In March 1999, the National Skills Institute was set up in Spain, as part of
the process of fostering social dialogue on vocational training, to provide
technical support for the tripartite General Vocational Training Council. Its
purpose is to achieve the goals laid down in the National Vocational Training
Programme, such as monitoring, developing, accrediting and integrating
In June 1999, Finland's SAK trade union confederation outlined the trade
union movement's shared objective of strengthening the principle of the
general validity of collective agreements - their applicability to all
employers and employees in a sector, and not just members of the signatory
organisations - in the next incomes policy round. This can be interpreted
especially as a signal to the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, which wishes
to become a negotiating party in the incomes policy talks, despite its
previous aim of abolishing general validity. SAK's demand is creating some
tension between left- and right-wing parties within the "rainbow" coalition
A suggestion from the Social Democrats, the largest party in the coalition
government, on obligatory supplementary training funds has created
dissatisfaction among employers and trade unions. The Social Democrats'
proposal , issued in June 1999, takes as its point of departure the fact
that the government has done a great deal to improve education for children
and young people, and now wishes to make basic reforms in connection with
adult education and supplementary training courses.
The German tyre producer and automobile supplier Continental AG, which has
production plants in more than 15 countries and a worldwide workforce of
about 62,300 employees, is currently the target of a global trade union
campaign  organised by the International Federation of Chemical, Energy,
Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), which accuses the company of
contravening ILO standards and the OECD guidelines for multinational
companies. ICEM is supporting its affiliate, the United Steelworkers of
America  (USWA) trade union, whose members have been on strike since
September 1998 at the US subsidiary Continental General Tire's plant in
Charlotte (North Carolina).
Figures  made public by Statistics Norway in May 1999 indicate that
286,000 working days were lost in labour disputes during 1998. A total of 36
disputes were registered in 1998, which involved approximately 27,000
employees. The figures for both working days lost and the number of disputes
are relatively high in a Norwegian context (NO9801147N ). However, the
number of working days lost due to industrial action was higher in 1992 and
in 1996. The figures cover only industrial disputes which lasted for more
than one working day. Thus, the political strike against the government's
proposal to cut one day of holiday entitlement was not taken into account in
the statistics on the number of working days lost (NO9810192N ).
On 29 April 1998, three butchers employed at Skanek, a major Swedish butchery
company, were dismissed. Management at the local factory in Kristianstad, in
the south of Sweden, stated that the reason for the dismissals was the
unlawful industrial action that had occurred at the factory that morning,
which led to a two-hour cessation of production. Most of the workers on the
slaughter line had refused to wear metallic protective aprons, which were
issued to every worker working on the line. Three butchers were selected for
dismissal, the employer assuming that they were the leaders of the "wildcat"
strike. The employer argued that the industrial action must have had
instigators, and that circumstantial evidence led to the conclusion that the
three butchers, who were trade union representatives, had taken the
initiative to strike.
Over the summer of 1999, the Spanish Ministry of Labour has criticised the
pre-retirement schemes of many companies on grounds of their cost to the
country's social security system. Though many of the companies involved are
the largest and most profitable ones, they are increasingly using early and
pre-retirement as part of their labour strategy. The government is therefore
now seeking ways of toughening the conditions for eligibility.
Finland's National Programme for Older Workers, which is being carried out in
cooperation between various ministries and the social partners, aims to
disseminate best practice in the management of an ageing workforce. In June
1999, the programme published a report on the case of ABB Control, a company
which has implemented a development project, preceded by a phase focusing on
the health and ability to work of the staff, and development of the
"workplace community". The parties involved have reportedly been satisfied
with the progress achieved and the commitment has been strong.
At a round-table meeting held on 11 May 1999 at the Ministry for Employment
and Solidarity, the government and social partners launched a new stage in
the fight against racial discrimination at the workplace in France. This
initial meeting concluded with the unanimous endorsement of a joint
declaration on racial discrimination tabled by the Minister for Employment
and Solidarity, Martine Aubry. The Minister also proposed amendments to
legislation, designed to make it easier to bring cases in the courts in the
event of discrimination. The social partners made a commitment to work
together to address all types of discrimination, though they unanimously
rejected the creation of a new independent administrative authority in this
On 1 June 1999, the Mining, Chemicals and Energy Union (Industriegewerkschaft
Bergbau,Chemie, Energie, IG BCE) and the German Federation of Chemicals
Employers' Associations (Bundesarbeitgeberverband Chemie, BAVC) signed a
pilot agreement for the collective bargaining district of Nordrhein. The new
agreement provides employees with a flat-rate payment of DEM 200 in respect
of May 1999 and a 3% increase in remuneration from June 1999. Vocational
trainees will receive no proportional wage increase, but a flat-rate payment
of DEM 200. The agreement runs for 13 months.
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.