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research projects or facts and figures relevant to policy debates. Also included are blog articles, regular articleson working life in Europe, presentations, working papers providing background material to ongoing or already concluded research, and reports arising from ad hoc requests by policymakers. Other corporate publications include annual reports, brochures and promotional publications. Web databases and online resources such as data visualisation applications are available in Data and resources.
Controversy arose earlier this year when Ireland’s two largest banks,
Allied Irish Bank (AIB ) and Bank of Ireland (BOI ) announced voluntary
redundancy programmes due to the impact of the recession.
A parliamentary election for the 90 deputies to the National Assembly  of
Slovenia was held on 4 December 2011. This was the first snap election in
It has become established practice in Malta that before the annual budget is
presented, a meeting is held between the Minister of Finance and the social
partners, during which each organisation makes proposals about the measures
it would like to see included in the budget.
Collective bargaining in the metalworking sector got off to a bad start when
the demands of both sides were made public. This action was highly unusual,
as demands are normally kept secret and exchanged only at the first meeting
of the negotiations. However, in the weeks before the meeting the
employers’ side had stated that they would offer a wage increase roughly
compensating for the inflation rate. After the first, unsuccessful bargaining
round, union representatives held a press conference announcing their aim of
securing a 5.5% pay rise. This was seen by some experts as being highly
The reform of representativeness rules in France (*FR0806039I* ) means
that, from 2013 onwards, trade unions will need to obtain 10% of the votes in
workforce elections at company level, and 8% of votes in each sector and on a
national, interprofessional level (*FR0808039I* ) in order to retain their
representativeness and therefore their right to negotiate and sign collective
agreements. However, the French Christian Workers’ Confederation (CFTC )
might not reach these thresholds. The theme of the 51st congress was
therefore a call to fight for the group’s survival, while rejecting any
prospect of merger with another trade union. The CFTC now faces a crisis
equal to the one it experienced in 1964, when 70% of CFTC delegates voted to
leave. They formed the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT ),
while the remaining ‘die-hard minority’ decided to maintain a CFTC that
was true to the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.
The results of this survey clearly show that working conditions in many
sectors, and in the Bulgarian economy as a whole, have improved. Despite some
areas of continuing concern, there has been a positive change in the attitude
of both management and employees. Action taken to improve working conditions
has, in some cases, exceeded the minimum legislative requirements. This trend
developed in the years of sustained economic growth before 2008, and should
be sustained during the present economic downturn.
Denmark’s early retirement scheme, known as /Efterløn/, offers the
possibility of retirement from the age of 60, instead of at the standard
retirement age of 65, as set out in the national residence-based ordinary
pension scheme (Folkepension).
In 2011, the Spanish government agreed in its Fiscal and Financial Policy
Council to set new goals to try to reduce the average public deficit of all
the autonomous communities (regions) from 3.9% to 1.3%. The ultimate goal is
to fix the deficit of all the public administrations at 6% of GDP by the end
The working hours of children (up to 14 years of age) and adolescents
(15–18 years) in Germany have been regulated since 1960 under the Young
Persons (Protection of Employment) Act  (/Jugendarbeitsschutzgesetz/,
JArbSchG). Employer organisations have frequently criticised the act for its
rigidity, whereas trade unions say the act has been continually liberalised.
In June 2011, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI ) and recruitment
specialists Harvey Nash  published findings from their 14th annual survey
on employment trends . The survey, which was conducted during March and
April 2011, captured the responses of 335 senior executives representing UK
organisations employing a total of almost 3.5 million people. The survey
covers organisations of different size (Table 1) and from a range of sectors