EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

European Restructuring Monitor

The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) provides a quick overview of restructuring processes. In particular, it collects information about companies affected by restructuring processes and the impact of restructuring on employment. The ERM includes four databases, as outlined below.

  • The restructuring events database has been monitoring the employment impact of large-scale restructuring events in Europe since 2003. It now covers the 28 EU Member States plus Norway.
  • The database of national support instruments for restructuring helps companies and workers to anticipate and manage restructuring. Introduced in 2011, this database now provides information on almost 400 national schemes.
  • The database of restructuring-related legislation, added in 2013, gives an overview of relevant national regulations, for example, definitions of collective dismissal and dismissal procedures or information/consultation requirements in restructuring.
  • The restructuring case studies database, launched in 2015, contains more than 150 examples of how private sector and public sector employers anticipate and manage restructuring. Such restructuring can occur for many reasons and can take different forms, from business expansion to the closure of a company.

To maintain their competitiveness, businesses need to be able to adapt to globalisation and the internationalisation of markets. Company restructuring has become a worldwide phenomenon, impacting on employment not only from a quantitative point of view but also from a qualitative point of view.

The information in the restructuring events database is the result of an analysis of daily newspapers and business press in the EU28 Member States and Norway. To complete the background information, other sources are also used, including company websites, social partner websites and specific sources dealing with restructuring processes. A European network of experts – mainly economists, sociologists and journalists specialising in industrial relations – is in charge of information collection. ERM Quarterly summarises restructuring cases every three months and also provide indications of future developments.

The ERM takes into account only those restructuring cases that meet one of the following criteria.

  • It affects at least one EU country.
  • It provides for a reduction or increase in employment of at least 100 jobs.
  • It involves at least 10% of the workforce in sites with more than 250 employees.

Each restructuring case is recorded in a standardised factsheet to allow statistical comparison by categories such as country, sector and type of restructuring. Each factsheet includes information on:

  • the number of planned job cuts including direct dismissals and alternative methods for decreasing employment at company level;
  • the number of jobs created;
  • the announcement date in the press and the job reduction timeline;
  • the company name and the group it belongs to;
  • the units involved in restructuring;
  • the management of restructuring;
  • the sources used.

See also: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound).

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