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 Finnish Working Life Barometer is a survey of working conditions from the perspective of employees, conducted annually by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy since 1992. The focus of this article is the 2013 Barometer. It offers a summary of the main findings and an overview of the current issues.
Law no. 167/2014 on the professional status of nannies, which was adopted in December 2014, aims to improve the overall quality of childcare provided, to address the problem of insufficient childcare provision for parents, to result in a better work–life balance for parents, to increase the number of jobs in the field and to reduce the level of undeclared work among this category of domestic workers.
After lengthy discussions, the Lithuanian government has amended employment law to help young people to improve their skills, and has changed the rules on voluntary internship agreements. Both measures cover people aged under 29. Although there is no assessment yet of their success, the measures are expected to be popular.
In Germany, 71.4% of apprentices in 2014 were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their training, according to the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB). However, its report calls for more, and better quality, apprenticeships. In December 2014 an alliance of employers, unions and national government representatives was set up to promote vocational and further training.
The new European Commission (EC) under President Jean-Claude Juncker is committed to re-launching social dialogue and a first step was taken with the organisation of a high-level conference in Brussels on 5 March. The aim of the conference was to discuss concrete ways to strengthen social dialogue with EU cross-industry social partners and their national affiliates. On 21 and 22 April 2015 Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs in Riga again discussed informally ways towards a true and responsible social dialogue. Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Eurofound Director, presented an overview of Eurofound’s recent research work, outlining steps towards a true and responsible social dialogue in Europe.
The Government Council for Employment, established in April 2014, met for the first time on 1 September 2014 to consider how to combat unemployment and create new jobs. Participants included the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, government and public agency representatives, and leaders of the five national social partner associations.
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 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.