A survey by researchers at the "Bocconi University" of Milan, published in
June 1999, indicates that the burden of social security contributions in
Italy is higher than that in France, Germany, Spain and the UK.
In May 1999, an agreement on the reduction of working time, in line with the
1998 legislation on the 35-hour week, was signed in France by the CFDT trade
union and the management of the IKEA furniture retail group. The other unions
concerned have not yet given their reactions to this agreement, which
includes managerial staff in the hours cuts.
On 10 June 1999, a new enterprise-level collective agreement was signed for
workers at the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE). The deal
provides for a new pay scale and new staff regulations, as well as the pilot
implementation of a 35-hour working week without loss of pay.
In May 1999, Unilever signed a new collective agreement with trade unions in
the Netherlands. Starting in 2001, it will allow employees to determine their
own package of terms and conditions, containing individualised elements
within a clearly established framework.
An analysis conducted by the Danish Employers' Confederation (Dansk
Arbejdsgiverforening, DA), of the development of the total labour market
participation rate in Denmark since 1950, has prompted the organisation to
conclude that Danish GDP could have been much higher than it is today. The
analysis is contained in DA's annual labour market report for 1999 .
In the run-up to the European Council meeting held in Cologne on 3-4 June
1999, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) reinforced its support
for the German Presidency's proposal for an "employment pact" (EU9905174N
). It argued that an effective strategy for reducing unemployment was
necessary to strengthen the European Union's credibility with workers and the
public. In a statement on the eve of the summit , ETUC welcomed the
inclusion of the employment chapter  in the Amsterdam Treaty, which came
into force on 1 May 1999 (EU9905175N ), and the process of formulating and
implementing Employment Guidelines  (EU9810130F ), but argued that in
itself this was insufficient. It strongly argued that labour market policy
measures had to be effectively combined with growth-oriented economic policy
measures: "active employment and labour market policies coupled to essential
economic reforms can help create the jobs Europe needs only if they are part
of a strong growth scenario than we have today."
In June 1999 the Belgian press and television carried pictures of Flemish
lorry drivers blocking highways, verges and access roads to important
seaports. The protests resembled those of strikers in France during 1997
(FR9711177F ). As in the French case, the issues underlying the Belgian
protests are complex. The gulf between lorry drivers and employers in the
sector is very deep. Although the current dispute appears to be rather
trivial, much more is actually at stake: trade unions are demanding a wage
increase of BEF 10 an hour, but the employers are offering only BEF 8 an
hour. A difference of BEF 2 can in itself hardly explain the tough stance
adopted by the trade unions and the blockades. Indeed, a great deal more lies
behind the dispute.
Dissatisfaction on the part of junior doctors in the UK over out-of-hours pay
and excessive workload has been fuelled by the outcome of the meeting of the
EU's Council of Labour and Social Affairs Ministers on 25 May 1999 concerning
proposals for extending the 1993 EU Directive on certain aspects of the
organisation of working time (93/104/EC)  (EU9906178F ). The Council
reached political agreement on a common position on the proposed "horizontal"
Directive extending the provisions of the original Directive to non-mobile
workers in previously excluded sectors. The Council proposed a nine-year
transition period before the standard 48-hour limit on average weekly working
hours would apply to doctors in training: a maximum average working week of
60 hours would apply for the first three years; a 56-hour limit would apply
for the following three years; and a 52-hour limit would apply for a further
three years. Taking account of the proposed four-year timetable for national
transposition of the Directive, the limit on the weekly working hours of
doctors in training would be brought down to 48 hours over a total of 13
years after the adoption of the Directive.
Late May 1999 saw the annual assembly of Italy's Confindustria employers'
confederation and the publication of the Bank of Italy's Annual Report. In
both cases, importance was assigned to reducing the tax burden, curbing
public spending, and increasing labour market flexibility. Confindustria sees
social concertation as important, but believes that the government should not
always seek the consensus of the social partners.
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.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2020. 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.
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 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, conducted in two rounds – in April and in July 2020. 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 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.
Eurofound's representativness 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 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.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
Closing gender gaps in the labour market by achieving the equal participation of women is among the key objectives of the new Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025. Despite significant progress in reducing the gender employment gap, it has stagnated over the past few years. Moreover, segregation in employment across sectors and occupations is still pervasive.
The long-term care (LTC) sector employs an increasing share of workers in the EU, with increasing shortages. The LTC workforce is mainly female and a relatively large and increasing proportion is 50 or older. Migrants are often concentrated in certain LTC jobs. This report maps the working conditions, the nature of employment and the role of collective bargaining in the sector. It also discusses policies to make the sector more attractive, combat undeclared work and to improve the situation of a particular vulnerable group of LTC workers: live-in carers.
The EU strives for the upward convergence of its Member States, where their performance improves and gaps between them decrease. Nearly a decade after the Great Recession, the COVID-19 crisis has again put this objective under pressure. This policy brief focuses on convergence in material well-being in Europe. Trends in several indicators largely follow the economic cycle, with upward convergence in good times and downward divergence in bad times.
Social, economic and technological changes are giving rise to new forms of employment. These differ from 'traditional' work either in the relationship between employer and employee or in the unconventional work patterns and places of work that characterise them. While these new forms of employment can contribute to more inclusive labour markets, legalise undeclared work and offer preferential working conditions, some also raise concerns about, for example, job quality and representation. This report updates Eurofound's 2015 mapping of emerging trends.
New digital technologies have expanded the possibilities of employee monitoring and surveillance, both in and outside the workplace. In the context of the increasing digitalisation of work, there are many issues related to employee monitoring that warrant the attention of policymakers. There are the often-cited privacy and ethical concerns but also important implications for worker–employer relations, as digitally enabled monitoring and surveillance inevitably shift power dynamics in the workplace.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the local and regional administration 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.
This flagship report consolidates findings in the industrial relations field from research conducted by Eurofound over the course of its multiannual work programme for 2017–2020. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of European social dialogue, including the linkages with national social dialogue and the capacity constraints of the actors. A national comparative analysis draws on projects that have mapped the key features of national industrial relations systems.
How can working conditions be improved to make work more sustainable over the life course? This question has been the guiding principle for analysis of the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey data during the period of Eurofound’s work programme for 2017–2020. This flagship report brings together the different research strands from this work and gives a comprehensive answer to the question. It includes an analysis of trends in working conditions, examining whether these are the same for all workers or whether inequalities between different groups of workers are increasing.
This report builds on Eurofound's existing research on social mobility, assessing the distribution and transmission of wealth in Member States. It examines the roles of inheritance and household debt in explaining the transmission of advantage or disadvantage between the generations across Member States. The analysis is based on Eurosystem's Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
This report analyses the involvement of the national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, and their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and other key policy documents of the European Semester cycle.