In summer 1999, the Social Division of the Spanish Supreme Court ratified a
ruling by the Higher Court of Justice of Catalonia that found the Caixa de
Catalunya savings bank guilty of indirect discrimination against women.
France's second bill on the 35-hour week, under parliamentary discussion in
autumn 1999, will exclude many managerial and professional staff from the
regulations on the length of working time applicable to all employees. Their
maximum working time will be expressed as 217 days per year, with few
restrictions related to the number of hours worked. These measures have
provoked heated responses from the trade unions, which suggests that a lively
debate will ensue over this issue in parliament.
Over 1999, a committee of experts set up in February by the Dutch Minister of
Social Affairs and Employment has been examining possible reform of the law
governing dismissal. Although reform of dismissals law has been attempted
frequently in the past, the prevailing law has remained largely unchanged
over the last half century. Nonetheless, the law's application in practice
In a report published in September 1999, the Union of Industrial and
Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE) outlines its vision for social
Europe beyond 2000. The document, entitled "Releasing Europe's employment
potential - companies' views on European social policy beyond 2000,"
identifies unemployment as Europe's most fundamental economic and social
problem and sees competitiveness as one of the key solutions to economic and
social challenges, arguing that this should therefore be the underlying
concern throughout EU policy. UNICE states that, in order to translate growth
into employment, Europe needs to address the issues of economic globalisation
more effectively. It is argued that the high unemployment rates in Europe are
caused not by a lack of demand, but by structural problems.
From January 2000, insurance for work-related accidents and occupational
illnesses will be obligatory for Portugal's numerous self-employed workers,
many of whom work in the construction sector where the level of accidents is
the highest. The new legislation is one more step towards defining the status
of self-employed workers, but the trade unions see it as a means of applying
pressure to clarify the status of workers in situations of bogus
The first half of 1999 saw a substantial increase in the use of temporary
agency work in Italy. Projections estimate that by the end of the year the
number of temporary agency workers will stand at 200,000. Agency work is on
the agenda of the social dialogue between the government and social partners
in autumn 1999.
The industrial restructuring plan announced in July 1999 by Tabacalera, the
Spanish tobacco firm, will involve a reduction in the number of factories and
a 15% reduction in the workforce. The plan has met with a negative response
from the trade unions, the regions affected and the government.
The reduction in the level of unemployment in France over the past two years
accelerated during July 1999. This development has fuelled government
optimism, but trade unions and employers' organisations were more varied in
The Netherlands' 1996 Working Time Act granted hospitals until 1 January 1999
to meet its requirements. In summer 1999, the health and safety inspectorate
drew up an official report on nine hospitals that had still not properly
arranged their schedules in line with the Act. The long working weeks of
physicians' assistants raised special concern, partly due to the fact that
their schedules are modelled on specialists' working weeks. Occupational
disability amongst this category has risen dramatically over recent years,
particularly due to emotional problems resulting from excessive on-the-job
pressure. Preventive measures, including a more normal working week, are now
The way now seems to be clear for the creation of Union Network International
(UNI), bringing together four existing International Trade Secretariats: the
International Federation of Commercial, Clerical, Professional and Technical
Employees (FIET); the Communications International (CI); the Media and
Entertainment International (MEI); and the International Graphical Federation
(IGF). The new "super-union" would bring together up to 800 unions with over
15 million members from more than 140 countries around the globe in the
rapidly converging fields of new technology, communications and services.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the live performance 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 Eurofound’s studies on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the field of industrial relations in the EU Member States.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the overlaps between different parts of the public sector, especially with regard to social services. Firstly, the overlaps in terms of employment structures are analysed; secondly, the overlaps of all national sector-related organisations are assessed; and thirdly, the overlaps of the European social partner organisation are considered. The conclusions of this report should help decision-making regarding which ESSDC social services activities fit best in.
The European Jobs Monitor biannual report comprises two sections: one providing a jobs-based analysis of labour market developments, while the other has a thematic focus on shifts in the employment structure from both a gender and an age perspective. The age-based analysis examines how the age profile of employment has evolved since the crisis and explores whether employment continues to be more resilient in jobs with an older age profile. The gender analysis reassesses the findings of the jobs approach using more gender-disaggregated job-ranking data, based on both wage and education.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the civil aviation (groundcrew and air traffic control crew) 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 objective of this study is to examine the quality and effectiveness of the tripartite social dialogue practices involving national social partners aimed at addressing relevant reforms and particularly those adocpted as CSRs in the context of the European Semester. It also analyses the structural, political or operational reasons limiting or shaping the effective involvement of the social partners in these processes.