From 1979, the economic policy of successive Conservative Governments was
based on a fundamental belief in the effectiveness of free markets. In the
case of the labour market, there was an emphasis on deregulation and the
importance of flexibility in creating employment and economic growth. The
Conservatives claimed that the UK's lack of regulation has reduced
unemployment, while the rest of Europe's higher social costs, greater
regulation and the adoption of the "social chapter" (the social policy
Protocol and Agreement attached to the Maastricht Treaty on European Union)
has caused unemployment and a lack of competitiveness. This prompted the
"opt-out" from the social chapter and a continuous resistance to other forms
European Union-level regulation - over working time, for instance.
The next step in the Renault Vilvoorde saga (BE9703202F ) was probably not
initially foreseen by Renault senior management in Paris. Indeed, although
the Renault managing director, Louis Schweitzer, has already announced that
the tribunal decision to annul the closure of the Renault plant in Vilvoorde
will in no way interfere with the plans to close the plant, it has slightly
changed the dynamics and the timetable of the course of events.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has published more information
about the activities to be launched as part of its "European Day of Action
for Employment", to take place all across the EU as well as in some Central
and Eastern European countries on 28 May 1997.
"Territorial pacts" (patti territoriali) are an interesting and innovative
form of social dialogue that could change the Italian experience of "social
concertation", with important consequences. By developing the idea of these
pacts, the consultative National Council for Economic Affairs and Labour
(CNEL ), which had not previously played an important role in this field,
could assume a key position in social dialogue, particularly in the
preparation of agreements for the economic development of crisis-hit areas in
Currently the minimum wage in the tourism sector is ATS 54 net per hour. The
Hotel, Restaurant, Personal Services Workers (Gewerkschaft Hotel,
Gastgewerbe, Persönlicher Dienst,HGPD) is seeking an increase of the minimum
gross monthly full-time wage from ATS 11,440 to ATS 12,000 (payable 14 times
per year). This is a nominal increase of 4.9%. With current inflation
projections running at 1.9%, a real pay increase of 3.0% would result. The
minimum net monthly income would be increased by ATS 378.40 from ATS 9,358 to
ATS 9,736.40, a nominal increase of 4.0%. On the basis of 173 hours per
month, the net hourly rate would increase by ATS 2.18 from the current ATS
On 8 April 1997, Jacques Barrot, the Minister for Employment, gave the press
a preview of the forthcoming legislation on the reduction of social security
contributions and the statutory working week. Among the subjects dealt with
will be a revision of existing legislation on banning women from working at
night, which Mr Barrot deems necessary.
On 9 April 1997, the telecommunication conglomerate Deutsche Telekom AG and
the Deutsche Postgewerkschaft (DPG) postal workers' union signed a package of
enterprise-level collective agreements for the employees at the Telekom
subsidiary Deutsche Telekom Mobilnet GmbH (DeTeMobil). After five months of
negotiations, this package represents the first such collective agreement in
the mobile telephony industry since the beginning of the step-by-step
liberalisation of the telecommunications sector.
Pay for 15,000 newspaper distributors has been increased by SEK 2.75 per hour
retrospectively from 1 January 1997 and by SEK 0.45 from 1 August 1997,
according to the new collective agreement between the Swedish Publishers'
Association and the Swedish Transport Workers' Union. The agreement runs for
one year. A novel feature of the agreement is that employees from now on have
undertaken to distribute periodicals and other items of mail together with
the newspapers. The employers have thus achieved one of their important
In a recent report (/Social Europe/ 4/96, published in March/April 1997), the
European Commission assesses the progress towards the achievement of the
goals of the medium-term social action programme covering the period between
1995-7. This social action programme, adopted in April 1995, is seen by the
Commission as marking a breakthrough for new ideas and policies. The basic
concept underlying the programme is that social policy is a productive factor
facilitating change and progress, rather than a burden on the economy or an
obstacle to growth.
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.
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.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.