At the end of May 1997, the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, signalled the
Government's intention of supporting new employment provisions in the
revision of the EU Treaty. He argued that initiatives to increase levels of
employment within the EU should have equal weight with the financial criteria
to be decided for Economic and Monetary Union. Believing that tackling
unemployment is a number one priority, Mr Cook also said "that is why we will
support an employment chapter within the treaty of the EU."
New figures presented in the revised national Budget in May 1997 show that
employment in Norway has increased faster than earlier estimates predicted,
and that unemployment is continuously decreasing. Growth in prices and wages
is expected to be moderate for both 1997 and 1998.
In May 1997, the Italian Government proposed emergency measures to modify the
pensions system in view of the entry criteria for EU Economic and Monetary
Union (EMU), causing particular problems in the schools sector.
On 28 May 1997, the Labour Court ruled that the municipality of Mjölby in
southern Sweden did not discriminate against two women teachers by paying
them SEK 1,119 less per month than their male colleague was paid for the same
job (AD 1997:68). The judgment is the latest of several setbacks for women
invoking the Act on Equality between Men and Women by claiming sex
discrimination in relation to pay.
In his inaugural address to the National Assembly on 19 June 1997, France's
new Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, said nothing to clarify his position on
the privatisation programme planned by the outgoing Government.
On 8 April 1997 negotiations over this year's national collective agreement
covering all wage workers in hotels and restaurants ended without agreement,
and the negotiators have not met formally since. The Hotel, Restaurant,
Personal Services Workers Trade Union (Gewerkschaft Hotel Gastgewerbe
Persönlicher Dienst, HGPD) staged some protests in May, but essentially
focused on a province-by-province strategy of securing collective agreements.
During May-June 1997, Portuguese trade unions took part in the rallies and
days of action organised throughout the countries of the European Union in
order to emphasise work and employment as prime concerns for future European
The 1997 collective bargaining round for the 1.3 million employees in the
German construction industry started on 27 February. In contrast to most
branch-level bargaining, which takes place at regional level, negotiations in
the construction industry are traditionally held at national level. The
collective bargaining parties - the construction union IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt
(IG BAU) and the two employers' associations, Hauptverband der Deutschen
Bauindustrie (HDB) and Zentralverband des Deutschen Baugewerbes (ZDB) - had
to find new agreements on at least four main issues:
On 3 June 1997 the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) representing
9,000 British Airways ground staff and BASSA, the cabin crew union (linked to
the TGWU) representing a further 9,000 employees, began balloting members
over whether to take industrial action. On 9 June, they were joined by 4,500
members of the GMB general union. If the ballots support strike action, it is
likely to take place in mid-July.
In June 1997, the Norwegian Parliament turned down a legislative proposal
which would provide employees with a right both to choose their own
organisation or not to be organised. The aim of the proposal was primarily to
prohibit collective agreements with closed shop clauses. This would have had
a particular impact on employees in enterprises affiliated to the labour
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, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. 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 representativeness 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 developments in minimum wage rates across the EU, including how they are set and how they have developed over time in nominal and real terms. The series explores where there are statutory minimum wages or collectively agreed minimum wages in the Member States, as well as minimum wage coverage rates by gender.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2015. 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Automation and digitisation technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), are undergoing a rapid evolution. This impacts working conditions in a variety of ways and raises a host of new ethical concerns. In recent times, the policy debate surrounding these concerns has become more prominent and has increasingly focused on AI. Key EU policy developments, especially in relation to AI, have shaped the policy debate in many EU Member States, and in some instances they have led to the adoption of new policy initiatives that address these concerns in the context of work and employment.
Every year, Eurofound compiles a report summarising the key developments in minimum wages across EU countries. The report explains how minimum wages are set and describes the role of social partners, covering the evolution of statutory rates, collectively agreed wages and the national debates on these issues.
As part of a process to collect information on essential services, the European Commission (DG EMPL) requested Eurofound to provide input on certain aspects of existing and planned measures in the Member States to improve access to essential services, in reference to Principle 20 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The scope of the exercise included energy services, public transport and digital communications, and the focus was on people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (in practice, people on low incomes in most cases).
The civil aviation sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most severe crises the sector has ever experienced, giving rise to a number of significant challenges for companies and workers alike. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
This report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
This report will map the existing regulations on telework in European Union Member States, including in legislation and collective agreements. It will present the most recent changes to these regulations and shed light on how the future of (tele)work could be regulated at both national and EU level, in order to improve working conditions in telework arrangements and reduce the risks associated with telework and with specific ways of working remotely.
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.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
This report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
This policy brief will provide an update on upward convergence in the economic, social and institutional dimensions of the European Union, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying Social Scoreboard.