EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Topical update

Topical updates summarise and update developments around selected topics, which are relevant across a number of Member States at the same time. They are mainly based on reporting from Eurofound’s network of European correspondents.

  • Religion in the workplace

    This article discusses the issues related to religion in the workplace, a topic that has received considerable attention in the media recently. An overview of significant cases of dispute between employers and employees is provided, as well as examples of social partners’ initiatives to accommodate the needs of religious people in the workplace.

  • 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.

  • Pay inequalities experienced by posted workers: Challenges to the ‘equal treatment’ principle

    This EurWORK topical update summarises the views of European and national-level stakeholders on recent debates on implementing the principle of ‘equal pay’ for posted workers. Directive 96/71/EC foresees that posted workers must be granted the minimum standards of employment conditions applicable in the host country, including the minimum rates of pay.

  • Statutory minimum wages in the EU 2017

    In 22 out of 28 EU Member States, a generally applicable statutory minimum wage exists; the level of this minimum wage varies greatly from one country to another. This article provides information on statutory minimum wage levels, how the minimum wage has been determined for 2017 and minimum wage coverage across the EU. The data show that the minimum wage grew more over the year preceding 1 January 2017 than the year before.

  • Addressing digital and technological change through social dialogue

    Evidence from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Spain reveals that social partners are closely involved in setting up national strategies to manage digital change in the world of work. Up to now, this has been a high-level affair and there are only a few collective agreements or company agreements on the issue in these five countries.

  • National capacity-building initiatives for social partners: Experiences in five EU Member States

    This article examines national-level initiatives aimed at strengthening social dialogue among social partners in five Member States: Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania. It summarises the content of the programmes, reviews the outcomes of the evaluations and offers a view of the new programming period ahead.

  • Social dialogue developments in the education sector in Europe

    Teachers across Europe have been protesting about their working conditions. Pay levels and pay inequalities, working time and workload, recruitment procedures and staffing at schools have been the main focus of social dialogue and collective action. Several of the reported cases are set in the context of educational reforms.

  • Low-wage jobs – an efficient tool to combat unemployment?

    Low-wage jobs have been a focus of debate in six countries across Europe during 2016. However, the issues discussed have reflected differing national concerns. For some countries, the key issue is the integration of migrants into the labour market; for others, how to stimulate job creation and reduce unemployment.

  • Employee involvement and participation at work: Recent research and policy developments revisited

    This topical update looks at the issue of employee involvement and participation at work, specifically reviewing recent pieces of research at EU and national level, EU directives, changes in the legal framework, social partner initiatives and debates identified in EurWORK quarterly reports during 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.

  • Developments in collective wage bargaining in the European Union 2015

    This article summarises the recent developments in collectively agreed pay in the European Union. It discusses the levels at which it is carried out, its coordination and coverage. The wage outcomes are put into the perspective of past collectively agreed wage changes and key institutional variables, including level and coordination of collective bargaining.

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