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

13886 items found
  • Labour Inspectorate report indicates increased compliance with law

    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.
  • Sabbatical leave scheme gains in popularity

    The sabbatical leave pilot scheme, which was agreed as part of Finland's last incomes policy agreement, has begun as planned. So far, 5,500 employees have taken advantage of the scheme. The Ministry of Labour's target of 5,000-10,000 employees per year appears likely to be achieved.
  • Progress of the Intergovernmental Conference

    An Intergovernmental Conference is the method used by the Member States of the European Union (EU) to agree on basic changes to the Treaties which govern the workings of the Union. Changes to the Treaties are not carried out within the framework of the EU itself, but by direct negotiations between the governments of the Member States within the context of the IGC. The current IGC is the sixth in the history of European integration.
  • Territorial pacts - a new form of decentralised social dialogue

    "Territorial pacts" (patti territoriali) are an interesting and innovative form of social dialogue that could change the Italian experience of "social concertation", with important consequences. By developing the idea of these pacts, the consultative National Council for Economic Affairs and Labour (CNEL [1]), which had not previously played an important role in this field, could assume a key position in social dialogue, particularly in the preparation of agreements for the economic development of crisis-hit areas in Southern Italy. [1]
  • New agreement for Swedish chemical workers

    On 15 April 1997, the Almega Industrial and Chemical Association and the Industrial Union concluded a new collective agreement on wages and general terms and conditions of employment for blue-collar workers in the pharmaceutical, rubber, plastic and paint industries. It runs from 1 June 1997 to 30 April 1998.
  • European Works Councils - transposition completed in Greece

    A Presidential Decree on the establishment of European Works Councils (EWCs) in Greece was signed on 20 March 1997. Its purpose is to transpose into Greek law EC Directive 94/45/EC on the provision of information and consultation to employees in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings, which, under the terms of the Directive, should have been transposed by 22 September 1996. The Presidential Decree takes up the option provided in the Directive of not applying its provisions to maritime workers.
  • 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.
  • Supreme Court finds Government not guilty of abusing compulsory arbitration

    In April 1997, the Norwegian Supreme Court found the Government not guilty of abusing compulsory arbitration in order to stop industrial conflict. The Federation of Offshore Workers' Trade Unions (OFS), which brought the domestic lawsuit against the Government, lost on all counts.