Eurofound News November-December 2013
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Biggest job losses, gains in manufacturing - Manufacturing experienced the most restructuring activity in the third quarter of 2013 – in announced job losses and job gains – as the latest issue of the ERM quarterly makes clear. Overall, job losses outweighed job gains: nearly 18,000 being announced, as against almost 11,000 new jobs. The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) offers a unique searchable database of restructuring events.
News in brief
In recent years, practices such as outsourcing and contracting-out have increasingly blurred the boundaries between employment and self-employment. While some people are entirely self-employed and running their own business, others depend on a single employer for their income and thus have no real autonomy. The status of such ‘economically dependent’ workers is similar in some ways to that of employees. However, they are likely to be in a less favourable position than either employees or the self-employed, as a new background paper illustrates: while they must build up their own social contribution rights, for example, the expense means they frequently fail to do so. However, such workers tend to enjoy a relatively good work–life balance.
Eurofound has an extensive background of work on pay and wage setting; its annual review of developments in collectively agreed pay across the EU, for instance, dates back to 2002. Wage setting has once again moved centre stage in the EU policy arena, in light of the proposal in the Pact for the Euro that European competitiveness might be improved by adjusting wage-setting arrangements or wage-indexation mechanisms. To contribute evidence and analysis to the discussion, Eurofound is hosting a social partners’ lunch debate in Brussels on 19 November. The invitation-only event will create a forum for discussing key developments within the context of wage-related policies at European level and illustrate different wage-setting mechanisms across the EU – in particular, major trends in policies and approaches at national and sectoral level. Findings from the forthcoming Eurofound report Pay in Europe in the 21st century will form the point of departure for the debate; the report builds on Eurofound’s new online, interactive database of information on collective wage bargaining.
Eurofound will launch the first findings of its third European Company Survey (ECS) at a joint seminar conducted with the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels on November 26. First carried out in 2004, and again in 2009, fieldwork for this third wave of the pan-European survey was performed across the EU28 in 2013, and in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro and Turkey – a total of 32 countries. Human resources (HR) managers in over 30,000 establishments were interviewed; in around 9,000 of those establishments, employee representatives were also interviewed. Designed to provide information on workplace practices and to facilitate the evaluation and development of socioeconomic policies, the third ECS focuses on work organisation, HR practices, employee participation and social dialogue. The event will bring together around 60 stakeholders (at EU and national level) and will also be open to the media.
Pictured at its most recent meeting on 25 October, the Governing Board is joined by the Directorate and a number of Eurofound staff members. Reflecting the tripartite nature of Eurofound’s work, the Governing Board comprises representatives of employer organisations, trade unions and national governments from the 28 Member States, as well as representatives from the European Commission. The Board plays a central role in the governance of the Agency, in setting its research agenda, and in ensuring the quality of its publications and outputs.