In this article, Jean-Marie Jungblut looks at the health of careers in Europe. He argues that, since the average length of the most important job in a person’s life is over 20 years, time should be put aside in the middle of a career to check the fit between the worker and the job. Different scenarios can arise from such an exercise.
Companies are constantly competing for the next big thing in innovation – the next-generation 3D phone, the quantum computer, the virtual doctor. They fixate on technological breakthroughs and look for new business models. But innovation also needs systems, an organisational structure and people who work together. The human factor in innovation is often forgotten or neglected – the employees’ skills, their level of input, their autonomy in their jobs and the rewards they receive. Or do such factors really play any role in innovation?
Europe is showing visible signs of progress; in most countries, labour markets are healthier than they have been in a decade, with more people active and in work than ever before, while social exclusion is declining. However, it is also a continent in transition, where an imbalance in opportunities for prosperity and quality of life – depending on where you live or which particular social group you belong to – directly determines to what extent you have felt this recovery.
Wages grew and wage inequality fell in most EU countries in 2015. Germany is not one of the countries where wages rose most, but it did have the largest reduction of wage inequality. Our analysis shows that the German minimum wage policy introduced in 2015 strongly lifted the wages of the lowest-paid employees, particularly those employees who were lower-skilled, younger or working in services.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2017 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as recounted in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2017. As economies recover, Eurofound reported on the positive trends in employment, with rising numbers in work and a continued expansion of employment in good jobs. It also provided an updated account of quality of life in Europe post-crisis, showing that on many dimensions Europeans are doing as well as before the crisis, if not better.
This is the Consolidated annual activity report of the Authorising Officer for the year 2017. The 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 2017.
Digital technologies are transforming work, but the implications have not yet been fully grasped. In a recent Eurofound report, we focus on three main vectors of change to discuss the effects of digital technologies on work and employment and the policy responses such change demands.
Research Manager Isabella Biletta looks at fraudulent practices in the contracting of work. Such practices involve the abuse of legitimate employment relationships with the aim of sidestepping labour and social regulations and with the effect of undermining workers’ rights and fair competition in business. The article is based on several years of Eurofound research on the subject.
New proposals for workers with disabilities, possible changes to rules on dismissals, and reform of the supplementary pension system are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2018.
Collective bargaining at national and sectoral levels, civil service traineeships, developments in negotiations in the construction and banking sectors, and measures to support jobseekers with disabilities are the main topics of this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Luxembourg in the first quarter of 2018.
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.
Automation and digitisation technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), are undergoing a rapid evolution. This impacts working conditions in a variety of ways and raises a host of new ethical concerns. In recent times, the policy debate surrounding these concerns has become more prominent and has increasingly focused on AI. Key EU policy developments, especially in relation to AI, have shaped the policy debate in many EU Member States, and in some instances they have led to the adoption of new policy initiatives that address these concerns in the context of work and employment.
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.
As part of a process to collect information on essential services, the European Commission (DG EMPL) requested Eurofound to provide input on certain aspects of existing and planned measures in the Member States to improve access to essential services, in reference to Principle 20 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The scope of the exercise included energy services, public transport and digital communications, and the focus was on people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (in practice, people on low incomes in most cases).
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?
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.
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
This report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
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.