EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life


EurWORK articles cover working life in Europe, in particular the fields of industrial relations and working conditions. The articles are based on quarterly reporting provided by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.

  • Topical updates summarise and update developments around selected topics, which are relevant across a number of Member States at the same time
  • Spotlight reports cover in more depth country-level events, debates and changes in regulation related to working life, aiming to provide a balanced view of all parties’ positions
  • Research in Focus articles report on important research findings (including surveys) from the national level, often, but not exclusively, in the area of working conditions
  • In brief articles are short news items drawn from the correspondents' quarterly reports
  • Country updates summarise developments at national level and are published 4 times a year

13879 items found
  • Arbitration board decides in favour of Swedish employers on sick pay

    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.
  • Unfair dismissal and the 23-month workers

    The /Seymour-Smith/ case has raised the issue of the legality of the two-year qualifying period of employment before employees may bring a claim for unfair dismissal. The /Observer/ in April reported that many employees are having their employment contracts terminated only days before completing the two-year period which is necessary to gain employment protection. At present, full-time employees must have accumulated two years' continuous service, while for employees who work between eight and 16 hours per week, the qualifying period is five years.
  • First collective agreement against racial discrimination at work

    As part of the European Year against Racism, a collective agreement signed in the temporary work sector in Belgium has laid down a "Code of Best Practice" on the prevention of racial discrimination against foreign temporary workers. We review the agreement, signed in May 1996, and its background.
  • Agreement on retirement at 55 for lorry drivers

    An agreement, signed on 11 April 1997, will allow French lorry drivers to retire at 55.
  • Government and social partners discuss new part-time work legislation

    New legislation proposed by the Portuguese Government on the regulation of part-time work is currently under discussion amongst the social partners. The most important points include the definition of part-time work, the requirement that part-timers should have employment contracts in writing and pro rata minimum pay.
  • Industrial conflict settled at Lufthansa

    On 9 April 1997, the airline company Deutsche Lufthansa AG, the Union for Public Services, Transport and Communication (Gewerkschaft Öffentliche Dienste, Transport und Verkehr, ÖTV) and the German Salaried Employees' Union (Deutsche Angestelltengewerkschaft, DAG) concluded a package deal, which ended months of industrial action. The DAG agreed to be covered by the Lufthansa-ÖTV collective agreements signed in October 1996. Furthermore, the deal provides for an increase in the profit-sharing bonus of DEM 100 and an overtime pay rise for cockpit employees. From September 1997, the trade unions have the right to terminate the wage agreements in the event that Lufthansa does not keep special rules which were jointly established. In addition, Lufthansa, the ÖTV and the DAG agreed on the continuation of the existing collective agreement which maintains the status quo for cabin crew, as well as the existing general agreement on pay grades for ground staff, for another three years.
  • Youth employment: an unsolved problem

    Shortages of jobs, alternating periods of employment and unemployment and lack of job security are the main features of the current employment situation for young people in Spain. For some of them this is a temporary situation, but others will find it hard to escape. However, the reform of labour market procedures that is currently being put before Parliament may go some way towards improving working conditions.
  • Intransigence in tourism

    Currently the minimum wage in the tourism sector is ATS 54 net per hour. The Hotel, Restaurant, Personal Services Workers (Gewerkschaft Hotel, Gastgewerbe, Persönlicher Dienst,HGPD) is seeking an increase of the minimum gross monthly full-time wage from ATS 11,440 to ATS 12,000 (payable 14 times per year). This is a nominal increase of 4.9%. With current inflation projections running at 1.9%, a real pay increase of 3.0% would result. The minimum net monthly income would be increased by ATS 378.40 from ATS 9,358 to ATS 9,736.40, a nominal increase of 4.0%. On the basis of 173 hours per month, the net hourly rate would increase by ATS 2.18 from the current ATS 54.00.
  • Participation and collective bargaining in Italian enterprises

    During the 1990s, the tendencies within Italian enterprises towards a greater participation of workers and their representatives have become more pronounced. This has applied to direct, economic/financial and institutional participation, and here we review recent developments, focusing on the second and third types of participation.
  • Tax-free payments in return for agreed pay restructuring

    Under a novel provision in the Finance Bill, 1997 which gives effect to this year's Budget, employees are now entitled to tax relief on individual lump-sum payments paid in the context of company restructuring. The payments can be made by companies to their employees for agreeing to pay restructuring, which must involve overall pay reductions of at last 10% of an employee's average salary for the previous two years and must remain in force for at least five years. While it is possible that basic pay could be hit by the measure, the sort of payroll reductions envisaged are more likely to effect non-basic pay items such as overtime, bonus payments and shift allowances.