The Unemployment Insurance Act (Arbeitslosenversicherungsgesetz, AlVG) makes
benefit entitlements, but not contributions, dependent on nationality. On 16
September 1996 the European Court of Human Rights found this inequality to be
in violation of human rights, creating the need to amend the law, and on 11
June 1997 Parliament passed the requisite act.
On 3 June 1997, after three months of negotiations, the chemical workers'
union, IG Chemie, and the sectoral employers' association,
Bundesarbeitgeberverband Chemie (BAVC), agreed on the introduction of a new
"opening clause" in the national pay framework agreement
(Bundesentgelttarifvertrag) which covers about 590,000 workers in the west
German chemicals industry. The opening clause provides for the introduction
of a "wage corridor" which, under certain circumstances, allows companies to
reduce the collectively agreed wage by up to 10% for a limited period of
The European framework agreement on part-time work was formally signed on 6
June 1997 (EU9706131F ) by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC),
the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE) and
the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of
Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP). The stated purpose of the
agreement is to remove discrimination against part time workers, improve the
quality of part-time jobs and facilitate part-time work on a voluntary basis.
The European Commission will propose a Directive implementing the agreement
to the Council of Ministers later this year.
On 6 June 1997, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), the Union of
Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE) and the European
Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General
Economic Interest (CEEP) formally signed a European framework agreement on
part-time work, in the presence of social affairs Commissioner Padraig Flynn,
Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok and Dutch Social Affairs Minister Ad Melkert.
The agreement seeks to establish a general framework for the elimination of
discrimination against part-time workers, and hopes to contribute towards the
development of opportunities for part-time working on a basis which is
acceptable to employers and workers alike. The agreement is the result of
nine months of intense negotiation, during which success did not always
On 10 June 1997, Renault management announced the appointment of an
independent expert who will evaluate, on an economic basis, the potential
measures envisaged to "compensate for the inefficiency involved in the
structure of Renault's production facilities".
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.
The decision in May 1997 by Halivourgiki, the largest steel concern in
Greece, to introduce flexible working hours, reduce its workforce and close a
part of the production line has led to an industrial dispute. We examine the
factors behind Halivourgiki's decision and the reactions of employees and
On 3 June 1997, an agreement was finally reached between the Generalitat
(Catalonia's autonomous regional government) and the central Government in
Spain to transfer part of the management of the National Institute of
Employment (INEM) to the Catalan regional administration. A historic demand
that has been made for over 15 years has thus been satisfied. For the central
Government, the transfer of INEM to Catalonia is a "pilot scheme" that will
serve as a basis for the transfer of powers in this field to other autonomous
communities such as Galicia and the Basque Country.
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 electricity 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 electricity sector in the EU Member States.
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.
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
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?
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 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.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated inequalities in many dimensions of European societies, including inequalities between women and men in several key domains. This report looks at gender inequalities that existed prior to the COVID-19 crisis and describes in what ways the pandemic has impacted on gender divides. It also analyses the various policy responses of national governments across the EU to address gender divides, and to prevent their widening during the pandemic.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. 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 analyses the working lives of workers in Europe in 2021, when the continent was still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines working conditions during that period and the association between job quality and work outcomes such as health and well-being, work–life balance, and financial security. The report also considers how the shifts in working life during the pandemic are likely to affect work in the future.