EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Topical updates

Topical updates summarise and update developments around selected topics, which are relevant across a number of Member States at the same time. They are mainly based on reporting from Eurofound’s network of European correspondents.

  • Rest breaks from work: Overview of regulations, research and practice

    This report addresses the rarely discussed issue of rest breaks at work across the European Union. Based on input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents, it reveals some of the complexities involved in defining whether such breaks should be paid or unpaid, how long they should be and where they should be taken. 

  • Seniority-based entitlements: Extent, policy debates and research

    Seniority systems – schemes that allot improving employment rights or benefits to employees as their length of employment increases – have not been widely studied. This report provides the first comprehensive study comparing the design and spread of seniority-based entitlements (SBEs) in Europe and mapping related policy debates. It is primarily based on contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents, covering the 28 EU Member States and Norway, but also presents aggregate seniority-earnings curves for the EU based on data from the Structure of Earnings Survey.

  • Work on demand: Recurrence, effects and challenges

    This report examines the issues in relation to ‘work on demand’, a topic that has received considerable attention in the media recently, mainly due to its links with the platform economy. Work on demand is often presented as a ‘win–win situation’: workers get to tailor their work according to their personal responsibilities outside work, while businesses can design their workforce according to their needs.

  • Summer time arrangements in the EU: A tripartite outlook on ‘Cloxit’

    On 31 March 2019, clocks across the EU will go forward one hour, a Union-wide event since 2002. However, the European Commission has proposed abolishing the bi-annual hour change, an idea favoured by the vast majority of respondents in a public consultation. This article discusses reactions by governments and national social partner organisations to the proposal, based on contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.

  • 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.

  • Religion in the workplace

    This article discusses the issues related to religion in the workplace, a topic that has received considerable attention in the media recently. An overview of significant cases of dispute between employers and employees is provided, as well as examples of social partners’ initiatives to accommodate the needs of religious people in the workplace.

  • Developments in collectively agreed pay 2016

    This article discusses developments in collectively agreed wages in the European Union in 2016, putting them into the perspective of developments over the past 15 years. The tendency for growth in both nominal and real collectively agreed wages from 2015 continued. In two countries (Belgium and Malta), collectively agreed pay in real terms was still not above the pre-crisis level. Belgium was the only country where collectively agreed pay fell in real terms in 2016.

  • Pay inequalities experienced by posted workers: Challenges to the ‘equal treatment’ principle

    This EurWORK topical update summarises the views of European and national-level stakeholders on recent debates on implementing the principle of ‘equal pay’ for posted workers. Directive 96/71/EC foresees that posted workers must be granted the minimum standards of employment conditions applicable in the host country, including the minimum rates of pay.

  • Statutory minimum wages in the EU 2017

    In 22 out of 28 EU Member States, a generally applicable statutory minimum wage exists; the level of this minimum wage varies greatly from one country to another. This article provides information on statutory minimum wage levels, how the minimum wage has been determined for 2017 and minimum wage coverage across the EU. The data show that the minimum wage grew more over the year preceding 1 January 2017 than the year before.

  • Addressing digital and technological change through social dialogue

    Evidence from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Spain reveals that social partners are closely involved in setting up national strategies to manage digital change in the world of work. Up to now, this has been a high-level affair and there are only a few collective agreements or company agreements on the issue in these five countries.

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