On 5 March 2002, a proposal for new legislation on the protection of
'personal integrity in working life' (Personlig integritet i arbetslivet,
/SOU 2002:18/) was submitted to the government by the commissioner it had
appointed to look into the issue, Reidunn Laurén (a former president of the
Administrative Court of Appeal). The commissioner was asked in September 1999
to examine the risks to 'personal integrity' and privacy raised by modern
working life, with a view to possibly proposing increased protection for
employees and job applicants related to new technology, medical examinations
and drug testing (SE9911105N ).
February 2002 was a bad month for employees in the telecommunications sector.
At the beginning of the month, the mobile phone operator mm02, which was
recently demerged from British Telecom (BT), announced that it was to cut
1,900 jobs across its British and German operations. Less than a fortnight
later, the BT group announced that it was to cut 1,000 jobs in the UK, a move
which came hot on the heels of the announcement of 500 job cuts in its German
operations. This feature examines the details of these job cuts in the
context of the restructuring in the sector more generally.
On 9 March 2002, a conference organised by the Unions 21 network drew
together an audience of trade unionists, policy-makers and researchers to
discuss the challenges and opportunities currently facing the British labour
movement. Launched in 1993, Unions 21  is associated with the 'modernising
Left' and exists to provide a forum for debate on how trade unions can win
support and influence in a changing political, economic and social climate.
The 2002 conference, on the theme of 'Making unions matter', addressed a
range of issues including:
In January 2002, the Unified Service Sector Union (Vereinte
Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, ver.di) announced a new plan to support sex
industry workers. While it has been estimated that some 400,000 prostitutes
work in Germany, offering their services a total of 1.2 million times a day,
trade union have not given them much consideration until recently. In an
unprecedented effort, ver.di's sectoral unit number 13 (Fachbereich 13),
which is in charge of 'special services', intends to change this situation
and help prostitutes to improve their living and working conditions. This
initiative comes at a time when the current 'red-Green' coalition government
has enacted a new law which will give sex workers improved rights in the
fields of contract law, criminal law and social security. According to
ver.di's spokesperson, Klaus Utz, it is in particular during the time when
these new legal rights are being established that prostitutes need trade
union assistance most.
Following a series of one-day strikes, a new collective agreement for the
Dutch childcare sector was concluded through a process of mediation in
January 2002. This brought an end to a dispute which had seen a split among
the trade unions and an unsuccessful effort by employers to prevent
industrial action through recourse to the courts.
2001 saw a raft of new legislative measures in the Netherlands, aimed at
improving employees' protection and rights. These included: new rights for
fixed-term contract workers; a right to refuse Sunday working; new
entitlements to leave for care purposes; and measures to combat
discrimination on grounds of disability and age.
On 5 February 2002, the general council of the Norwegian Confederation of
Trade Unions (Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, LO) made public the
confederation's demands for the forthcoming spring wage negotiations.
Bargaining demands have also been issued by the other main union
confederations. This marks the beginning of the 2002 wage round in Norway,
when all the current two-year collective agreements are to be renegotiated.
In the private sector, the 2002 round will take place at industry level and
start in March 2002 with the negotiations in manufacturing industry. As in
previous years, there is great suspense associated with the outcome of the
2002 settlement, not least in the public sector, where a number of groups
have warned of significant wage demands. Nurses in state-owned hospitals are
striking for higher wages (NO0202102N ).
On 1 January 2002, the 11,000-strong Agricultural Workers' Union
(Lantarbetareförbundet) joined the Swedish Municipal Workers' Union (Svenska
Kommunalarbetareförbundet, Kommunal), the largest affiliate of the
blue-collar Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen, LO)
with around 600,000 members. Some 80% of Kommunal's members are women, and
65% of members are part-time workers. The largest group of members works in
the healthcare sector for the municipalities and county councils as nurses,
ward orderlies and other personnel. Other occupations represented in Kommunal
include childcare workers, firefighters, cemetery workers, bus drivers,
cleaners, and parks and sports grounds attendants.
In February 2002, the Italian government and trade unions reached a general
framework accord on the forthcoming renewal of national collective agreements
for public sector workers. The agreement meets most trade union demands.
Average wage increases have been set at 5.56% for 2002-3 and it has been
established that collective bargaining takes precedence over legislation in
the regulation of employment conditions.
Labour costs - the total expenditure borne by employers in order to employ
workers - are without doubt at the heart of industrial relations. The main
components of total labour costs - as defined by Eurostat in line with the
international definition  agreed by the International Conference of Labour
Statisticians- include compensation of employees (including wages and
salaries), employers' social security contributions, vocational training
costs and taxes relating to employment. The level of direct pay/compensation
is set or powerfully affected by collective bargaining in most countries in
Europe, while the social partners (by bargaining or other means) also have a
strong influence in many countries on factors such as the level of employers'
social security contributions or the cost of vocational training. It could be
said, indeed, that much of industrial relations is largely concerned with
setting labour costs.
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.
Closing gender gaps in the labour market by achieving the equal participation of women is among the key objectives of the new Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025. Despite significant progress in reducing the gender employment gap, it has stagnated over the past few years. Moreover, segregation in employment across sectors and occupations is still pervasive.
The long-term care (LTC) sector employs an increasing share of workers in the EU, with increasing shortages. The LTC workforce is mainly female and a relatively large and increasing proportion is 50 or older. Migrants are often concentrated in certain LTC jobs. This report maps the working conditions, the nature of employment and the role of collective bargaining in the sector. It also discusses policies to make the sector more attractive, combat undeclared work and to improve the situation of a particular vulnerable group of LTC workers: live-in carers.
The EU strives for the upward convergence of its Member States, where their performance improves and gaps between them decrease. Nearly a decade after the Great Recession, the COVID-19 crisis has again put this objective under pressure. This policy brief focuses on convergence in material well-being in Europe. Trends in several indicators largely follow the economic cycle, with upward convergence in good times and downward divergence in bad times.
Social, economic and technological changes are giving rise to new forms of employment. These differ from 'traditional' work either in the relationship between employer and employee or in the unconventional work patterns and places of work that characterise them. While these new forms of employment can contribute to more inclusive labour markets, legalise undeclared work and offer preferential working conditions, some also raise concerns about, for example, job quality and representation. This report updates Eurofound's 2015 mapping of emerging trends.
New digital technologies have expanded the possibilities of employee monitoring and surveillance, both in and outside the workplace. In the context of the increasing digitalisation of work, there are many issues related to employee monitoring that warrant the attention of policymakers. There are the often-cited privacy and ethical concerns but also important implications for worker–employer relations, as digitally enabled monitoring and surveillance inevitably shift power dynamics in the workplace.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the local and regional administration 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.
This flagship report consolidates findings in the industrial relations field from research conducted by Eurofound over the course of its multiannual work programme for 2017–2020. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of European social dialogue, including the linkages with national social dialogue and the capacity constraints of the actors. A national comparative analysis draws on projects that have mapped the key features of national industrial relations systems.
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.
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.