Following a proposal by the Finnish Ministry of Labour, the Council of State
has appointed a committee, due to report by October 1997, with the task of
evaluating the need to reform the Employment Contracts Act. The committee is
to take into account developments that have taken place in society, working
life, industry and commerce and legislation. During the course of its work,
the committee will consider the status of different forms of employment, as
well as the relations between employment and social and tax legislation. It
will also assess developments that have taken place in collective bargaining,
employment protection, equal pay and treatment, the increasing international
dimensions of employment, and the need to promote job creation.
An April 1997 Government directive regulating the Portuguese fishing sector
has unleashed major protests by ship-owners and fishing workers, although for
different reasons. The trade unions are trying both to protect fish stocks
and to defend living conditions. The central problem is that, as a
consequence of collective bargaining in the sector, wages and other income
depend directly on the amount of fish caught. In addition, under an agreement
between Portugal and Spain signed in 1985, the Spanish fleet can still fish
without restrictions in Portuguese waters.
From 31 May to 1 June 1997, Copenhagen was the venue for an international
conference, known as the "Global Labour Summit". The event was attended by
780 people representing more than 50 countries, 15 international trade union
organisations, 115 national trade unions, the World Bank, the International
Labour Organisation, 50 different Danish national organisations, ministries,
universities and a few embassies. The summit was arranged by theGeneral
Workers Union in Denmark (SiD) in connection with its 100th anniversary. SiD
is the second largest confederation of trade unions in Denmark, representing
some 326,000 employees, of whom the vast majority are unskilled workers.
Following failure to agree in their current round of negotiations, about 400
journalists belonging to the Belgian Union of Professional Journalists
(Algemene Vereniging van Belgische Beroepsjournalisten, AVBB) carried out a
protest on Thursday 5 June 1997 in Brussels. The former collective agreement
had expired in March and negotiations between the journalists and the Belgian
Union of Newspaper Publishers (Belgische Vereniging van Dagbladuitgevers) had
not led to any new agreement.
Between 12 May and 16 May 1997, transport trade unions throughout Europe
organised boycotts, strikes and demonstrations during the European week of
action against substandard and flag of convenience (FOC) shipping.
Coordinated by the London based International Transport Workers' Federation
(ITF), the action took place against owners of flag of convenience ships in
17 European countries. Suspect ships were tracked from port to port across
the continent. The demand from the ITF was to force shipowners to recognise
unions and to sign up for collective agreements which provide for minimum pay
of USD 1,100 per month, inclusive of 120 hours overtime and five days'
holidays. The ITF intends to enforce international minimum standards of
employment on those shipowners who choose to operate their vessels under
FOCs. The move followed a first week of action in June 1996 which saw 22
separate boycott actions, involving seafarers and dockers, and resulted in
some 43 collective bargaining agreements being signed. In the second week of
action ITF-affiliated trade union inspectors were checking to see that
agreements were being adhered to, as well as inspecting ships where no
approved agreements exist.
Recent studies published in the Netherlands show that discrimination on
grounds of age and other factors occurs frequently in job recruitment and
selection, while inappropriate treatment of applicants is also common.
SAK and TT announced the renewal of their basic agreement on 6 June 1997. The
new agreement permits SAK and TT's member organisations at industry level to
agree on certain issues outside the auspices of the national agreement. The
agreement also states that agreements on subcontracting and hired labour will
include a clause whereby subcontractors or the company responsible for
subcontracting commit themselves to complying with the relevant collective
agreement as well as labour and social legislation. Furthermore, the new
basic agreement includes a section on the notification of political strikes
and sympathy strikes. The period of notification is four days.
Apprenticeships, together with secondary vocational schools (ninth to 13th
grade, around 15 to 19 years of age), form the backbone of the Austrian
skill-formation system. They are a part of the formal educational structure,
and are usually entered into at the age of 15, after completion of the
compulsory nine years of schooling. They involve an employment relationship
plus formal schooling over a period of three or sometimes four years.
Schooling is for the equivalent of one and a half or two days per week.
Apprentices graduate through a final examination in which they have to prove
their theoretical and practical grasp of the occupation concerned. There are
about 45,000 establishments having certified trainers among their employees.
A reform of Portugal's Statute on Teaching Careers is currently under
negotiation in a context that has favoured strengthening the power of the
teaching trade unions, given that education is one of the Government's
priorities. This feature highlights the strategy employed by the teaching
unions to assume greater control over their profession in terms of autonomy,
social mobility and control of their labour market.
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.
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 three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
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.
The European Jobs Monitor tracks changes in employment structure and contributes to the debate about whether European labour markets are polarising or upgrading. The European Jobs Monitor report in 2021 looks in particular at two dimensions of change in labour supply – increased female participation and population/workforce ageing – to show how they can contribute to an understanding of recent changes in employment structure.
This study presents policy-relevant findings on differential pay rates for men and women at occupational level. Previous research has underlined that the gender pay gap is biggest – and has been slowest to narrow – in well-paid jobs requiring professional qualifications. These are also jobs in which the female worker share is increasing relatively fast. The report maps the extent of the gender pay gap across the job-wage distribution, taking into account the shifting gender composition of specific sectors, occupations and jobs.
While often considered staid, social partner organisations have developed different ways of using technology to communicate with their members, as well as to organise, mobilise and develop both internally, among staff, and externally, vis-à-vis members and the public. This topical update maps current practices in social partner organisations, describes developments in the use of technologies, and outlines the impact on social partner activities and organisation.
What have been the major trends and policy developments regarding digitalisation in Europe? What do we know about the deployment of automation, digitisation and the platform economy? This flagship publication provides an overview of developments in Europe in recent years, as well as mapping the observable or expected effects on employment and working conditions, as well as exploring the implications from a policy perspective.
This report analyses and compares the industrial relations landscape in a number of sectors and activities that form a public service cluster. The report draws on Eurofound’s recent representativeness studies investigating the following sectors: education, human health, central government administration and local and regional government sector (including social services).
The COVID-19 pandemic radically reshaped workplace practices and work organisation across the EU. This report explores changes that occurred as a result of or during the COVID-19 pandemic in areas such as technological transformation, decision-making and remote working. The research sets out to learn from company experiences and measures that have proved critical to keeping businesses running. It aims to inform policymakers, employers and trade unions on how to make businesses, workplaces and workers more resilient in the face of a crisis such as COVID-19.
Following improvements in economic growth and labour market participation after the global financial and economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a new, unprecedented challenge for the EU. The crisis threatens to pose an existential challenge to the EU’s cohesion and legitimacy. The subject of upward convergence is once again centre stage in the European policy debate. Expanding on work done on this topic in previous years, this flagship report traces developments in economic and social indicators between the economic crisis and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This report captures the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the quality of life of older citizens, including the impact on their well-being, finances, employment and social inclusion. It explores the effects on care use and reliance on other support. The report analyses policy measures that have been implemented in EU Member States that have proven particularly important for the quality of life of older citizens, for example, measures to support independent living.
This report examines the phenomenon of overtime in the EU, providing a comparative description of how it is regulated in EU Member States. It also assesses how contentious the issue can be and investigates the reasons behind the various disputes and debates. Finally, the report attempts to quantify and characterise the share of overtime for which workers are not paid or compensated. The analysis is based on information collected in EU Member States by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.