Padraig Flynn, the commissioner responsible for employment, industrial
relations and social affairs, announced on 3 April 1997 that the Commission
is to take infringement proceedings against three member states for their
failure to apply certain Community legislation in the social field. Reasoned
opinions outlining the Commission's view are to be sent to France, Italy and
Greece. The details of the cases are as follows:
In March 1997, Guardian Europe SA, signed its first-ever collective agreement
for blue-collar workers. The deal provides for pay increases, while its
provisions on other terms and conditions largely mirror statutory provisions.
Following negotiations which have been held in a cooperative atmosphere,
Belgacom, the partially privatised, but still largely government-owned
Belgian telephone company, has announced plans to reduce rather drastically
its number of employees. The current workforce of about 26,000 will have to
be reduced by about 5,000 by the end of 1998.
On 8 April, AKZO-Nobel and the unions reached agreement on both working time
reductions and pay increases. The dispute, which had served to divide
AKZO-Nobel and the industrial unions since 13 March (NL9703108N ), was
resolved to everyone's satisfaction.
In April 1997, the Confindustria employers' confederation organised a
"virtual demonstration "of around 14,000 employers against a government
exercise to raise public revenue and reduce spending by a total of ITL 15,500
billion, deemed necessary to keep Italy's 1997 budget within the parameters
set by the Maastricht Treaty on European Union.
The German chemical industry enjoys a long tradition of successful
consensus-based industrial relations. In spring 1996, the bargaining partners
concluded a "solidarity pact" in the form of a package of regional and
national collective agreements. The agreements ran for 12 months and covered
590,000 employees in western Germany. The aim of the deal was to meet the
challenges of globalisation and structural change, as well as to extend the
competences of the social partners at enterprise and company level. The
implementation of the two most important elements of the solidarity pact -
the employment alliance and the collective agreement on part-time work for
older workers - has recently been reviewed.
HK, the largest affiliated trade union of the Danish Confederation of Trade
Unions (LO), with 357,000 members, has launched a two-month image and
recruitment campaign. DKK 4 million will be spent on newspaper advertisements
and bill boards, which will be followed up by local initiatives. The campaign
will aim to improve recruitment and visibility, initiate debates on
objectives, and explain the utility value of being a member.
An arbitration award delivered on 11 April 1997 has decided that blue-collar
employees who are members of trade unions affiliated to the largest union
confederation, the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) will face a
reduction in sick pay entitlement.
The annual report of the Labour Inspectorate (Arbeitsinspektion) for 1995,
has now become available to the public after debate in parliament. The
Arbeitsinspektion's activities are regulated by the 1993 Labour Inspection
Act (Arbeitsinspektionsgesetz, ArbIG). This stipulates that the Labour
Inspectorate has to contribute through its activities to an effective
protection of employees, and especially has to watch over compliance with
protective legal regulations and to inform and support employers and
employees accordingly. The Labour Inspectorate has free access to all places
of employment as well as housing and accommodation and welfare institutions.
Exceptions are places of employment covered by other organisations - as in
agriculture and forestry, mining, areas of the transport sector and public
education - as well as religious buildings, private households, and offices
of the territorial administration.
Eurofound’s work on COVID-19 examines the far-reaching socioeconomic implications of the pandemic across Europe as they continue to impact living and working conditions. A key element of the research is the e-survey, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
Eurofound's representativeness studies are designed to allow the European Commission to identify the ‘management and labour’ whom it must consult under article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This series consists of studies of the representativeness of employer and worker organisations in various sectors.
This series reports on developments in minimum wage rates across the EU, including how they are set and how they have developed over time in nominal and real terms. The series explores where there are statutory minimum wages or collectively agreed minimum wages in the Member States, as well as minimum wage coverage rates by gender.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2015. It provides an overview of trends in working conditions and quality of employment for the last 30 years. It covers issues such as employment status, working time duration and organisation, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, work–life balance, worker participation, earnings and financial security, work and health, and most recently also the future of work.
The European Restructuring Monitor has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This series includes its restructuring-related databases (events, support instruments and legislation) as well as case studies and publications.
Eurofound’s Flagship report series 'Challenges and prospects in the EU' comprise research reports that contain the key results of multiannual research activities and incorporate findings from different related research projects. Flagship reports are the major output of each of Eurofound’s strategic areas of intervention and have as their objective to contribute to current policy debates.
Eurofound’s European Company Survey (ECS) maps and analyses company policies and practices which can have an impact on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the development of social dialogue in companies. This series consists of outputs from the ECS 2019, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
This series reports on and updates latest information on the involvement of national social partners in policymaking. The series analyses the involvement of national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, including their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs).
This series reports on the new forms of employment emerging across Europe that are driven by societal, economic and technological developments and are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. This series explores what characterises these new employment forms and what implications they have for working conditions and the labour market.
The European Company Survey (ECS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2004–2005, with the latest edition in 2019. The survey is designed to provide information on workplace practices to develop and evaluate socioeconomic policy in the EU. It covers issues around work organisation, working time arrangements and work–life balance, flexibility, workplace innovation, employee involvement, human resource management, social dialogue, and most recently also skills use, skills strategies and digitalisation.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
The urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.