With the agreement of 30 May between the Building Workers' Union and the
Employers' Federation of the Swedish Construction Industry, the last of
1997's major collective agreements was concluded. It gave 70,000 building
workers an increase of SEK 2.50 per hour and, for the first time, payment
during certain public holidays. According to the union, this represents an
overall pay increase of 3.1%, while the employers estimate its value to be
2.6%. Irrespective of who is right, the agreement is very much in line with
the 1997 average settlement.
On 4 June, Padraig Flynn, the European Commissioner responsible for social
affairs, employment and industrial relations, launched a consultation
document on "information and consultation of workers within the national
framework" (EU9706132F ). The document constitutes the first stage of
consultation of the European-level social partners under the Maastricht
social policy Agreement procedure, and could thus lead to a European-level
agreement and/or Community legislation. If the Commission's proposals bear
fruit, there would be minimum standards across Europe to ensure that workers
enjoy rights to be informed and consulted. These rights would apply to all
workers in enterprises above a certain size (50 employees has been suggested
as a possible threshold). The new measure would reinforce existing
requirements on national information and consultation over transfers of
undertakings, collective redundancies and health and safety issues.
The confederation of Critical Shareholders (Kritische Aktionäre) is an
alliance of about 35 small shareholders' groups and other non-governmental
organisations such as environmental, consumer and anti-militaristic groups.
Currently, the Critical Shareholders are active in about 40 German
corporations including the most important German banks as well as various
industrial corporations in the automobile, electronic, chemical and food
industries. They can call on up to 5% of the votes cast in some of the
The European Council meeting in Amsterdam on 16 and 17 June 1997 concluded
the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) with the agreement of a new draft
Treaty. The conclusion of the IGC leaves the path open for launching the
enlargement process, and the timetable for the single currency has equally
been reaffirmed. Economic stability, growth and employment also featured
prominently in talks between the governments of the 15 member states.
Reinforced by the participation of members from the two new left-of-centre
governments of France and the United Kingdom, the European Council agreed to
give fresh momentum to keeping employment firmly at the top of the European
The debate on reforming the law to permit trade unions in the PSP - in
relation specifically to policemen and women - broke out again in Portugal at
the end of 1996, and has been continuing ever since. The debate, fully
covered in the media and commented on by the main political parties,
culminated on 21 April 1997 with a meeting of PSP members, many of whom wore
their uniforms. The meeting turned into a public demonstration at the
Ministry of the Interior- the Ministry in charge of that particular police
force - with harsh words being shouted at the Minister.
Tourism is one of Austria's major industries, contributing an estimated 10%
of the GDP. There are about 70,000 businesses with a turnover that has
recently stabilised at about ATS 180,000 million. Employment is about 142,000
on annual average, or roughly 5% of the national total. In the peak season,
in mid-summer, the industry employs about 160,000 people. Neither employment
figure includes the employers themselves, who are an important part of the
workforce in the industry. The median gross income for a complete full-time
working month of 30 days in 1995 was ATS 15,980, as against ATS 22,600 for
all industries together. The low incomes correlate with a large share of
female employees. In 1995, the number of people employed for at least one day
stood at 221,127. Of these, 134,614 were women, of whom 119,865 were employed
on a waged basis and only 14,749 on salaries. Such a small share of salaried
employees, both among men and women is unusual. At the same time, the
profitability of large parts of the industry is repeatedly cast in doubt by
The Vlaams Blok, a xenophobic and extreme right-wing Flemish nationalist
party, is currently seeking legitimacy as the defender of "ordinary people".
With its populist stand against immigrants and French-speakers, the party has
won a large number of votes in some towns in Flanders, particularly amongst
those sections of the population most badly hit by unemployment and worsening
The ECJ's ruling on 11 March 1997 in the case of /Süzen v Zehnacher
Gebäudereinigung GmbH Krankenhausservice and another/ (Case C-13/95) made a
potential "U-turn" in the interpretation of the EU Directive on transfers of
undertakings, that has left a question mark over the way that the employment
rights of the employees of contractors are decided. The ruling stems from a
court case in Germany in which a school cleaner, Ayse Süzen, lost her job
when her employer failed to keep the cleaning contract at the school where
she worked. Ms Süzen challenged the decision of the new contractor not to
re-employ the cleaning workers dismissed by their original employer.
On 25 April 1997, the Saxon metalworking employers' association
(Arbeitgeberverband der Sächsischen Metall- und Elektroindustrie, VSME) and
the metalworkers' trade union, IG Metall, signed new collective agreements
for the 87,000 employees in the Saxon metal industry. The agreements include
a new agreement on wages and salaries, new framework agreements for white-
and blue-collar workers, and a new agreement to secure employment
(Beschäftigungssicherungstarifvertrag). The agreements mainly follow the
pattern of the agreements which have already been agreed in other regions of
eastern Germany, and conclude the 1997 collective bargaining round in east
Under the terms of a new bill, announced in April 1997, employees in the
Netherlands will be entitled to benefits if they interrupt their careers for
care or study leave, on condition that the employer hires an unemployed
person for the same period
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.
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 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 study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the food and drinks 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 aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the textiles and clothing 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 report offers a backward look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work and life of Europeans. The main focus is on Eurofound’s e-survey ‘ Living, working and COVID-19’ which was launched on 9 April 2020 just after the onset of the crisis. Through four rounds of the survey (two in 2020 and two in 2021), the range of questions changed to match the evolving situation and to understand the effects on the everyday lives of citizens and workers. A fifth round of the e-survey is planned for March–May 2022, with initial findings available in July.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an extraordinary level of provision of social services across the EU. Healthcare and care providers carried much of the burden and, together with essential services, played a crucial role in getting citizens through the crisis. This report explores how public services adapted to the new reality and what role was played by the digital transformation of services. The aim is to contribute to the documentation and analysis of changes in funding, delivery and use of healthcare and social services during the pandemic.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the professional football 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 aim of this Eurofound’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the professional football sector in the EU Member States.
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.
The urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.