Eurofound publishes its work in a range of publication formats to match audience needs and the nature of the output. These include flagship reports on a particular area of activity, research reports summarising the findings of a research project and policy briefs presenting policy pointers from
research projects or facts and figures relevant to policy debates. Also included are blog articles, regular articleson working life in Europe, presentations, working papers providing background material to ongoing or already concluded research, and reports arising from ad hoc requests by policymakers. Other corporate publications include annual reports, brochures and promotional publications. Web databases and online resources such as data visualisation applications are available in Data and resources.
Key elements of the EU’s strategy to combat social exclusion are the promotion of quality of work and the eradication of poverty; however, the persistence of in-work poverty – people who fall below the poverty level while being employed – seem to undermine these goals. Having a paid job is usually regarded as a guarantee of being able to meet one’s own and one’s household’s needs. However, data from the EU-SILC survey for 2007 shows that, in the EU27, the disposable income of 8% of those aged 18 and over in employment – more than 15 million people – is not enough to lift them out of poverty.
The potential for the social partners, particularly in the current economic downturn, to act together in tackling social exclusion has been highlighted in Eurofound’s work. Evidence from across Europe demonstrates that they have at their disposal a variety of tools, through collective bargaining and beyond, to deal with this issue. Job creation is one area where employers can most effectively contribute to greater inclusion, while trade unions can work to ensure adequate pay, job security, and working conditions. In recent times, trade unions and employers have often agreed to moderate wage increases and to introduce pay freezes, or in some cases even pay cuts, in an attempt to limit or avoid redundancies.
Addressing child poverty is crucial to the achievement of greater social cohesion and sustainable social and economic development in Europe. Across the EU, 19% of children under the age of 16 are at risk of poverty; some 15% of children leave school without a secondary-level education; the rate of youth unemployment is about twice the average. Children in lone-parent families or large families, those with unemployed parents, from immigrant and ethnic minority families, or children who are disabled are most at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
Chronic illness and disability play a key role in unemployment and exclusion from the workplace. When reading about ‘people with disabilities’, most people think of people born with an obvious disability or who have acquired a disability through illness or injury later in life. However, in relation to the labour market, the term refers to people who have previously worked but are now receiving disability benefits due to long absence from work. They have lost connection with their employer and are claiming either short term sickness benefit or longer-term disability benefit. Most of them have acquired their disability during their working life.
The results of Eurofound’s second European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS 2007) show that older people run the risk of being socially excluded. The highest proportion of people reporting a feeling of being ‘left out of society’ is in the over-65 age bracket. Compared to younger age groups, a much higher proportion in this group feels that ‘life has become so complicated today that I almost can’t find my way’. Feeling excluded reduces quality of life and is associated with poorer physical and mental health.
Spain took over the European Union’s six-month Presidency from Sweden on 1 January 2010. This report aims to present an overview of the Spanish labour market and industrial relations system, mainly using research findings from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound).
The automotive sector is an important part of employment and total production
in Swedish industry, representing 11% of the total manufacturing industry
with about 140,000 employees at major manufacturers such as Saab, Scania, the
Volvo Group and Volvo Cars.
In November 2009, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI ) published
the results of its annual employment trends survey (10Mb PDF) , conducted
in conjunction with the Harvey Nash recruitment and information technology
(IT) group. The online survey, carried out in August to September 2009,
analyses the responses of 243 employers across all sectors of the economy,
90% of whom were in the private sector. In terms of company size, 11% of
respondents employed 5,000 or more staff, 30% employed 500–4,999 persons,
11% employed 200–499 workers, 22% employed 50–199 persons and 26%
employed fewer than 50 staff. This article gives an overview of the
report’s main findings.
Several laws establish the legal framework for collective bargaining in
Greece. The Greek Constitution, notably paragraph 2 of Article 22, lays down
the practice of free collective bargaining: ‘General working conditions
shall be determined by law, supplemented by collective labour agreements
reached through free negotiations and, in case of the failure of such, by
rules determined by arbitration.’ Article 4, paragraph 1, of Law 1876/1990
on free collective bargaining stipulates that ‘worker and employer
organisations and individual employers shall have the right and the
obligation to bargain with a view to drawing up collective agreements’.
Article 14, paragraph 1, of the same law states that ‘in the event of a
breakdown in negotiations, the parties concerned may request the services of
a mediator or have recourse to arbitration’.
The collective bargaining process for the revision of the agreement in the
graphics and printing industry, which started in April 2007, reached an
impasse between the two parties concerned – namely, the Trade Union of
Workers of the Pulp, Paper, Graphics and Press Industries (Sindicato dos
trabalhadores das indústrias de celulose, papel, gráfica e imprensa,
Sincelpagrafi ), affiliated to the General Confederation of Portuguese
Workers (Confederação Geral dos Trabalhadores Portugueses, CGTP ), and
the Portuguese Printing, Visual Communication and Paper Converting Industries
Association (Associação Portuguesa das Indústrias Gráficas, de
Comunicação Visual e Transformadoras do Papel, Apigraf ). Following the
impasse, all of the initiatives commonly used to overcome labour conflicts
were launched – that is, conciliation, mediation and arbitration  –
however without success.