Industrial relations

  • Developments in collectively agreed pay 2016

    This article discusses developments in collectively agreed wages in the European Union in 2016, putting them into the perspective of developments over the past 15 years. The tendency for growth in both nominal and real collectively agreed wages from 2015 continued. In two countries (Belgium and Malta), collectively agreed pay in real terms was still not above the pre-crisis level. Belgium was the only country where collectively agreed pay fell in real terms in 2016.

  • Working time and work-life balance

    Working time is one of the most important areas of employment policy where the EU has intervened through legislation to improve working conditions and the health and safety of workers.The Working Time Directive lays down provisions for a maximum 48-hour working week (including overtime), rest periods and breaks, and a minimum of four weeks’ paid leave per year to protect workers from adverse health and safety risks.

  • Pay

    Pay is the foundation of the relationship between employer and employee. Level of pay, to a great extent, influences the job satisfaction, quality of work and standard of living of employees. For employers, pay is the most significant part of labour costs, and accounts for a proportion of the price of goods and services.

  • Actors and institutions

    Trade unions, employers’ organisations and public institutions play a key role in the governance of the employment relationship, working conditions and industrial relations structures. They are interlocking parts in a multilevel system of governance that includes the European, national, sectoral, regional (provincial or local) and company levels.

  • Individual employment relations

    Individual employment relations are the relationship between the individual worker and their employer. This relationship is shaped by legal regulation and by the outcomes of social partner negotiations over the terms and conditions governing the employment relationship.

  • Work organisation

    Work organisation underpins economic and business development and has important consequences for productivity, innovation and working conditions.

  • EU-level developments

  • Europe en marche?

    In the following blog piece, originally posted on Social Europe, Eurofound Head of Information and Communication Mary McCaughey takes a look at what it was like to live and work in Europe in 2016.

  • Czech Republic: Attitudes to shorter working hours and flexible working

    There is a growing debate in the Czech Republic over moves to shorten working hours and introduce flexible forms of work to improve people’s work–life balance. This has been sparked by research showing that even though employees, especially men, tend to work long hours, labour productivity and remuneration are low.

  • What was it like to live and work in Europe in 2016?

    2016 was a landmark year for Europe, both politically and economically. Eurofound's 2016 yearbook shows the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans, describing trends and transitions in the areas of employment and jobs, workplace practices, working life and quality of life.