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

13593 items found
  • Germany: Collective bargaining law declared largely constitutional

    Following a court challenge by several unions, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the Collective Bargaining Unity Act is ‘by and large’ constitutional, though it did not include sufficient safeguards to protect the rights of certain occupational groups or sectors. The court called for the legislator to improve the rules by the end of 2018.
  • Poland: New rules limit number of employees entitled to company social fund benefits

    Under new regulations in force from 1 January 2017, the threshold for the establishment of a company social fund (ZFŚS) is 50 employees (it was previously 20). Such a move drastically reduces the number of employees eligible for such a form of occupational welfare. Employers welcomed the revision while trade unions were critical.
  • Romania: Efforts to fight undeclared work continue

    New laws have defined undeclared work, introduced new obligations on employers, and increased the sanctions for employers who employ workers without the correct contracts. The Labour Inspectorate is continuing its fight against undeclared work, which has fallen significantly since 2011.
  • Spain: Talks over salary increase for 2017 collapse

    Since the end of 2016, the main Spanish social partners have been trying to reach agreement about a salary increase for 2017, as part of the Agreement for Employment and Social Dialogue 2015–2017. Despite several attempts, negotiations were finally broken off at the end of July 2017 with no agreement reached.
  • Spain: AXA recognises workers’ right to turn phones off out of working hours

    The beginning of 2017 witnessed increasing debate on allowing workers to disconnect their digital devices after working hours. In July 2017, insurance company AXA became the first company in Spain to recognise workers’ right to do so. The government is currently studying possible legislation in favour of the ‘right to disconnect’.
  • Finland: Major reform to healthcare and social services underway

    The Finnish government is preparing a major reform to health, social services and regional government which will make regional governments a new level of public administration. Healthcare and social services and public employment services will be transferred from local governments to regional governments.
  • Austria: Social partners agree on €1,500 monthly minimum wage for all sectors

    The social partners have agreed on a monthly gross minimum wage of €1,500 for all sectors, to be implemented nationally by 2020. The federal government asked them to negotiate on this in early 2017, warning them that it would legislate for a minimum wage if the social partners could not find a solution.
  • Extending working life: What do workers want?

    This article explores the views of workers about the issue of extending working life. It highlights differences in the share of workers regarding the age they would like to work to and the ability to work until 60 in terms of employment status, sex and country.
  • Latvia: Doctors' strike effects increase in healthcare financing

    Tension in the healthcare sector intensified at the end of 2016 when midwives and doctors protested against low pay and long working hours. The government made concessions to the midwives but rejected demands from general practitioners, who went on strike on 3 July 2017. New legislation on financing of the healthcare sector is being prepared.
  • Belgium: Future-proofing training for Flemish employees

    A number of important measures have been agreed by the government and social partners in the Flemish region of Belgium in an effort to respond better to gaps in the labour market and to the training needs of employees and employers, including changes to financial and leave support to allow employees to undertake training.