A meeting of the Labour and Social Affairs Council of Ministers was held
under the German Presidency on 25 May 1999, and significant progress was made
on the extension of the 1993 working time Directive to excluded sectors.
The 13th women's congress of the Austrian Trade Union Federation
(Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) was held on 8-10 June 1999. A
whole series of demands were raised and formally passed by the delegates,
with equal opportunities for women at the centre of concerns. The demands
include the following.
In late June 1999, employees at Elf Exploration Production in France had been
on strike for over two months in protest at a planned restructuring of their
company. In light of the impact this would have on the regional economy of
Pau, many local elected representatives have come out in support of the
In late May 1999, after four months of difficult bargaining, a new sectoral
collective agreement was signed regulating pay and working conditions for
employees in banks throughout Greece for the years 1999 and 2000. The new
agreement, which is regarded as one of the most important of recent years,
introduces for the first time the pilot implementation of a 35-hour working
week in banks.
In discussing the future development of the labour market and industrial
relations, the debate is usually littered with "buzzwords" such as new forms
of work organisation, group-managed work, the quality and meaning of working
life, greater interrelation between family life and working life,
decentralisation of the collective bargaining system and flexibility. But
what do these concepts of new forms of work organisation entail? What are the
forms of flexibility which are being aimed at? What demands do employers make
of employees and vice versa, and how are they to be met? And what role do
trade unions and employers' organisations play in connection with new forms
of work organisation?
On 23 June 1999, the trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers announced
details of a GBP 152 million aid package to secure nearly 9,000 jobs at the
Rover car plant at Longbridge near Birmingham. Rover is owned by the
German-based motor manufacturing group, BMW. The package is made up of GBP
129 million from central government as "Regional Selective Assistance",
supplemented by a local contribution of GBP 23 million from Birmingham City
Council, the local Training and Enterprise Council and the new Regional
Development Agency. The central government component will be phased over six
instalments, ending in 2004, and is linked to the achievement of productivity
guarantees by the company.
A survey by researchers at the "Bocconi University" of Milan, published in
June 1999, indicates that the burden of social security contributions in
Italy is higher than that in France, Germany, Spain and the UK.
Filing for a company's bankruptcy or petitioning for the suspension of
payments usually spells trouble for its workers, but a Dutch case at the
beginning of June 1999 suggests that it can also provide an effective way for
employees and their representatives to bring pressure to bear on their
The European social dialogue in the private security industry between the
European Confederation of Security Services (CoESS) on the employer side and
the European Regional Organisation of the International Federation of
Commercial, Clerical, Professional and Technical Employees (Euro-FIET) on the
employee side, is a relatively recent addition to the sectoral social
dialogue process, with an informal working group having been established at
Community level in 1993 (EU9902150F ). The initiation of a dialogue at the
European level was partly a reflection of the increasing importance of the
sector in providing internal security functions which had previously been
provided by state authorities. The sector also featured among the "new
sources of employment" pinpointed in the 1993 White Paper on Growth,
competitiveness and employment . Between 500,000 and 1 million staff are
currently employed in this sector, which includes diverse tasks such as the
guarding of industrial sites, shops, public buildings and money transport.
There is apparently a strong commitment among both sides of the industry to
make progress in the European sectoral social dialogue and there are many
common concerns, particularly in relation to the "professionalisation" of the
sector and concern over damaging lowest-price competition.
A collective agreement to cover wage earners employed by temporary work
agencies whilst not actually hired out to user companies became an important
demand of the Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer
Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) during the 1990s. At the beginning of July 1998,
there were 20,772 agency workers hired out by 742 agencies to 6,408
employers. While this number was very small it had risen from 8,000 since the
summer of 1989. The salary earners amongst the agency workers - 18% of the
total - are covered by a collective agreement, but the wage earners are not.
The main issue is the wage whilst not actually hired out, and a somewhat
lesser issue is the specification of wage entitlements once working for an
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.
Closing gender gaps in the labour market by achieving the equal participation of women is among the key objectives of the new Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025. Despite significant progress in reducing the gender employment gap, it has stagnated over the past few years. Moreover, segregation in employment across sectors and occupations is still pervasive.
The long-term care (LTC) sector employs an increasing share of workers in the EU, with increasing shortages. The LTC workforce is mainly female and a relatively large and increasing proportion is 50 or older. Migrants are often concentrated in certain LTC jobs. This report maps the working conditions, the nature of employment and the role of collective bargaining in the sector. It also discusses policies to make the sector more attractive, combat undeclared work and to improve the situation of a particular vulnerable group of LTC workers: live-in carers.
The EU strives for the upward convergence of its Member States, where their performance improves and gaps between them decrease. Nearly a decade after the Great Recession, the COVID-19 crisis has again put this objective under pressure. This policy brief focuses on convergence in material well-being in Europe. Trends in several indicators largely follow the economic cycle, with upward convergence in good times and downward divergence in bad times.
Social, economic and technological changes are giving rise to new forms of employment. These differ from 'traditional' work either in the relationship between employer and employee or in the unconventional work patterns and places of work that characterise them. While these new forms of employment can contribute to more inclusive labour markets, legalise undeclared work and offer preferential working conditions, some also raise concerns about, for example, job quality and representation. This report updates Eurofound's 2015 mapping of emerging trends.
New digital technologies have expanded the possibilities of employee monitoring and surveillance, both in and outside the workplace. In the context of the increasing digitalisation of work, there are many issues related to employee monitoring that warrant the attention of policymakers. There are the often-cited privacy and ethical concerns but also important implications for worker–employer relations, as digitally enabled monitoring and surveillance inevitably shift power dynamics in the workplace.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the local and regional administration 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.
This flagship report consolidates findings in the industrial relations field from research conducted by Eurofound over the course of its multiannual work programme for 2017–2020. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of European social dialogue, including the linkages with national social dialogue and the capacity constraints of the actors. A national comparative analysis draws on projects that have mapped the key features of national industrial relations systems.
How can working conditions be improved to make work more sustainable over the life course? This question has been the guiding principle for analysis of the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey data during the period of Eurofound’s work programme for 2017–2020. This flagship report brings together the different research strands from this work and gives a comprehensive answer to the question. It includes an analysis of trends in working conditions, examining whether these are the same for all workers or whether inequalities between different groups of workers are increasing.
This report builds on Eurofound's existing research on social mobility, assessing the distribution and transmission of wealth in Member States. It examines the roles of inheritance and household debt in explaining the transmission of advantage or disadvantage between the generations across Member States. The analysis is based on Eurosystem's Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
This report analyses the involvement of the national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, and their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and other key policy documents of the European Semester cycle.