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 European 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

13474 items found
  • Poland: Government enacts radical education reform despite opposition

    Amidst widespread union opposition, Poland’s controversial education reform plan was signed into law by the President in January and will take effect from September. The reform sees a return to the former two-tier system, with a focus on vocational training. The Polish Teachers’ Union is still not ruling out industrial action.
  • UK: Prisons officers protest over staff shortages and safety concerns

    Thousands of prison officers across England and Wales began a 24-hour day of protest on 15 November 2016 over health and safety concerns, after negotiations with the government on staffing failed. UK law proscribes industrial action by prison officers, and they were forced back to work the same day by a High Court injunction.
  • Portugal: Gender differences in time use

    A national survey, carried out in 2015, sheds light on how men and women in Portugal use their time. It shows that, especially with regard to paid work and unpaid care work, the working day for women is, on average, longer than it is for men and that women spend longer on unpaid care work.
  • Norway: Challenges faced by workers who are working alone

    Working alone is a common experience for Norwegian employees, particularly for those in primary industries (such as mining, agriculture or forestry) and transportation and storage. A new report from the Fafo Research Foundation in Oslo highlights the physical risks, as well as the psychosocial ones, associated with this type of work.
  • Norway: Dock workers lose boycott case

    A long dispute in Norway’s docks has ended after the country’s Supreme Court ruled that a collective agreement covering workers in 13 of the largest ports restricted freedom of establishment, which could not be justified under European Economic Area (EEA) law.
  • Estonia: First steps towards a more flexible pension system

    The Estonian government has proposed several changes to its pension system, including tying the retirement age to life expectancy and making the state pension less dependent on income. All interest groups will be kept informed and consulted during the preparation of the draft legislation, when the social partners will have formal opportunities for consultation.
  • Italy: New industrial relations rules for SMEs in manufacturing and services

    In November 2016, a new agreement reformed rules for industrial relations covering SMEs in the industry and service sectors, fine-tuning provisions on decentralised bargaining and paritarian institutions. It also introduces a system to assess unions’ representativeness.
  • Norway: Solution to long-standing dispute on coverage of posted workers expected soon

    A dispute over whether posted workers in the Norwegian shipbuilding industry are covered by the industry’s collective agreement has been a major issue between the social partners for the past 10 years. At this juncture, the government is confident the two sides will come to an agreement soon.
  • Latvia: Social security implications of favourable tax rate for small businesses

    The social partners reacted differently to the government's plans to increase the rate of the special tax for microenterprises, the unions concerned over the lower social protection afforded the workers and employers worried about losing competitiveness due to increased labour costs. In the end, the government moved to revert to the original tax rate.
  • EU Level: Latest working life developments – Q4 2016

    The European Commission’s 2017 Work Programme, the role of the social partners in relation to the issue of harassment and violence at work and the second part of the mobility package on coordinating social security benefits are the main topics of interest in this article. This update reports on the latest developments in working life at European Union level in the last quarter of 2016.