The Polish government has adopted two important policy documents on the development of vocational education in Poland. The school year 2014–2015 is also the ‘Year of Vocational Schools’. The sector, neglected and underfunded until recently, now has a chance to adjust to conditions in the contemporary labour market, both in Poland and in Europe.
Job satisfaction in the Czech Republic has fallen, but only slightly, according to a 2014 survey of more than 1,000 people. Respondents also felt relationships in the workplace had worsened since 2013. They were less satisfied with their pay too compared with the previous year, but felt their job security had improved.
This study looked at parental leave schemes and benefits in place in Estonia with a view to assessing how well the existing system meets the needs of parents and employers. The aim was to identify new solutions to support policy development and to suggest ways to change the system to support work–life balance better and to increase the take-up of parental leave by fathers.
This article presents some of the key developments and research findings on health and well-being in the EU from Q2 2014 to Q1 2015 – primarily in terms of improving the psychosocial work environment. In terms of psychosocial risks, some European countries have made progress towards a culture of prevention, but there is still a long way to go.
Economic recovery in the EU has some positive tailwinds at last. These come in three forms; reduced oil prices are a significant boon to the EU as it is a major net importer; the ECB’s decision to adopt unconventional monetary policy options previously implemented in other developed economies (quantitative easing) appears to be providing positive stimulus; and this has contributed to lowering the value of the euro against other currencies, boosting demand for European exports.
ING Life Insurance, in conjunction with the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, have carried out an annual survey of employee benefits since 2010. Employee benefits are provided by virtually all companies which, on average, offer 10 different benefits. Mobile phones and company-produced training were the most frequently offered benefits in 2014.
The new rules governing fixed-term contracts are considered an important step in making employment relationships more flexible. Although employers’ association are generally positive, several issues temper their enthusiasm for the new rules. The trade unions have taken up differing positions, with CGIL alleging lack of consistency with the principles set out in Directive 1999/70/EC.
Although Austria amended its health and safety laws in 2013 to try to combat the increasing number of psychosocial health risks at work, a survey by the Austrian Chamber of Labour has shown that only a minority of Austrian employers are meeting compulsory obligations to identify, reduce or eliminate such risks.
In August 2014, the British and Portuguese trade union confederations, the TUC and CGTP-IN, signed a cooperation protocol to ensure that Portuguese and Portuguese-speaking migrant workers in the UK can join unions and enforce their rights at work. The new agreement is intended to prevent exploitation of migrants and undercutting of existing workers’ wages.
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.