Padraig Flynn, the commissioner responsible for employment, industrial
relations and social affairs, announced on 3 April 1997 that the Commission
is to take infringement proceedings against three member states for their
failure to apply certain Community legislation in the social field. Reasoned
opinions outlining the Commission's view are to be sent to France, Italy and
Greece. The details of the cases are as follows:
Following negotiations which have been held in a cooperative atmosphere,
Belgacom, the partially privatised, but still largely government-owned
Belgian telephone company, has announced plans to reduce rather drastically
its number of employees. The current workforce of about 26,000 will have to
be reduced by about 5,000 by the end of 1998.
In April 1997, the Confindustria employers' confederation organised a
"virtual demonstration "of around 14,000 employers against a government
exercise to raise public revenue and reduce spending by a total of ITL 15,500
billion, deemed necessary to keep Italy's 1997 budget within the parameters
set by the Maastricht Treaty on European Union.
The law on social welfare, adopted in November 1995, included provisions on a
range of matters, such as: the submission of the social security budget to
parliamentary vote; the setting up of a new tax known as "social security
deficit clearance" (Remboursement de la dette sociale); the abolition of
pension funds relating to specific sectors, which sparked off the rail strike
in November and December 1995 and was finally withdrawn; and the setting up
of personal health record books. One of the provisions related to the
reduction of health expenditure and a reorganisation of the healthcare
system. Two types of redistribution in particular were provided for:
The German chemical industry enjoys a long tradition of successful
consensus-based industrial relations. In spring 1996, the bargaining partners
concluded a "solidarity pact" in the form of a package of regional and
national collective agreements. The agreements ran for 12 months and covered
590,000 employees in western Germany. The aim of the deal was to meet the
challenges of globalisation and structural change, as well as to extend the
competences of the social partners at enterprise and company level. The
implementation of the two most important elements of the solidarity pact -
the employment alliance and the collective agreement on part-time work for
older workers - has recently been reviewed.
HK, the largest affiliated trade union of the Danish Confederation of Trade
Unions (LO), with 357,000 members, has launched a two-month image and
recruitment campaign. DKK 4 million will be spent on newspaper advertisements
and bill boards, which will be followed up by local initiatives. The campaign
will aim to improve recruitment and visibility, initiate debates on
objectives, and explain the utility value of being a member.
The annual report of the Labour Inspectorate (Arbeitsinspektion) for 1995,
has now become available to the public after debate in parliament. The
Arbeitsinspektion's activities are regulated by the 1993 Labour Inspection
Act (Arbeitsinspektionsgesetz, ArbIG). This stipulates that the Labour
Inspectorate has to contribute through its activities to an effective
protection of employees, and especially has to watch over compliance with
protective legal regulations and to inform and support employers and
employees accordingly. The Labour Inspectorate has free access to all places
of employment as well as housing and accommodation and welfare institutions.
Exceptions are places of employment covered by other organisations - as in
agriculture and forestry, mining, areas of the transport sector and public
education - as well as religious buildings, private households, and offices
of the territorial administration.
An arbitration award delivered on 11 April 1997 has decided that blue-collar
employees who are members of trade unions affiliated to the largest union
confederation, the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) will face a
reduction in sick pay entitlement.
From 1979, the economic policy of successive Conservative Governments was
based on a fundamental belief in the effectiveness of free markets. In the
case of the labour market, there was an emphasis on deregulation and the
importance of flexibility in creating employment and economic growth. The
Conservatives claimed that the UK's lack of regulation has reduced
unemployment, while the rest of Europe's higher social costs, greater
regulation and the adoption of the "social chapter" (the social policy
Protocol and Agreement attached to the Maastricht Treaty on European Union)
has caused unemployment and a lack of competitiveness. This prompted the
"opt-out" from the social chapter and a continuous resistance to other forms
European Union-level regulation - over working time, for instance.
The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This publication series include the ERM reports, as well as blogs, articles and working papers on restructuring-related events in the EU27 and Norway.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) 2021, an extraordinary edition conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series gathers all overview reports on developments in working life, annual reviews in industrial relations and working conditions produced by Eurofound on the basis of national contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents (NEC). Since 1997, these reports have provided overviews of the latest developments in industrial relations and working conditions across the EU and Norway. The series may include recent ad hoc articles written by members of the NEC.
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, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. 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 representativeness 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 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.
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.
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.
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).
The interaction between workers and machines has increased due to the rapid advancement of automation technologies. The new wave of robots can perform tasks with more flexibility, greater sophistication and in a way that protects workers’ physical safety. Drawing on case studies of advanced robotics, this report explores the benefits and risks that come with closer human–machine interaction, the organisational practices needed to deal with emerging issues and the real concerns and challenges.
The report describes trends in social and economic discontent across the EU between 2002 and 2020, highlighting in particular the turbulent times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report explores the evolution of social cohesion and its impact on economic and social discontent. It assesses the relationship between social cohesion and discontent during the pandemic, allowing for a comparison of the situation as it stands in 2023. The focus of the report is on regions where social cohesion is low, where a contrast is drawn with regions where social cohesion is much higher.
This report analyses the working conditions and job quality of different types of self-employed workers. Drawing on data from the European Working Conditions Survey, it looks into policies in Member States aimed at addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with specific types of self-employment.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the chemical 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 this Eurofound’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the chemical sector in the EU Member States.
The focus of this report is on the role that human capital plays in determining inequalities across the EU, as well as within Member States. Using Cedefop’s work in this area, the report provides a comparative analysis of national trends in education and lifelong learning, including differences between educational groups in terms of income, living conditions and health.
The report maps trends in income inequality and examines the situation of the middle classes in the EU during 2020, the year most associated with the COVID-19 lockdowns. It charts developments in the size and composition of middle-class households across countries, identifies those that suffered disproportionately in 2020. Taking a longer lens, the report describes the evolution of income inequalities over the last 15 years, comparing the Great Recession (2007–2009) with the COVID-19 pandemic, and outlines the trends both between and within Member States.
This report explores the implications of the right of all EU citizens to live independently. It investigates the barriers faced by people who wish to live independently, and the situation of people at risk of living in institutional settings. It maps the various measures taken by EU Member States to foster independent living and autonomy. The report also includes policy pointers to support future decision-makers and provides a review of lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.