Since 1994, the first stage of reforming and gradually privatising the
federal railway system in Germany has been implemented. This has included the
transformation of the federal railways in eastern and western Germany into a
public company, Deutsche Bahn AG (DB), and its reorganisation into several
divisions free to operate competitively in the transport market under their
own responsibility. On 9 September 1999, DB presented a /Report on personnel
and social issues, 1994-8/ (Personal- und Sozialbericht 1994-8) which
describes important industrial relations and employment developments.
In September 1999, Greece's GSEE trade union confederation presented a
proposal calling for higher unemployment benefits. Despite legislative
provisions that the daily rate of benefit should not fall below two-thirds of
the average level of unskilled workers' wages, it is now worth less than
The Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, two of Ireland's largest banks, have
concluded deals with the Irish Bank Officials' Association (IBOA) trade union
on special "Millennium payments" for time worked on Millennium eve, 31
December 1999, and the subsequent weekend. While the payments are largely
aimed at information technology (IT) staff required to monitor the computer
problems associated with the year 2000 "Millennium bug" (whereby some
computers will be unable to deal with the change in date), they will apply to
any non-IT staff who may also be needed. These are the among first agreements
of significance to be negotiated in the Republic in advance of the Millennium
weekend (IE9905279N ).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
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.
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.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.
While often considered staid, social partner organisations have developed different ways of using technology to communicate with their members, as well as to organise, mobilise and develop both internally, among staff, and externally, vis-à-vis members and the public. This topical update maps current practices in social partner organisations, describes developments in the use of technologies, and outlines the impact on social partner activities and organisation.
Following improvements in economic growth and labour market participation after the global financial and economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a new, unprecedented challenge for the EU. The crisis threatens to pose an existential challenge to the EU’s cohesion and legitimacy. The subject of upward convergence is once again centre stage in the European policy debate. Expanding on work done on this topic in previous years, this flagship report traces developments in economic and social indicators between the economic crisis and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.
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.
What have been the major trends and policy developments regarding digitalisation in Europe? What do we know about the deployment of automation, digitisation and the platform economy? This flagship publication provides an overview of developments in Europe in recent years, as well as mapping the observable or expected effects on employment and working conditions, as well as exploring the implications from a policy perspective.
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 COVID-19 pandemic radically reshaped workplace practices and work organisation across the EU. This report explores changes that occurred as a result of or during the COVID-19 pandemic in areas such as technological transformation, decision-making and remote working. The research sets out to learn from company experiences and measures that have proved critical to keeping businesses running. It aims to inform policymakers, employers and trade unions on how to make businesses, workplaces and workers more resilient in the face of a crisis such as COVID-19.
Social dialogue lies at the heart of the EU treaties and governance. Social partners are core stakeholders who can assess policy needs and contribute to policy formation and to designing and implementing national reforms in the social and employment fields. This report focuses on the timely and meaningful involvement of national social partners in the preparation of the new resilience and recovery plans and the national reform programmes (NRPs) that were temporarily integrated under the European Semester in 2021.
This report captures the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the quality of life of older citizens, including the impact on their well-being, finances, employment and social inclusion. It explores the effects on care use and reliance on other support. The report analyses policy measures that have been implemented in EU Member States that have proven particularly important for the quality of life of older citizens, for example, measures to support independent living.