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
  • Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions holds congress

    The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO), the largest employee confederation in Norway, held its four-yearly congress on 10-16 May 1997. The most important issues were the question of continuing with the "Solidarity Alternative", and the adoption of the Action Programme for the period 1997-2001. A discussion also took place between LO unions regarding the confederation's policy towards the privatisation of public activities (services), while the vice-presidency election received considerable attention.
  • Debate on recognition of police union

    The debate on reforming the law to permit trade unions in the PSP - in relation specifically to policemen and women - broke out again in Portugal at the end of 1996, and has been continuing ever since. The debate, fully covered in the media and commented on by the main political parties, culminated on 21 April 1997 with a meeting of PSP members, many of whom wore their uniforms. The meeting turned into a public demonstration at the Ministry of the Interior- the Ministry in charge of that particular police force - with harsh words being shouted at the Minister.
  • Minor employment to gain social security coverage

    Employment yielding less than ATS 3,740 gross per month or less than ATS 859 per week or ATS 288 per day, is defined as "minor". Below this threshold, neither employee nor employer has to contribute to the national pension or health or unemployment insurance. Only national accident insurance has to be paid. Minor employment therefore does not earn an entitlement to unemployment benefits, maternity benefits, a pension, or medical coverage. On the other hand, because of the lower cost, minor employment may be an incentive for employers to hire.
  • Employment policy agreement in Andalucia

    On 21 April 1997, trade unions, employers' associations and the Government of Andalucia signed an /Agreement on employment policy and economic development for Andalucia/. This is the third tripartite agreement to be reached in this region. It covers a period of two years (1997-8) and involves an investment of about ESP 200 billion .
  • UNICE urges IGC to prioritise competitiveness

    In its recently published opinion on the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE) underlines the need for the negotiating parties to "place a strengthening of Europe's competitiveness at the heart of the (new) Treaty, since promotion of competitiveness is the sine qua non to increase employment". The promotion of employment can, according to UNICE, never be treated in isolation. While European employers have repeatedly pronounced themselves in favour of the Essen employment strategy, they are keen to underline that responsibility for employment policy must continue to lie primarily with the member states.
  • Supreme Court makes landmark equality ruling

    In what legal experts in Ireland have highlighted as a landmark case on the issue of indirect sex discrimination, Ireland's Supreme Court has asserted the primacy of EU law over domestic law. Mary Honan, a legal expert with the Employment Equality Agency said that the decision also established the correct legal framework for establishing unlawful indirect discrimination.
  • New Career Breaks Bill promotes care and study leave

    Under the terms of a new bill, announced in April 1997, employees in the Netherlands will be entitled to benefits if they interrupt their careers for care or study leave, on condition that the employer hires an unemployed person for the same period
  • The future of social protection in Europe: anatomy of a debate

    The recent Commission Communication on /Modernising and improving social protection in the European Union/ (COM (97)102 of 12 March 1997- EU9703113N [1]) is merely the latest step in a long process of debate revolving around the question of how systems of social protection can best be adapted to today's changing economic, social and demographic situation. It is a debate which has in the past clearly been influenced by the limited nature of Community legal competence in this area. This is restricted to the coordination of national social security schemes in cases where citizens exercise their rights to free movement within the Union. Member states have long resisted any attempts at a harmonisation of social protection systems, which have developed very differently as a result of every country's socio-economic, political and cultural heritage. [1]
  • Trends in part-time work in Greece

    Part-time work is an expression of the flexible organisation of working time. Although it is often quoted as a "new" form of employment, its practice has a long history in Greece. However, its legal framework has been moulded by the special provisions of the so-called Law on Development of 1990 (Law 1892/1990, articles 37-9), which regulated for the first time the rights of workers employed on part-time contracts.
  • New collective agreements in the Saxon metalworking industry

    On 25 April 1997, the Saxon metalworking employers' association (Arbeitgeberverband der Sächsischen Metall- und Elektroindustrie, VSME) and the metalworkers' trade union, IG Metall, signed new collective agreements for the 87,000 employees in the Saxon metal industry. The agreements include a new agreement on wages and salaries, new framework agreements for white- and blue-collar workers, and a new agreement to secure employment (Beschäftigungssicherungstarifvertrag). The agreements mainly follow the pattern of the agreements which have already been agreed in other regions of eastern Germany, and conclude the 1997 collective bargaining round in east German metalworking.