In the last quarter of 2015, better economic data in the EU was overshadowed by increasing anxiety about the potential impact of declining growth and rising instability in developing economies. Aggregate unemployment rates in the Union are in their first sustained downward path since the global financial crisis began: in the EU28, unemployment stands at 9.2%; in the euro zone, at 10.5%.
A collective agreement in Croatia’s construction sector has been signed and the social partners have asked the government to extend it to cover the whole sector. They believe this would help combat unfair competition from the cheap labour created by the grey economy. The agreement would also serve as a blueprint for other sectors.
Psychosocial risks for workers have become a major issue in Belgium. A high priority for public authorities last year was to develop and improve policies to tackle work-related stress and particularly worker burnout. Many studies into such problems have also been conducted. This article gives an overview of these studies and of the legal background to more recent developments.
This study provides information designed to aid sectoral social dialogue in the graphical industry. The study is divided into three parts: a summary of the sector’s economic and employment background; an analysis of the relevant social partner organisations in all EU Member States, including their membership, role in collective bargaining, social dialogue and public policy, and national and European affiliations; and an overview of relevant European organisations, particularly their membership composition and their capacity to negotiate.
The Italian government has introduced reform of active labour market policies as part of the 2014 ‘Jobs Act’, aimed at stronger coordination by public and private actors at local level. The reform is expected to foster the better matching of labour demand and supply, but its effectiveness could be hampered by several factors.
A total of 2.7 million people (71% of the working age population) were in work in Norway in 2013. The Norwegian employment rate for women and elderly workers is also high compared with the EU average. However, although the working environment for Norwegian employees would appear to be improving, threats to health are still present.
Teaching unions in Lithuania went on strike on two separate days in December after the failure of six months of talks with the government over pay and conditions. About 15% of education workers took part in the two-hour stoppages.
This article reviews the current debate among social partners and governments about how to integrate asylum seekers into the EU's workforce. While employers claim that refugees could help to address skill shortages, unions are concerned about the consequences for the working conditions of both the refugees and lower-paid segments of the existing workforce.
Spain’s lowest earners have been badly affected by the deterioration in their income since the crisis that began in 2008, with salaries being devalued because of rising inflation. A report by trade union CCOO says this has the effect of cutting purchasing power, increasing income inequality and fuelling the collapse of economic demand.
/This article builds on the discussion in the first article on the trends and
drivers likely to shape the future of the sector and the challenges it faces
since the end of the Cold War. In particular, it looks at developments in the
industry, such as the increasing internationalisation of production, the
growing importance of IT companies within the defence sector, and the
privatisation of services that were once provided by the military. The
article also explores three alternative scenarios for the defence industry
illustrating the decisions that need to be made, as well as the implications
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This report examines the phenomenon of overtime in the EU, providing a comparative description of how it is regulated in EU Member States. It also assesses how contentious the issue can be and investigates the reasons behind the various disputes and debates. Finally, the report attempts to quantify and characterise the share of overtime for which workers are not paid or compensated. The analysis is based on information collected in EU Member States by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
This study presents policy-relevant findings on differential pay rates for men and women at occupational level. Previous research has underlined that the gender pay gap is biggest – and has been slowest to narrow – in well-paid jobs requiring professional qualifications. These are also jobs in which the female worker share is increasing relatively fast. The report maps the extent of the gender pay gap across the job-wage distribution, taking into account the shifting gender composition of specific sectors, occupations and jobs.
Building on Eurofound’s previous research on youth, this report examines the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young people, in particular their economic and social situation, with a focus on employment. It will also estimate how the NEET population – young people not in employment, education or training – has changed in size and composition over the last decade, and how the current crisis might affect this.
This report addresses the main developments in statutory and collectively agreed working time regulation in 2019 and 2020. It covers several aspects of the duration of working time in the EU, such as information on maximum numbers of working days and weeks, normal working weeks and paid annual leave across the countries and within selected sectors. The report focuses on the education, health, transport, retail and public administration sectors, and provides accounts of major developments in working time regulation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.