Working conditions and sustainable work

Working conditions and sustainable work: An analysis using the job quality framework

Flagship report
Published
26 Февруари 2021
pdf
Formats and languages
Executive summary in 22 languages
Download

лучни наоди

  • On average, workers in the EU enjoy better working conditions today than at the beginning of the millennium. Working time quality has clearly improved, but also the physical environment is better, especially where it counts most: in occupations with high exposure to physical risks.
Read more
  • On average, workers in the EU enjoy better working conditions today than at the beginning of the millennium. Working time quality has clearly improved, but also the physical environment is better, especially where it counts most: in occupations with high exposure to physical risks.
  • Jobs today require more skills and offer more autonomy than in the past. This is reflected in an improvement of the Skills and discretion index.
  • The development of workers’ skills is hampered by unequal access to and uptake of employer-paid training. Older workers participate less in training, and there is a growing gap in access between employees with different contractual statuses (full-time versus part-time and permanent versus fixed-term contracts).
  • Persisting gender segregation in the labour market is reflected in differences in job quality between men and women. But there is no overall winner. Gender gaps can also be to the detriment of men, for example regarding the physical environment.
  • While career prospects have generally improved for men and women, men have maintained their advantage in this dimension of job quality. The unequal sharing of care responsibilities, manifested in longer career breaks and different working time arrangements for women, are the likely cause.
Read less

Abstract

This flagship report summarises the key findings of Eurofound’s research on working conditions conducted over the programming period 2017–2020. It maps the progress achieved since 2000 in improving working conditions and examines whether all workers have benefited equally from positive change. ItRead more

This flagship report summarises the key findings of Eurofound’s research on working conditions conducted over the programming period 2017–2020. It maps the progress achieved since 2000 in improving working conditions and examines whether all workers have benefited equally from positive change. It highlights which groups are the most at risk of experiencing poor working conditions and being left behind. Given the changes in the world of work, emerging challenges for good job quality are identified. The report also provides evidence for measures that could lead to the further improvement of work and the achievement of fair working conditions for all in the EU. The analysis shows that, overall, job quality in the EU is improving, if slowly. Not all workers are benefiting to the same extent, however. Furthermore, gender, age and contractual status have a significant bearing on a person’s working conditions. And while digitalisation helps to address some job quality issues, it also creates new challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated trends, reinforcing concerns and highlighting the importance of achieving job quality for all.

Read less

Formats and languages

  • Report

    Number of pages: 
    80
    Reference no.: 
    EF20021
    ISBN: 
    978-92-897-2150-9
    Catalogue no.: 
    TJ-03-21-030-EN-N
    DOI: 
    10.2806/938302
    Catalogue info

    Working conditions and sustainable work: An analysis using the job quality framework

    Formats

    Cite this publication: 

    Eurofound (2021), Working conditions and sustainable work: An analysis using the job quality framework, Challenges and prospects in the EU series, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. 

  • Executive summary

    Reference no.: 
    EF20021EN1
    Catalogue info

    Working conditions and sustainable work: An analysis using the job quality framework

    Author(s): 
    Eurofound

    Available for download in 22 languages

    Download
  • Case studies and working paper

  • Tables and graphs

    List of tables

    The report has the following list of tables:

    Table 1: Change in the composition of the workforce, EU27 and the UK, 2002–2019

    Table 2: Elements of the job demands–resources model based on the EWCS

    List of figures

    The report has the following list of figures:

    Figure 1: The seven dimensions of job quality and the indicators composing each dimension

    Figure 2: Indexed change in job quality indices, EU27 and the UK, 2000–2015

    Figure 3: Physical environment index: mean and standard deviation, by occupational category, EU27 and the UK, 2000–2015

    Figure 4: Work intensity index: mean and standard deviation, by sector, EU27 and the UK, 2000–2015

    Figure 5: Work intensity index: mean and standard deviation, by country cluster, EU27 and the UK, 2000–2015

    Figure 6: Skills and discretion index: mean and standard deviation, by occupational category, EU27 and the UK, 2000–2015

    Figure 7: Skills and discretion index: mean and standard deviation, by country cluster, EU27 and the UK, 2000–2015

    Figure 8: Participation in paid training (%), by employment and contractual status, EU27 and the UK, 2005–2015

    Figure 9: Associations between working time quality and occupational category, by country cluster

    Figure 10: Working time quality index: mean and standard deviation, by country cluster, EU27 and the UK, 2000–2015

    Figure 11: Long working hours (%), by employment status, EU27 and the UK, 2000–2015

    Figure 12: Prospects index: mean and standard deviation, by occupational category, EU27 and the UK, 2005–2015

    Figure 13: Prospects index: mean and standard deviation, by country cluster, EU27 and the UK, 2005–2015

    Figure 14: Scores on Prospects index, by employment and sociodemographic characteristics, EU27 and the UK, 2005 and 2015

    Figure 15: Receipt of support from colleagues and managers (%), EU27 and the UK, 2005–2015

    Figure 16: Receipt of support from colleagues and managers (%), by age group, EU27 and the UK, 2005 and 2015

    Figure 17: Exposure to adverse social behaviour (%), by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2010 and 2015

    Figure 18: Perception of fair pay (%), by Member State and the UK, 2005–2015

    Figure 19: Perceived appropriateness of pay, by country cluster, EU27 and the UK, 2005–2015

    Figure 20: Job quality profiles: Scores on seven job quality indices, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 21: Distribution of workers according to job quality profiles, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 22: Job quality profiles of men, by job quality indices, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 23: Job quality profiles of women, by job quality indices, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 24: Distribution of employees according to predominant gender in occupation (%), by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2010 and 2015

    Figure 25: Gender of immediate manager (%), by worker’s gender, EU27 and the UK, 2005–2015

    Figure 26: Female employees reporting good prospects for career advancement and gender gap (%), EU27 and the UK, 2005–2015

    Figure 27: Good prospects for career advancement (%), by age and gender, EU27 and the UK, 2005–2015

    Figure 28: Job insecurity according to predominant gender in occupation (%), by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2010 and 2015

    Figure 29: Employability according to predominant gender in occupation (%), by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2010 and 2015

    Figure 30: Employees reporting difficulty making ends meet according to occupation type (%), by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 31: Employees reporting difficulty making ends meet according to household type (%), by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 32: Employee experience of selected emotional demands (%), by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2010 and 2015

    Figure 33: Average weekly working hours of employees across the life course, by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 34: Flexibility to take time off according to predominant gender in occupation (%), by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2010 and 2015

    Figure 35: Additional components of earnings from main job (%), by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2005–2015

    Figure 36: Employees’ perception of their work–life balance (%), by age, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 37: Employees’ participation in training (%), by age and training classification, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 38: Associations between demands and resources and workers’ health and well-being

    Figure 39: Proportion of workers with flexitime schedules and engaged in TICTM (%), EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 40: Workers reporting work–life balance problems (%), by work arrangement and presence or absence of children, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 41: Multiple-job holders as a proportion of total employment (%), by gender and country, EU27 and the UK, 2018

    Figure 42: Job quality profiles of multiple-job holders’ main jobs, by gender, EU27 and the UK, 2015

    Figure 43: Job quality of selected critical occupations in relation to the workforce average

    Figure 44: Emotional demands on ISWs and extent of those demands (%), EU27 and the UK, 2015

  • Videos

    Members of Eurofound’s Management Board provide their reactions to and insights into Eurofound’s 2021 flagship report on Working conditions and sustainable work: An analysis using the job quality framework.

    • Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic
      Interview with Juha Antila, Head of Research and Development SAK, Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions.

    • Digitalisation
      Interview with Mario van Mierlo, Deputy Director, Social Affairs, The Dutch Confederation of Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW).

    • Making work sustainable
      Interview with Alain Piette, Ergonomist at the Belgian Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue.

    • Role of different actors in improving job quality
      Interview with Rebekah Smith, Deputy Director for Social Affairs, BusinessEurope.

    • Persisting challenges
      Interview with Nelson Ferreira, Deputy General Inspector ACT, Portugal Labour Conditions Authority.

    • Remote working
      Interview with Esther Lynch, Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

This report presents the results of research conducted largely prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe in February 2020. For this reason, the results do not fully take account of the outbreak.

Research carried out prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020, and published subsequently, may include data relating to the 28 EU Member States. Following this date, research only takes into account the 27 EU Member States (EU28 minus the UK), unless specified otherwise.

Part of the series

  • Challenges and prospects in the EU

    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.

Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Add new comment