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

13584 items found
  • Denmark: Private sector collective agreements concluded – despite difficulties

    Collective agreements concluded in March in the private sector provided for small wage increases and improvements to education and training. However, many union members voted against an agreement about systematic overtime and measures to avoid social dumping. The deals follow the pace-setting Industrial Agreement concluded in February by the social partners in the manufacturing sector.
  • Finland: Increase in local bargaining shifts focus away from central-level bargaining

    Employer organisations in Finland, supported by the centre-right government, are increasingly shifting central-level collective bargaining – a key element in Finnish industrial relations – to sectoral and local level. The Confederation of Finnish Industries has changed its internal rules to ban participation in central-level bargaining and recently ended most of its peak-level agreements with the unions.
  • Spain: High Court ruling abolishes recording of daily working time

    The High Court has ruled that companies no longer need to keep a record of their employees’ daily working time, although they must still record overtime worked. This ruling, confirming an earlier initial ruling, has led to controversy between the social partners and forced the Labour Inspectorate to change its inspection criteria.
  • Germany: Working time back on the social partners' agenda

    Working time is set to be a high priority during the next collective bargaining round, according to the German Metalworkers’ Union (IG Metall), whose recent survey looked at working time satisfaction. Another survey, by the Federation of German Employers’ Associations in the Metal and Electrical Engineering Industries (Gesamtmetall), examined working time and flexibility issues.
  • Slovenia: Social partners have mixed reactions to proposed healthcare reform

    Trade unions and employers have called for tripartite negotiations on a new healthcare reform proposal published in January by Health Minister Milojka Kolar Celarc. The government plans to abolish voluntary complementary health insurance in favour of a compulsory healthcare levy. While welcoming some aspects of the proposal, social partners expressed reservations about other aspects.
  • France: New assessment of the representativeness of the social partners

    The results have been announced of the elections to determine the representativeness of unions, with the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT) ousting the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) from the top position for the first time. The Movement of French Enterprises (Medef) has been named as the most representative employer organisation.
  • Austria: Updated law against wage and social dumping comes into force

    On 1 January 2017, Austria enacted a new law against wage and social dumping, updating (for the second time since 2015) regulations which first came into force in 2011. The law features the concept of customer liability and improves aspects of cross-border administrative prosecutions. However, its enforcement will depend on the cooperation of neighbouring countries.
  • France: Social partners agree changes to unemployment insurance scheme

    A new agreement on the rules for unemployment benefit was reached by the social partners at cross-industry level on 14 April 2017. However, French President Emmanuel Macron intends that the State will take over management of unemployment insurance from the social partners, ending bipartite management which has existed since 1958.
  • United Kingdom: Fall in Employment Tribunal claims linked to introduction of fees

    The number of claims submitted to UK employment tribunals has fallen dramatically. While the government denies that this is due to fees introduced in 2013, it has agreed to make minor amendments to the fee remission scheme.
  • Czech Republic: Attitudes to shorter working hours and flexible working

    There is a growing debate in the Czech Republic over moves to shorten working hours and introduce flexible forms of work to improve people’s work–life balance. This has been sparked by research showing that even though employees, especially men, tend to work long hours, labour productivity and remuneration are low.