A recent dispute and subsequent agreement in May 1997 between Caja Madrid, an
important savings bank, and the trade unions is an important reference point
for the current debate on working hours and employment in the Spanish banking
Within the framework of European Works Councils, "Community-scale" companies
are defined as those employing at least 1,000 workers with branches or
subsidiaries which employ 150 workers or more in at least two European Union
member states. According to government estimates, approximately 100
multinational companies which have their headquarters in the Netherlands will
be subject to the EWC Act. The Netherlands ranks fifth as a home base for
multinationals covered by the Directive. In addition to the Dutch-based
multinationals, it is still unknown how many non-member state companies will
appoint their Dutch operations to be their headquarters in order to meet the
provisions of the EWC Act, and the Directive's requirements.
After the failure in late 1996 (BE9702101F ) to come to a national
intersectoral agreement for 1997-8, the Belgian Government gave the
lower-level negotiators on both sides a clear message: the maximum pay
increase should be 6.1% spread over two years (1997 and 1998). The
negotiators have apparently respected the Government's position: the average
increase in labour costs arising from sectoral collective agreements is
between 5.6% and 5.7%. The Government also guaranteed an annual subsidy of
BEF 150,000 to help offset the cost of each newly created job, if two of the
following employment schemes were part of the negotiated agreement -
part-time work, part-time early retirement, flexible work schedules,
collective reduction of working hours, additional training and temporary
leave or career breaks (loopbaanonderbreking).
On 20 June 1997 the management of one of Germany's leading chemical
companies, Bayer AG, and the company works council  (Gesamtbetriebsrat) -
politically supported by the chemical workers' union, IG
Chemie-Papier-Keramik- signed a new works agreement  to save production
sites and employment in Germany. The central aim of the agreement is to
guarantee production at the five German Bayer plants in Leverkusen, Dormagen,
Uerdingen, Elberfeld and Brunsbüttel.
The new and amended Work Environment Act adopted on 30 May 1997 has
infuriated theDanish Employers' Confederation (DA). The DA had criticised the
Minister of Labour,Jytte Andersen during the preparatory process (DK9705111N
), accusing her of ignoring the views of the social partners and attacking
the perceived hastiness of the process. It stated that: "Ms Andersen's
solitary approach will unavoidably create problems for tripartite
cooperation, which so far has been the modus operandi of the health and
safety system in Denmark". TheDanish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) is in
agreement with the DA, stating that the process has been contrary to past
practice and characterised by secretiveness. Normally the Minister would
establish a tripartite committee, which would then propose action.
A year after the collapse of the tripartite "corporatist" attempt to
revitalise the entire German economy (DE9702202F ), government, business
and trade unions have succeeded in forging an alliance to boost economic
growth, productivity and employment in eastern Germany.
The multinational industrial diamond manufacturer, De Beers, is planning a
major restructuring programme at its Shannon plant, which will involve an
overhaul of its reward and grading systems, as well as some recruitment and a
number of redeployments and voluntary redundancies. The key changes,
announced to employees at the end of April 1997, involve the proposed
introduction of a performance-based pay system and the establishment of a new
lower entry rate of pay. There would be an element of "red circling" for
existing employees at the top of their scales, which would remain unchanged
apart from the application of nationally agreed pay rises.
In May 1997, the Dutch trade union Industriebond FNV demanded a halt to
demolition work by a Chinese company on two blast furnaces in the
Netherlands, in a case which has highlighted concerns about working and
employment conditions in complex transnational assembly and demolition
In June 1997, André Flahaut, the minister for civil service affairs,
proposed a number of measures which constitute a new statute for about
100,000 federal civil servants. The cabinet accepted his proposals, which
will become operational on 1 January 1998. The most important changes are to
be found in recruitment, appraisal and disciplinary procedures for public
servants and new measures to increase mobility within the civil service.
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.
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 series brings together publications and other outputs of the European Jobs Monitor (EJM), which tracks structural change in European labour markets. The EJM analyses shifts in the employment structure in the EU in terms of occupation and sector and gives a qualitative assessment of these shifts using various proxies of job quality – wages, skill-levels, etc.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2016, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2015, the sixth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 1996, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2001, which was an extension of the EWCS 2000 to cover the then 12 acceding and candidate countries. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2000, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
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 first edition of the survey carried out in 2004–2005 under the name European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.