding discrimination at work - covering
discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, sexual orientation and disability
- adopted in March 1999 (SE9903148F ). The issues that have been
considered by the committee include the nature of the ban on discrimination
set out in the Act, damages for victims of discrimination, wage surveys and
issues related to work evaluation.
The European Commission believes that, in order for social protection to be
sustainable and progress into the next century, a clear strategy needs to be
implemented by Member States, with whom responsibility for their respective
social protection systems ultimately lies. However, in a new Communication
entitled A concerted strategy for modernising social protection(COM (1999)
347) , issued on 14 July 1999, the Commission also recognises the
importance of developing a close dialogue between Member States and EU
institutions on the future of social protection systems. The Communication
follows up the 1997 Communication
France's second bill on the 35-hour week, under parliamentary discussion in
autumn 1999, will exclude many managerial and professional staff from the
regulations on the length of working time applicable to all employees. Their
maximum working time will be expressed as 217 days per year, with few
restrictions related to the number of hours worked. These measures have
provoked heated responses from the trade unions, which suggests that a lively
debate will ensue over this issue in parliament.
In summer 1999, the Social Division of the Spanish Supreme Court ratified a
ruling by the Higher Court of Justice of Catalonia that found the Caixa de
Catalunya savings bank guilty of indirect discrimination against women.
From January 2000, insurance for work-related accidents and occupational
illnesses will be obligatory for Portugal's numerous self-employed workers,
many of whom work in the construction sector where the level of accidents is
the highest. The new legislation is one more step towards defining the status
of self-employed workers, but the trade unions see it as a means of applying
pressure to clarify the status of workers in situations of bogus
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.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2020. 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 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 two rounds – in April and in July 2020. 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 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.
Closing gender gaps in the labour market by achieving the equal participation of women is among the key objectives of the new Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025. Despite significant progress in reducing the gender employment gap, it has stagnated over the past few years. Moreover, segregation in employment across sectors and occupations is still pervasive.
The long-term care (LTC) sector employs an increasing share of workers in the EU, with increasing shortages. The LTC workforce is mainly female and a relatively large and increasing proportion is 50 or older. Migrants are often concentrated in certain LTC jobs. This report maps the working conditions, the nature of employment and the role of collective bargaining in the sector. It also discusses policies to make the sector more attractive, combat undeclared work and to improve the situation of a particular vulnerable group of LTC workers: live-in carers.
Member States are autonomous when it comes to the design of their social protection systems. However, EU recommendations and treaties oblige them to address the convergence of these systems and policies with other Member States. At the same time, convergence may also come about as a result of economic integration and endeavours to reduce social imbalances. This report looks at the main long-term trends in social protection expenditure and performance across the Member States to assess the extent to which they are converging in this policy area.
Social, economic and technological changes are giving rise to new forms of employment. These differ from 'traditional' work either in the relationship between employer and employee or in the unconventional work patterns and places of work that characterise them. While these new forms of employment can contribute to more inclusive labour markets, legalise undeclared work and offer preferential working conditions, some also raise concerns about, for example, job quality and representation. This report updates Eurofound's 2015 mapping of emerging trends.
New digital technologies have expanded the possibilities of employee monitoring and surveillance, both in and outside the workplace. In the context of the increasing digitalisation of work, there are many issues related to employee monitoring that warrant the attention of policymakers. There are the often-cited privacy and ethical concerns but also important implications for worker–employer relations, as digitally enabled monitoring and surveillance inevitably shift power dynamics in the workplace.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the local and regional administration 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 flagship report consolidates findings in the industrial relations field from research conducted by Eurofound over the course of its multiannual work programme for 2017–2020. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of European social dialogue, including the linkages with national social dialogue and the capacity constraints of the actors. A national comparative analysis draws on projects that have mapped the key features of national industrial relations systems.
How can working conditions be improved to make work more sustainable over the life course? This question has been the guiding principle for analysis of the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey data during the period of Eurofound’s work programme for 2017–2020. This flagship report brings together the different research strands from this work and gives a comprehensive answer to the question. It includes an analysis of trends in working conditions, examining whether these are the same for all workers or whether inequalities between different groups of workers are increasing.
This report builds on Eurofound's existing research on social mobility, assessing the distribution and transmission of wealth in Member States. It examines the roles of inheritance and household debt in explaining the transmission of advantage or disadvantage between the generations across Member States. The analysis is based on Eurosystem's Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
This report analyses the involvement of the national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, and their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and other key policy documents of the European Semester cycle.