Spanish trade unions and employers' organisations recently agreed on a major
labour market reform. The three objectives of the "April agreements" of 1997
are to reduce the instability of the labour market, to promote collective
bargaining, and to plug the gaps in sectoral regulation that were left
following the final repeal of the Labour Ordinances.
Over the last 10 or so years, the Dutch labour market has been characterised
by increasing flexibility and fragmentation. There is greater variety and
flexibility with respect to working time, pay, job descriptions, the location
of work and the term and type of employment contracts. Part-time work has,
for example, become very popular in the Netherlands. More than one in every
three Dutch employees (mainly women) has a part-time job, in contrast to an
average of one in seven for the EU as a whole. There are also various types
of contract flexibility, such as temporary work, freelance work, on-call
employment, homeworking and teleworking. Whilst the percentage of flexible
employment contracts stood at 7.9% of the working population in 1987, by 1995
it had increased to 10% (Arbeidsverkenning 1987/94. CBS (Central Statistics
Bureau) (1995)). Nowhere else in Europe does temporary work (through private
temporary employment agencies) flourish as it does in the Netherlands.
Temporary workers constitute about 3% of the total available labour supply.
On 28 May 1997, new collective agreements were concluded for the 460,000 or
so employees in west German banking. The signatories were the commerce,
banking and insurance workers' trade union HBV (Gewerkschaft Handel, Banken
und Versicherungen) and the white-collar workers' union DAG (Deutsche
Angestellten-Gewerkschaft) on one side, and the employers' association for
private banking (Arbeitgeberverband des privaten Bankgewerbes) and the
collective bargaining community for public banks (Tarifgemeinschaft
öffentlicher Banken) on the other.
Compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) was one of the key privatisation
measures introduced into the public sector by the Conservative governments of
1979-97, coming into effect 17 years ago for "blue-collar" services and four
years ago for "white-collar" services. The argument behind it was that
greater competition would induce greater efficiency and hence savings in
public expenditure. The Labour Government, however, believes that compulsion
in itself is not the best method and should instead be replaced by a promise
to provide "best value" for money.
The results of the latest collective bargaining round at company level in
industry are emerging. An estimate from the Confederation of Danish
Industries (DI) shows an average increase in pay of 1.7%, or between DKK 1.75
and DKK 2.00 per hour. The increase is higher than in 1996, when bargaining
at company level produced an increase of between DKK 1.50 and DKK 1.75 per
The June 1996 Alitalia collective agreement was reached after two years of
difficult bargaining, and is intended to restructure the company, which is
beset by severe financial problems. This restructuring involves a reduction
of labour costs in exchange for the setting-up of a fund for the purchase of
shares set aside for the company's employees. This fund will be created when
the European Commission has authorised the ITL 2,800 billion increase in
capital envisaged by the restructuring plan. One year on from the renewal of
the national contract, the participatory bargaining model envisaged by the
Alitalia agreement may be considered of key importance both for improving the
competitive position of this company, and regulating industrial relations in
the transport sector.
/Combating racial discrimination and xenophobia is an issue which has become
increasingly prominent on the European Union agenda in recent years. Since
the mid-1980s, a rising tide of concern with the problem can be perceived in
various declarations and resolutions by Community institutions, and notably
in the inclusion of the issue of racial discrimination in the 1989 "Social
Charter". The past two years, especially, have seen significant developments,
many of which are of direct relevance to employment and industrial
In March 1997, the US, British, Canadian, French, Belgian and Dutch Allied
Forces stationed in Germany employed around 30,000 civilian employees. Due to
the end of the cold war and the resulting closure of bases and reduction of
troops by the Allied Forces, civilian employment fell from 105,000 in 1985 to
75,000 in 1991 to 31,000 in 1996. Civilian employees typically work in jobs
such as office staff, transport and storage staff, mechanics, security staff,
firefighters, technicians, electricians, cleaners and caterers.
Ireland's newly elected Government, a minority centrist coalition between
Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats (PDs), is firmly committed to
implementing /Partners/ /hip 2000/, which was agreed between the social
partners and the former "rainbow" coalition Government in January 1997
(IE9702103F ). The rainbow Government was a left-of-centre administration
made up of Fine Gael, the Labour Party and the Democratic Left.
A recent dispute and subsequent agreement in May 1997 between Caja Madrid, an
important savings bank, and the trade unions is an important reference point
for the current debate on working hours and employment in the Spanish banking
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.
This series brings together publications and other outputs of the European Jobs Monitor (EJM), which tracks structural change in European labour markets. The EJM analyses shifts in the employment structure in the EU in terms of occupation and sector and gives a qualitative assessment of these shifts using various proxies of job quality – wages, skill-levels, etc.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2016, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2015, the sixth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 1996, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2001, which was an extension of the EWCS 2000 to cover the then 12 acceding and candidate countries. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2000, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
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 first edition of the survey carried out in 2004–2005 under the name European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
This paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
In 2022, the European Semester was streamlined to integrate the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) established on 19 February 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2021/241). While facing the geopolitical and economic challenges triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States have been implementing the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for more than one year and around 100 billion euro in RRF funds have already been disbursed.
As economies emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report will look at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care and information and communications technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin digital and green transitions.
As part of its response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the EU swiftly activated its Temporary Protection Directive for those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine – enabling displaced persons to settle in the EU and have access to the labour market and basic public services. This policy brief highlights the main barriers encountered by these refugees (over 5 million people to date) when seeking a job and provides suggestions on how to facilitate their integration.
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.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2022 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2022. Eurofound’s research on working and living conditions in Europe provides a bedrock of evidence for input into social policymaking and achieving the Agency’s vision ‘to be Europe’s leading knowledge source for better life and work’.
The term ‘hybrid work’ became popular due to the upsurge of telework during the COVID-19 pandemic. The term has been increasingly used to refer to situations in which (teleworkable) work is performed both from the usual place of work (normally the employer’s premises) and from home (as experienced during the pandemic) or other locations. However, the concept of hybrid work is still blurry, and various meanings are in use. This topical update brings clarity to this concept by exploring available information from recent literature and the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
Housing affordability is a matter of great concern across the EU. Poor housing affordability leads to housing evictions, housing insecurity, problematic housing costs and housing inadequacy. These problems negatively affect health and well-being, create unequal living conditions and opportunities, and come with healthcare costs, reduced productivity and environmental damage. Private market tenants face particularly large increases in the cost of housing.
Eurofound's annual review of minimum wages reports on the development of statutory and collectively agreed minimum wages across the EU and the processes through which they were set. The focus of this year’s report is on the impact of high inflation on the setting of minimum wage rates. In addition, new figures on the net value of minimum wages are presented, along with the latest policy-relevant research in the EU Member States and Norway.