Worker representatives and the management of Michelin in Spain have used
collective bargaining to adapt prevailing legislation to their own
circumstances, by creating a contractual formula half way between the
full-time and the part-time employment contract. The result, agreed in June
1998, is a permanent contract that allows full-time workers to be switched to
part-time work in line with production requirements. The agreement stresses
the participation of worker representatives in this process. The agreement
permitted 400 new permanent contracts to be signed by June 1999.
In May 1999, France's Ministry for Employment and Solidarity published an
initial progress report on the 1998 law on the 35-hour working week, aimed at
fueling discussions on the second law on the issue, which is to be voted on
by the end of 1999. On 21 June, Martine Aubry, the Minister concerned,
publicly announced the principal outlines of the proposed second law. She
plans a one-year transition period between the law being passed and its
coming into effect, while her comments have triggered a debate on the
legitimacy of the agreements on working time signed by minority trade unions.
Ireland's largest trade union, SIPTU, and the Danish-owned multinational
cleaning company, ISS, have concluded a formal "partnership" agreement,
believed to be the first of its kind within the industry, it was reported in
June 1999. The company has been in business for almost 100 years, starting as
a small security operation in Denmark, and is currently a major Europe-wide
company, with important operations in Asia and South America, and has over
100,000 employees worldwide. When ISS established its European Works Council
in 1995, it was one of the first such bodies in the services sector to
include representation from Ireland. ISS is the second-largest contract
cleaning company in Ireland but it has a very high rate of turnover among its
2,500 staff, which it is urgently seeking to address. The new agreement,
which is also aimed at staff retention, is likely to be examined by other
firms with high staff turnover problems.
A new Bill presented to parliament on 6 May 1999 provides a new definition of
"occupational healthcare" in the Swedish Work Environment Act
(arbetsmiljölagen, /SFS 1977:1160, 2b§/
). It states that the employer should be responsible for making arrangements
for all kinds of occupational healthcare required by the working conditions
at the specific workplace. By "occupational healthcare", the law means an
independent expert resource in the areas of the work environment and
rehabilitation. Occupational healthcare should be designed so as to prevent
health risks in workplaces and to outline the links between the work
environment, organisation, productivity and health. The new paragraph will
become operative from 1 January 2000.
On 24 May 1999, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) held a major conference to
promote "partnership" at the workplace and to showcase some of the more
innovative of recent, union-based partnership agreements. The event was
attended by some 400 managers, policymakers and trade union representatives.
Of particular significance was the participation in the conference of the
Prime Minister, the trade and industry secretary and the director-general of
the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), all of whom supported the spread
of partnership arrangements though they stopped short of endorsing every
specific aspect of the TUC's partnership agenda.
Italy is celebrating the Millennium with a year of "Great Jubilee"
celebrations during 2000. In June 1999 the social partners signed a "protocol
of intent" on a "social truce" for 2000. The text sets out the partners'
strategies, objectives and commitments for starting the new Millennium in a
climate of social peace.
Territorial Employment Pacts (TEP s) are an EU initiative aimed at
stabilising local and regional labour markets in selected European regions by
promoting consensus and cooperation between all relevant local actors. In
mid-1999, there are seven TEPs operational in six of Austria's nine
provinces. The agreement on an eighth pact is expected by September 1999. In
the two remaining provinces, Burgenland and Styria, TEPs are under
preparation. Burgenland, which stretches along the Hungarian border, is the
poorest province and has the highest unemployment rate, whilst Styria has the
highest rate of long-term unemployment outside Vienna. The first three TEPs
were initiated in the three westernmost provinces, all of which have
relatively low unemployment. However, all three experienced a surge of
long-term unemployment in 1997. The fourth, also initiated in 1997, covers
Vienna  where unemployment is above the national average. These four pacts
will all expire at the end of 1999 but will be renewed. The fifth pact, also
in Vienna, and the only one linked explicitly to Austria's National Action
Plan  (NAP) for employment implementing the EU Employment Guidelines 
(AT9901120F ), took effect in autumn 1998 and will run until the end of
2004. The shortest-term pact covers Upper Austria- it is limited to the
calendar year 1999 but will also be renewed. The TEP in Carinthia is
scheduled to run for four years from the beginning of 1999 to the end of
2002. The TEP for Lower Austria will run from the beginning of 2000 until the
end of 2004.
The management of Iveco-Pegaso, the Spanish vehicle manufacturer, will
convert temporary posts into permanent ones, but only on condition that the
workers' committee accepts an automatic dismissal clause for the workers on
the new contracts in the event of a fall in production. Over May-July 1999,
trade unions in the company organised a series of strikes in protest.
After three weeks of industrial action, which forced the closure of the major
national museums and historic sites, staff at France's Ministry for Culture
protesting at job insecurity called a halt to their strike in early June
1999, until the forthcoming budget negotiations. They accepted a protocol
agreement, which provides for a five-year plan to turn temporary jobs into
According to an Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) survey,
published on 22 June 1999, Irish companies are introducing a range of
"partnership"-type measures in cooperation with their employees (IE9811264N
). The survey was based in a sample of 400 enterprises - all with 50 or
more employees - and employing a total of 207,847 workers between them. The
vast majority are private sector companies but there is also an unspecified
number of commercial semi-state and non-commercial state organisations.
Unionised and non-unionised companies are both included, across all regions,
sectors and sizes.
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 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 policy brief uses the data from the European Company Survey 2019 to examine the workplace practices of export-oriented companies and to analyse how these practices relate to outcomes. It also examines why these companies choose the workplace practices they adopt.
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 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.
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.
While unemployment is still a challenge in Europe, some countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages. This report explores various approaches to identifying labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue. It documents public and social partner interventions to tackle labour shortages, such as measures fostering geographic or occupational mobility, addressing skills shortages and underinvestment in skills, improving working and employment conditions, and better matching procedures.
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.
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.