Disagreement over how to reduce the gender pay gap led to Swedish blue-collar unions failing to coordinate their wage-bargaining for the first time since the 1980s. The fragmented 2016 wage bargaining round has led to uncertainty over how this breakdown will affect future bargaining, the Industrial Agreement’s role as a benchmark for pay increases and Swedish competitiveness.
A major new five-year collective agreement between the Irish Aviation Authority and the trade union IMPACT balances the company’s need for cost stability and change with the union’s goal of protecting pay and conditions. The aim is to improve relations at a key European transport hub in an industry prone to disputes.
Changing the rules on the termination of employment, as recently observed in many European countries, aims to ease the transition from one job to another, simplify dismissal procedures, transpose the recent ECJ decisions in the field of collective dismissal and to take action against ageing of the working population. This update is a synthesis of developments that occurred during 2015.
Eurofound celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding in 2015. In 1975, the then European Community set up the Agency, charging it with the task of contributing to the planning and design of better living and working conditions in Europe.
The third Memorandum of Understanding for Greece came into force from January 2016, which sets out measures that the government will have to implement before the end of 2018. These include tax policy reform, a more sustainable pension system, and improved management of health sector finances.
Ahead of the UK referendum on 23 June 2016 on the country’s membership of the European Union, the central social partner bodies, the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress, both strongly support continued EU membership though not all employers and unions do so. The stance of key companies, employer groups and trade unions could prove significant in influencing the outcome of what looks likely to be a closely fought referendum.
On 4 February 2016, a parliamentary debate took place initiated by liberal parties VVD and D66 on issues regarding the collective bargaining system and the extension of agreements, which they believe distorts the labour market.
Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, technological change has brought both opportunities and risks. However, the widespread entry of computing technology into the workplace in the 1980s, and in particular the arrival of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, has profoundly affected society and the economy. This ‘digitalisation’ has already changed the nature of work: today’s offices look markedly different from their counterparts in the 1980s. Banking services, travel, retail –have all changed, with knock-on effects for employment and working conditions. And, with no signs of events slowing, more profound change may be on the way.
The aim of the 2016 Stability Law is to create stable permanent work for younger, less experienced workers while ensuring that the skills and experience of the older generation are not lost, and that shorter working hours or reduced social contributions do not erode entitlement to welfare benefits and pensions.
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.
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.
The urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in European sectoral social dialogue taking place at cross-sectoral level. 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 at cross-sectoral level in the EU Member States.