Cyprus and Italy are currently considering the introduction of a universal minimum wage floor by law. With this move, they would be joining 22 other EU Member States that already have one in place. In the remaining Member States – Austria, Denmark, Finland and Sweden – and in Norway, too, minimum wage rates are stipulated in sectoral collective agreements. This article reviews some examples of how EU countries set their minimum wages, why they opted for one or the other approach, and what impact their decision has had.
The European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work last year documented the case of a Dutch temporary work agency that hired workers of various nationalities to work for a construction company in Belgium. The wages were suspiciously low, and the Belgian Labour Inspectorate believed that EU law guaranteeing such workers minimum rates of pay was being breached. Inspectors monitored and visited the company over several years, but it was only when they collaborated with the Dutch authorities that both were able to gather the necessary evidence and take steps to resolve the situation.
The Socialist-led Spanish government that emerged last summer had, by the end of 2018, approved a hike in the statutory minimum wage. This was agreed with the left-wing Podemos party as part of an attempt to secure the parliamentary support needed for passing the proposed 2019 budget – although failure to do so resulted in the April election. The new minimum wage came into force on 1 January, rising from 14 monthly payments of €735.90 per year to €900 for those in full-time employment.
Public services are essential for achieving high levels of social protection, social cohesion and social inclusion. However, to be effective in this regard, services must be of good quality and they must be equally accessible to the broadest possible range of citizens.
In recent years, concerns have been expressed at EU and national level that the combined stresses arising from school, parental expectations and societal pressures can make the transition to adulthood difficult for young people – with the risk of a long-lasting negative impact. One way of easing the transition is to provide appropriate information and support services during these critical life-changing years. However, it appears that not all young people have access to such services.
The spread of ICT in the economy is changing both the types of jobs that employ people and the types of tasks that people perform in their jobs. The latest research on the content of work suggests that computerisation has boosted the proportion of jobs with social interaction at their core, while at the same time reducing social tasks within certain jobs.
This report describes Eurofound's activities, particularly its research, information and communication programmes and policy achievements, in relation to the objectives set in the Work Programme 2018. It also covers the management and external evaluation control systems, key performance indicators, and financial and HR information.
This report presents an overview of living conditions in the five current EU candidate countries – Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. It is based on the results of the 2016 European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) and covers three broad areas: quality of life, quality of public services and quality of society. The report consists of an introductory overview chapter and five country profiles. The survey results are relevant both from a national perspective and in the context of the areas addressed in the EU enlargement process.
Following the influx of over three million asylum seekers into the European Union in the three-year period 2015–2017, Member States faced a number of challenges related to integrating the newly arrived into their country. This report explores the role of public services – specifically housing, social services, health and education services – in the social and economic integration of refugees and asylum seekers. It aims to identify the factors that hinder this process and the elements that contribute to successful integration.
Cooperatives and social enterprises are recognised for their resilience to cyclical and structural economic changes and their capacity to contribute to local and regional economic development, including social inclusion. In recent years, attention has increasingly focused on their ability to further the EU policy goals of creating more and better jobs, countering the trend towards non-standard employment and fostering EU integration following the 2008 global financial crisis.
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.
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 the use of care services and older people’s reliance on other support. The report presents policy measures that have been implemented in EU Member States to support older people along all of the above-mentioned dimensions.
This report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.
Social dialogue lies at the heart of the EU treaties and governance. Social partners are core stakeholders who can assess policy needs and contribute to policy formation and to designing and implementing national reforms in the social and employment fields. This report focuses on the timely and meaningful involvement of national social partners in the preparation of the new resilience and recovery plans and the national reform programmes (NRPs) that were temporarily integrated under the European Semester in 2021.
This policy brief explores the social situation of Europeans with a disability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from the March–April 2021 Living, working and COVID-19 e-survey, it compares the situation of respondents with and without a disability in three areas: perceptions of the healthcare system, mental well-being and financial precarity.
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.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2021 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2021. The range of topics as a result is broad, from the growing diversity of employment across EU regions to developments in minimum wages, and of course the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
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.
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?