August 1999 saw the publication of legislation that will bring about sweeping
changes in the system of penalties imposed in cases of violations of
Portugal's labour law. The new system divides violations into categories
according to their seriousness, and fines will vary according to whether
there is gross neglect or intent, and the size of the enterprise.
Danish companies have access to one of Europe's most favourable selections of
courses, guidance and educational planning schemes, which are paid for by the
state. This includes adult vocational training schools (AMU centres), which
spend somewhere in the region of DKK 2 billion a year on offering highly
specialised courses designed to meet companies' needs. Trade and industry
still has considerable influence on which courses these schools offer.
The 1999 annual conference of the UK's Trades Union Congress (TUC) took place
on 13-16 September. The agenda covered a wide range of employment issues and
featured speeches by a number of government ministers including the Prime
Minister, Tony Blair, and the trade and industry secretary Stephen Byers.
In July 1999, during negotiations over the renewal of company agreements at
the Meridiana airline, pilots and flight attendants staged Italy's first
"virtual strike". During the four-hour "virtual strike", the employees worked
as usual but without being paid, while Meridiana undertook to donate the
receipts from the flights involved to humanitarian organisations. However,
this use of such alternative forms of industrial action, as provided for by a
December 1998 agreement for the transport sector, raises a series of
technical problems. In the Meridiana case, the Minister of Transport will
have to issue an arbitration award to define the obligations of the two
sides, particularly as regards the sum to be paid by the company.
The Council of Economic and Financial Affairs Ministers reached agreement on
8 October 1999 on a Directive amending Directive 77/388/EEC on tax
harmonisation , enabling Member States, on an experimental basis, to apply
a reduced rate of value-added tax (VAT) on certain labour-intensive services.
The new Directive was to be formally adopted at a subsequent Council meeting.
In September 1999, the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs opened the door to
allowing individuals seeking asylum in the Netherlands to participate in the
labour market, and the State Secretary of Justice is to present a plan for an
adapted collective agreement to cover asylum-seekers. Small and medium-sized
employers and the temporary agency work sector supported this idea, pointing
to current labour shortages. The central employers' organisation, VNO-NCW,
and the liberal VVD party, which is a member of the governing coalition, are
opposed to asylum-seekers participating fully in the labour market.
On 10-11 September 1999, in the German city of Haltern, more than 60 leading
representatives of trade unions from Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the
Netherlands held their third joint annual meeting. They evaluated the 1999
collective bargaining rounds in the countries involved and discussed future
trade union bargaining strategies.
In view of the powerful earthquake that struck Athens on 7 September 1999,
the Athens Labour Centre (EKA) has asked the government to take immediate
steps to provide relief for victims' families as well as the homeless.
The pay stability which has served to underpin Ireland's various national
programmes since 1987 could unravel if recent public sector pay disputes
involving nurses, the police and transport employees are not resolved within
the confines of the current three-year Partnership 2000  (P2000) national
agreement (IE9702103F ).
Casual agricultural workers in Spain are covered by a separate system of
unemployment protection. Trade union calls to include them in the general
system have so far not borne fruit, and in spring and summer 1999, there have
been mobilisations of agricultural workers in protest. The debate between
supporters and detractors of a special protection regime for these workers
has been reopened.
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.
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.
Access to key social services, especially education and healthcare, as well as stable family life and decent housing are necessary for the well-being and development of children. Ensuring that all children have these resources is an EU priority; the European Commission is currently undertaking to recommend a Child Guarantee to address the situations of children in need. Service provision has been complicated by the COVID-19 outbreak, however, and the pandemic has put psychological and material strains on families.
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.
This report will focus on assessing the employment impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including its effects across sectors and for different categories of workers. It will also be looking at measures implemented to limit negative effects following the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
This report examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
This report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
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 (flight 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 European Green Deal is at the very top of Member State agendas across the EU. This topical update maps the national discussions – in policy, public and research debates – on the potential, ongoing or already felt impact on work and employment of the transition to a low-carbon economy. It attempts to identify the most active actors involved in these discussions (governments, social partners, NGOs and so on) and their perspectives.
This report will draw from case studies of establishments across the EU that have introduced advanced digital technologies in the workplace. The technologies in focus are the Internet of Things, 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality. Each case study – illustrated in the report - will explore the approach or strategy taken by the establishment to manage the digital transition and the impact of the deployment of the technology on the work organisation and job quality.