On 22 July 2003, theCouncil of the European Union adopted the 2003 employment
guidelines  and recommendations  on employment policy to Member States,
which had been proposed by the European Commission in April 2003. These
guidelines and recommendations are drawn up within the context of the
European employment strategy  (EES), which has been in place since 1997.
Following a review of the EES undertaken in 2002 after five years of
operation (EU0209204F ), and proposals for its streamlining, made by the
Commission in a Communication  in September 2002 (EU0210206F ), the
timing and the content has changed somewhat in 2003. Notably, the employment
guidelines have been revised so as to: ensure a stronger link with EU
economic policy coordination (through streamlined timetables); lay down fewer
guidelines with a broader perspective; provide a medium-term time horizon in
order to achieve an increased emphasis on results and outcomes; and
strengthen the involvement of the social partners, local authorities and
In July 2003, the Dutch social partners, represented on the bipartite Labour
Foundation, issued an opinion opposing a proposal for the reform of
dismissals law put forward by a government-appointed committee. The committee
proposed abolishing the system whereby dismissals must be approved in advance
by a public authority. The Foundation argues that the objections raised by
the committee do not outweigh the advantages of the present system, which
keeps costs in check and offers the parties involved a high degree of
certainty and security.
On 8 October 2001, the EU Council of Ministers adopted Council Regulation
(EC) No. 2157/2001  on the Statute for a European Company (or Societas
Europaea, SE) and Council Directive 2001/86/EC  supplementing the Statute
for a European Company with regard to the involvement of employees
(EU0206202F ). Member States must adopt the laws, regulations and
administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive by 8 October
2004 (the date that the Regulation, which is directly applicable in the
Member States, comes into force), or ensure by then that management and
labour introduce the required provisions by agreement. The European Company
Statute (ECS) Regulation gives companies the option of forming a European
Company (SE) which can operate on a Europe-wide basis and be governed by
Community law directly applicable in all Member States (rather than national
law). The Directive lays down the employee involvement provisions to apply to
SEs - providing for negotiations between management and employee
representatives in each SE on the arrangements to apply, with a set of
back-up statutory 'standard rules' where no agreement is reached. Involvement
constitutes the information and consultation of employees and, in some cases,
Special 'tripartite sector teams', made up of representatives of the social
partners and government, have been created in Poland since the 1990s to deal
with the problems of selected industries (such as coal mining, metalworking
and power generation) facing restructuring, privatisation and reorganisation.
The teams are responsible for drawing up guidelines on restructuring within
these sectors, including 'social packages' for employees. This article
examines the operation of the tripartite sector teams up until the end of
The Union of Wood, Industrial and Building Workers (Træ-Industri-Byg, TIB)
has announced that it will establish an affiliated organisation to recruit as
trade union members self-employed 'sole operators' working in the
construction industry. These sole operators work alone without any employees
and do not meet the conditions to be considered as companies, as all they
provide is their own labour - ie in reality they work as normal wage earners
(they are known as 'arme og ben-firmaer', or 'arms and legs firms'). TIB
estimates that there are around 11,000 such sole operators, and the number is
increasing. According to the union, their presence in the industry results in
'dumping' in terms of prices and safety. Typically, they work at lower wages
than employees covered by a collective agreement, and TIB and the trade union
bargaining cartel in building and construction, (Bygge-, Anlægs- og
Trækartellet, BAT-kartellet) see this as a serious problem. Together the
unions are aiming to combat this phenomenon, both through unionising the more
'serious' of the self-employed sole operators and closing down the less
serious 'arms and legs firms'.
On 30 April 2003, the centre-right coalition government published a
parliamentary white paper on family policy, in which it recommends changes to
the present regulations on parental leave (St Meld. nr 29 (2002-3) ). The
main objective of the government’s proposals is to encourage men to spend
more time at home with their children. To this end, it proposes to extend the
so-called 'father quota', which is the part of the parental leave period
reserved for the father. It also proposes to improve the compensation level
for self-employed women during parental leave .
From 1 July 2003, the Labour Code of the Republic of Hungary was amended by
Act XX of 2003. The modifications include the transposition of five European
Union Directives on: working time (2000/34/EC ); fixed-term work
(1999/70/EC ); part-time work (1997/81/EC ); transfers of undertakings
(2001/23/EC ); and the working time of seafarers (1999/63/EC ).
Since the coalition government of the conservative People’s Party
(Österreichische Volkspartei, ÖVP) and the populist Freedom Party
(Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ) took office for the first time in
February 2000 (it started a second term in February 2003), it has launched
several initiatives to restructure the state-owned Austrian Federal Railways
(Österreichische Bundesbahnen, ÖBB). The government’s aim has been to
reduce the financial burden on the state arising from its legal obligation to
compensate for ÖBB’s deficits. However, so far the two governing parties
have not managed to reach a joint agreement on how to reorganise this public
company. Recent ÖVP plans (presented in January 2003) to transform ÖBB into
a holding company, heading several independently-operating enterprises
specialising in sales, infrastructure, financing, personnel management etc,
were strongly opposed by the Union of Railway Employees (Gewerkschaft der
Eisenbahner, GdE) (AT0302201N ). The union argues that splitting up ÖBB
would pave the way for the privatisation and sell-off of the company’s
divisions one by one. With GdE threatening industrial action in the event of
ÖBB being dismantled (AT0211201N ), restructuring measures such as those
planned by ÖVP and – in principle – supported by the management have
hitherto been blocked.
On 13 August 2003, the police raided the Fredericia shipyard and seven
illegal workers – five Polish and two Philippine nationals – were
arrested. This action was the result of several months’ investigation based
on information from an alleged organiser of a network of illegal workers. The
raid followed a tip-off from the local branch of the General Workers’ Union
(Specialarbejderforbundet i Danmark, SiD) which had discovered that illegal
workers employed by a subcontractor were to work on the surface treatment of
a ship. The illegal workers at Fredericia were paid around DKK 45 per hour,
irrespective of the time of the day and the day of the week when they were
working. This is about one-third of the wage paid to Danish workers under the
relevant collective agreements.
On 27 May 2003, representatives of all trade unions affiliated to the the
Confederation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB)
signed a package ofnational cross-sector collective agreements  for
temporary agency workers with the Federal Association of Temporary Employment
Agencies (Bundesverband Zeitarbeit Personal-Dienstleistungen, BZA), whose
members include some of the major companies in the sector. Thepackage 
consists of a general framework collective agreement on employment conditions
(Manteltarifvertrag) - the final version of which was signed on 11 June 2003
- a framework collective agreement on pay grades (Entgeltrahmentarifvertrag)
and a collective agreement on pay (Entgelttarifvertrag). Two days later, on
29 May 2003, a similarpackage  of collective agreements was agreed by the
DGB affiliates and a second employers' association, the Association of German
Temporary Employment Agencies (Interessengemeinschaft Deutscher
Zeitarbeitsunternehmen, iGZ), representing a number of small and medium-sized
Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2003, the first edition of the survey.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2007, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2012, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2005, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2010, the fifth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series explores scenarios for the future of manufacturing. The employment implications (number of jobs by sector, occupation, wage profile, and task content) under various possible scenarios are examined. The scenarios focus on various possible developments in global trade and energy policies and technological progress and run to 2030.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the electricity sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the electricity sector in the EU Member States.
This paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
The civil aviation sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most severe crises the sector has ever experienced, giving rise to a number of significant challenges for companies and workers alike. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
This policy brief will provide an update on upward convergence in the economic, social and institutional dimensions of the European Union, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying Social Scoreboard.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
This report analyses the working lives of workers in Europe in 2021, when the continent was still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines working conditions during that period and the association between job quality and work outcomes such as health and well-being, work–life balance, and financial security. The report also considers how the shifts in working life during the pandemic are likely to affect work in the future.