On 24 May 2002, Det Danske Stålvalseværk A/S (Dansteel) - Denmark's largest
recycling company, whose activities include producing iron and steel from
scrap - suspended payments after having accumulated a deficit of about DKK
0.5 billion over the past three years. The wages of the employees were
guaranteed for a further period of one month and, according to employee
representatives, the employees agreed to continue to work while the
management looked for a buyer. On 28 June, however, the company filed a
winding-up petition and about 1,100 employees received notice of dismissal.
On 12 June 2002, trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt announced the
appointment of Adair Turner as the new chair of the Low Pay Commission (LPC)
- the independent body that advises the government on the national minimum
wage (NMW) (UK9807135F ). Mr Turner, who was director-general of the
Confederation of British Industry (CBI) from 1995 to 1999 and currently holds
a senior position within Merrill Lynch Europe, replaces Professor Sir George
Bain who is standing down. At the same time, the government announced the
replacement of one of the employer members of the Commission. In addition to
Mr Turner, the Commission consists of three employer members, three trade
union members and two academics.
On 1 July 2002, after about 18 months of preparations, three major service
sector employers' organisations entered into a formal merger, creating a new
umbrella organisation entitled Commerce, Transport and Service (Handel,
Transport og Serviceerhvervene, HTS). The founding organisations are the
Employers' Federation for Trade, Transport and Service
(Arbejdsgiverforeningen for Handel, Transport og Service, ATHS), the Chamber
of Commerce (Handelskammeret) and the Association of the Hotel, Restaurant
and Leisure Industry in Denmark (Hotel-, Restaurant-, og Turisterhvervets
Arbejdsgiverforening, HORESTA). The new organisation has a group-like
structure, with employer interests and business interests being handled
separately, With more than 10,000 affiliated enterprises and 90 sectoral
member organisations, HTS is Denmark's second-largest combined trade and
employers' organisation after the Confederation of Danish Industries (Dansk
The European Commission has been focusing on various aspects of pension
provision for some time, as part of its attempts to encourage freedom of
movement within the European Union. Thus, on 12 June 2002, it launched the
first stage of an EU-level social partner consultation exercise  on the
subject of the portability of supplementary pension provision.
In late 2000, the Swedish government set up a governmental working time
committee (Kommittén för nya arbetstids- och semesterregler, KNAS), with
social partner involvement, to examine the entire system of legislation on
working time and leave and make proposals for reform (SE0101176N ). The
committee - chaired by Hans Karlsson, a former leading figure in the Swedish
Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen, LO) - issued its report (/SOU
2002:58/) on 18 June 2002. The main proposals for new statutory working time
rules are as follows:
Private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Poland employ more than
half of the country's workforce. They differ in many ways from public sector
enterprises in terms of their employees, pay levels and industrial relations.
Trade unions are very rarely present in private SMEs and employees thus often
lack collective representation. Employers frequently breach both tax and
labour law, but without any protests from the workers. These are among the
finding of research into private SMEs conducted over 1999-2002.
As negotiations over the formation of a new right-wing coalition government
proceed in May-June 2002, it seems likely that the new Dutch administration
will radically restructure the current system of subsidised employment for
groups such as long-term unemployed people and people with disabilities.
There is a widespread consensus on the need for change in this area, with
some favouring modernisation of the system and others its abolition.
In 2001, overall trade union membership in the Netherlands fell slightly,
despite attempts to attract new members, prompting questions again to be
raised about their representativeness. At the same time, financial problems
are besetting some unions, notably FNV Bondgenoten, the largest union in the
private sector, while the FNV confederation's invested capital has shrunk and
questions have been asked about the ethicality of its investments. One new
way of attracting members, proposed by the FNV chair in May 2002, is for
unions to seek to represent the inerests of illegal workers.
In May 2002, the Spanish government approved a Royal Decree reforming
unemployment benefit and public employment services, prompting trade unions
to call a one-day general strike on 20 June. Statistical evidence suggests
that some elements of the reform may have adverse effects on the position of
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.
How can working conditions be improved to make work more sustainable over the life course? This question has been the guiding principle for analysis of the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey data during the period of Eurofound’s work programme for 2017–2020. This flagship report brings together the different research strands from this work and gives a comprehensive answer to the question. It includes an analysis of trends in working conditions, examining whether these are the same for all workers or whether inequalities between different groups of workers are increasing.
Access to key social services, especially education and healthcare, as well as stable family life and decent housing are necessary for the well-being and development of children. Ensuring that all children have these resources is an EU priority; the European Commission is currently undertaking to recommend a Child Guarantee to address the situations of children in need. Service provision has been complicated by the COVID-19 outbreak, however, and the pandemic has put psychological and material strains on families.
This report builds on Eurofound's existing research on social mobility, assessing the distribution and transmission of wealth in Member States. It examines the roles of inheritance and household debt in explaining the transmission of advantage or disadvantage between the generations across Member States. The analysis is based on Eurosystem's Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
This report analyses the involvement of the national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, and their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and other key policy documents of the European Semester cycle.
This report will focus on assessing the employment impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including its effects across sectors and for different categories of workers. It will also be looking at measures implemented to limit negative effects following the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
This report examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
This report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the civil aviation (flight crew) sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements.
The European Green Deal is at the very top of Member State agendas across the EU. This topical update maps the national discussions – in policy, public and research debates – on the potential, ongoing or already felt impact on work and employment of the transition to a low-carbon economy. It attempts to identify the most active actors involved in these discussions (governments, social partners, NGOs and so on) and their perspectives.
This report will draw from case studies of establishments across the EU that have introduced advanced digital technologies in the workplace. The technologies in focus are the Internet of Things, 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality. Each case study – illustrated in the report - will explore the approach or strategy taken by the establishment to manage the digital transition and the impact of the deployment of the technology on the work organisation and job quality.