Across European countries, the ‘employment contract’ has been, and still is, the point of reference for determining the rights and obligations of both workers and employers. When direct subordinated employment is disguised as self-employment, it is termed ‘bogus’. Work can be contracted in several different ways. The main distinction remains the one between ‘employment’ and ‘self-employment’: this is a prominent feature in all European legal systems, built around the concepts of ‘subordination’ and ‘autonomy’.
Employment relations remain defined vis-à-vis the standard employment relationship (permanent, full-time, direct). Fixed-term contracts are therefore understood as non-standard employment contracts by which an employer hires an employee for a fixed duration. The main difference between permanent and fixed-term contracts is the certainty, in the latter employment situation, of the expiry date.
Regulated at European level, the posting of workers is a practice used between companies located in different countries A worker is posted when their original employer sends them to work, for a temporary period, in another company. Posting has been defined as a specific form of labour mobility within the EU.
Among the fraudulent contracting of work practices, one of the most difficult to identify is the creation of sham companies (usually, in another country). Sham companies are essentially new entities created to disguise the real employer. Creating a company, even abroad, is – of course – legal and may well be institutionally and economically advisable.
A traineeship is generally defined as an education and training programme combined with work experience, devised for certain groups – usually unemployed young people. Various types of traineeship are found across EU Member States. Traineeships have recently been actively promoted by the European Commission as a political response to persistent high youth unemployment rates – for instance, within the Youth Guarantee initiatives developed in most Member States.
The EU has finally recovered all the net employment losses sustained since the global financial crisis. It has been a long and painful process. But there is at last growing evidence of positive momentum in EU labour markets, if not quite ‘animal spirits’. Many of those member states most affected by the global downturn have recorded significant employment growth in the last three years – including Spain (+9%), Ireland (+8%) and Greece (+5%).
Emergency legislation to prevent the collapse of large companies, help for posted workers, Croatia’s slow post-transition economic progress and the retention of young and skilled labour are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Croatia in the second quarter of 2017.
New measures to help the unemployed find work and greater support for working families against a backdrop of governmental crisis, and the merger of industrial trade unions are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Finland in the second quarter of 2017.
This article discusses developments in collectively agreed wages in the European Union in 2016, putting them into the perspective of developments over the past 15 years. The tendency for growth in both nominal and real collectively agreed wages from 2015 continued. In two countries (Belgium and Malta), collectively agreed pay in real terms was still not above the pre-crisis level. Belgium was the only country where collectively agreed pay fell in real terms in 2016.
The next few months will determine the future of Alitalia and its 12,000 employees. The Italian flag carrier entered into bankruptcy proceedings in May after workers rejected a deal brokered by unions and management that would have seen job and pay cuts. Alitalia is currently losing up to €100 million per month and is continuing to operate thanks to an Italian government bridging loan. Meanwhile, administrators are accepting bids to take over the business from around 20 airlines, including from low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet, whose emergence has presented such a challenge to national airlines.
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 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 financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
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 study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the gas 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the gas sector in the EU Member States.
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?
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.
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.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the food and drinks 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 food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.