In anticipation of a debate scheduled for the end of June 1999 in the Lower
House of the Dutch Parliament, the Netherlands' largest employers'
association, VNO/NCW, is pushing for fundamental change in the social
security structure. It believes that the new system should offer a flat-rate
benefit at subsistence level as a safety net. In addition, employees should
be assigned "personal responsibility" and have the option of taking out
additional insurance against loss of income.
The reduction of taxation on labour and other non-wage labour costs has been
part of the European Commission's strategy to raise employment for almost
five years, as it is considered that high non-wage labour costs, particularly
on low-paid labour, are leading to high rates of unemployment among
low-skilled workers and are encouraging clandestine, undeclared activity. The
Commission's 1999 Broad Economic Policy Guidelines  re-emphasised the
importance of Member States' reducing taxes, particularly on low-paid labour.
It is intended that this reduction in taxation of labour be offset by new
taxes or tax increases on environmental pollution, energy or consumption. The
social partners are similarly called upon to commit themselves to control
wage and other non-wage costs, as a contribution to the European employment
strategy. The draft Broad Economic Policy Guidelines estimate that, with an
average rate of 43% of GDP, the tax burden in the European Union in 13%
higher than in the USA. The tax burden indeed exceeds 40% in most of the EU
Member States, with only Ireland being comparable with the USA in this
respect. Despite the fact that the effective tax rate on labour and the
labour "tax wedge" have declined in the EU since 1994, the level of the "tax
wedge" indicates that around 50% of the gross wage is absorbed by taxes in a
number of EU Member States,
On 15 June 1999, the Austrian government failed to approve a legislative
proposal for submission to parliament that would have removed the remaining
legal differentiation between wage earners and salary earners (AT9801160N
). The two main distinctions that remain between them relate to
compensation during sick leave and regulations governing dismissal
(AT9903138N ). The Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer
Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) and the Austrian Chamber of the Economy
(Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, WKÖ) had failed to resolve their own
differences on the question at a meeting on 9 June. WKÖ had submitted a
number of counter-demands in exchange for harmonisation, including:
Two mediators, Mr Ingemar Mundebo and Mr Gunnar Samuelsson, had been having
intense contacts throughout a week in the middle of June with the pay
negotiators from the Coach Employers' Association (Bussarbetsgivarna, BUA)
and the Swedish Transport Workers' Union (Svenska
Transportarbetareförbundet, Transport). Transport had given notice of a ban
on overtime and a boycott of any new charter tourist traffic. The industrial
action was due to commence on 22 June 1999.
At its congress in June 1999, France's CFE-CGC trade union confederation,
which represents managerial and professional staff and supervisors, elected a
new management team. After some years of falling membership and support, the
confederation sought to present a united front and to refocus on its
traditional goals and grassroots.
In May 1999, the Greek government submitted its 1999 National Action Plan
(NAP) for employment, in response to the EU Employment Guidelines. With
regard to industrial relations, and in particular measures aimed at
modernisation of work organisation, strong emphasis is laid on labour market
and working time flexibility.
Denmark is not participating in the third stage of EU Economic and Monetary
Union (EMU), which has seen the introduction of the euro single currency.
This is one of the consequences of the country's initial "no" vote on the
Maastricht Treaty in a 1992 referendum, which led to Denmark having a number
of reservations inserted in the Treaty, including non-participation in the
third stage of EMU. A subsequent referendum resulted in a majority in favour
of the modified version of the Treaty among the otherwise "EU-sceptic" Danish
Speaking at the national conference of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)
on 3 June 1999, Stephen Byers, the trade and industry secretary, devoted his
speech to the issue of regulation and the Labour government's commitment to
reduce the burden of regulation on business, including employment
legislation. He said that "getting regulation right" was a major priority for
the government, and that an essential element of this was to avoid burdening
businesses - especially small businesses - with unnecessary regulation.
In June 1999, the Italian government approved a legislative decree which
allows for the Tfr end-of-service allowance, to which employees are entitled
when they leave their jobs, to be converted into bonds or shares.
From 1 July 1999, Dutch employers must comply with obligations stemming from
the Flexibility and Security Act. Following three consecutive contracts,
temporary agency workers must be offered a permanent contract. However, in
anticipation, temporary work agencies began dismissing staff in June. The FNV
union confederation has condemned the mass dismissals.
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.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2020. 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.
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 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 two rounds – in April and in July 2020. 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 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.
Eurofound's representativness 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 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 Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
This report will focus on assessing the employment impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including its effects across sectors and for different categories of workers. It will also be looking at measures implemented to limit negative effects following the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
This policy brief uses the data from the European Company Survey 2019 to examine the workplace practices of export-oriented companies and to analyse how these practices relate to outcomes. It also examines why these companies choose the workplace practices they adopt.
This report examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the overlaps between different parts of the public sector, especially with regard to social services. Firstly, the overlaps in terms of employment structures are analysed; secondly, the overlaps of all national sector-related organisations are assessed; and thirdly, the overlaps of the European social partner organisation are considered. The conclusions of this report should help decision-making regarding which ESSDC social services activities fit best in.
This report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
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 (flight crew) 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.
While unemployment is still a challenge in Europe, some countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages. This report explores various approaches to identifying labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue. It documents public and social partner interventions to tackle labour shortages, such as measures fostering geographic or occupational mobility, addressing skills shortages and underinvestment in skills, improving working and employment conditions, and better matching procedures.
The European Green Deal is at the very top of Member State agendas across the EU. This topical update maps the national discussions – in policy, public and research debates – on the potential, ongoing or already felt impact on work and employment of the transition to a low-carbon economy. It attempts to identify the most active actors involved in these discussions (governments, social partners, NGOs and so on) and their perspectives.
This report will draw from case studies of establishments across the EU that have introduced advanced digital technologies in the workplace. The technologies in focus are the Internet of Things, 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality. Each case study – illustrated in the report - will explore the approach or strategy taken by the establishment to manage the digital transition and the impact of the deployment of the technology on the work organisation and job quality.
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.