The European Child Guarantee was established in 2021 to ensure that children in need have access to a set of key services. This policy brief analyses trends and disparities in children’s access to early childhood education and care, education, healthcare, nutrition and housing. This is done using a convergence analysis, which tracks whether Member States are improving in respect of specific performance indicators and whether disparities between them are expanding or narrowing.
Automation and digitisation technologies, including artificial intelligence, are rapidly evolving and becoming increasingly powerful and pervasive. The full range of their effects in the workplace is yet to be seen. It is, however, important not only to explore the ethical implications of digital technologies and the effects of such technologies on working conditions as they emerge, but also to anticipate any unintended effects that raise new ethical challenges.
After a long period of price stability, inflation has made a remarkable comeback in the EU. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the energy crisis spurred by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the disruption of the international supply chain, among other factors, have driven up the prices of commodities and goods. While nominal wages picked up in 2021 and 2022, real wage growth has remained below inflation, affecting mainly low-income groups.
This report investigates the social groups whose attachment to the labour market may be unstable and who are most likely to have non-standard working arrangements, and the implications of such arrangements, and job insecurity, for workers’ well-being, social exclusion, trust, perception of fairness and political participation. The report finds that non-permanent contracts, informal work and insecure jobs are associated with negative outcomes when it comes to social exclusion and trust, while job insecurity is additionally associated with poorer well-being.
This report addresses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on social services in the EU. While the pandemic negatively affected social services, it nevertheless provided lessons on how to adapt them in response to new challenges and social risks. One lesson, for instance, is that policies should be developed to make better use of digitalisation in the sector, to improve access to new technologies and training for both workers and services’ target groups. And, most importantly, there is a need for clear contingency plans and funding for adaptation in times of crisis.
This report explores the dynamics of the environmental performance of the EU Member States and the extent to which the disparities in their performance have narrowed since the early 2000s. The report is a product of cooperation between Eurofound and the European Environment Agency, with the technical expertise in convergence of the former meeting the expertise in European environmental issues of the latter. It focuses on three levels of analysis: headline indicators, residential-level indicators and household-level indicators.
This report investigates the involvement of social partners in the just transition to a climate-neutral economy, with a particular focus on the territorial just transition plans. These plans aim to support the regions most negatively affected by the just transition by assisting workers to retrain, relocate and find other jobs, and also support industries that need to phase out fossil fuels or other greenhouse gas-intensive activities. The role and input of the social partners in these plans and their views on the just transition are explored.
Between the end of 2022 and the first half of 2023, almost 300,000 employees working for ‘big tech’ companies were laid off across the world, making headlines for months in global media. This development has been a shock, considering the high numbers of jobs in well-known tech corporations with a reputation for offering good working conditions and well-paid positions. In the context of this global phenomenon, it remains unclear to what extent the EU workforce is affected and whether the tech sector – which is critical for the ambition of advancing the digital transformation – is in fact shrinking in the EU.
This report describes Eurofound's activities, particularly its research, information and communication programmes and policy achievements, in relation to the objectives set in the Programming document 2021–2024: Work programme 2022. It also covers the management and external evaluation control systems, key performance indicators, and financial and HR information.
The 2023 annual review of minimum wages was prepared in the context of unprecedented inflation across Europe. While this led to hefty increases in nominal wage rates in many countries, it was in many cases not enough to maintain workers’ purchasing power. Based on developments over the last decade, this report shows that, overall, minimum wage earners in nearly all countries saw their purchasing power rising, the gap between their wages and average wages narrowing, and to some degree growth exceeding labour productivity development.
The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This publication series include the ERM reports, as well as blogs, articles and working papers on restructuring-related events in the EU27 and Norway.
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 European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) 2021, an extraordinary edition conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series gathers all overview reports on developments in working life, annual reviews in industrial relations and working conditions produced by Eurofound on the basis of national contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents (NEC). Since 1997, these reports have provided overviews of the latest developments in industrial relations and working conditions across the EU and Norway. The series may include recent ad hoc articles written by members of the NEC.
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.
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).
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in telework and other flexible working patterns has increased concerns about the ‘always on’ work culture, which can result in extra – often unpaid –working hours. One way of tackling this is for workers to have the right to disconnect. Drawing on a survey of HR managers and employees, this report explores legislation across EU Member States introducing the right to disconnect. It assesses its implementation in company policies and its impact on working time, work–life balance, health and well-being and workplace satisfaction.
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.
Are the policies required to meet the commitments outlined under the EU’s plan for a green transition, the Fit-for-55 package, and the associated budgetary commitments – the Green New Deal – likely to lead to positive or negative employment outcomes by 2030? What types of jobs will be created or destroyed? Will shifts in employment be skewed towards the bottom, middle or top of the job–wage distribution? This report aims to provide answers to these questions, using macro-modelled estimates of the likely impacts of these policies on the structure of employment.
This report highlights the prevalence of psychosocial risks across countries, sectors and occupations during the later phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. It outlines the specific working conditions that can lead to work-related health problems. In particular, the report investigates the potential pitfalls related to the expansion of telework, the role of job and income insecurity as a psychosocial risk and the phenomenon of adverse social behaviour and discrimination at work. In addition, it offers policy pointers on tackling the increase in work absenteeism due to mental health problems.
This report – published every two years – covers important developments resulting from legislative reforms in collective bargaining at national or sectoral level in 2021 and 2022. It examines the average weekly working hours set by collective agreements, both across national economies and in five sectors: education, health, transport, retail and public administration.
This policy brief provides facts and figures on the working life and job quality of so-called ‘essential workers’ and is based on data from the European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) extraordinary edition 2021. It will define various subgroups of essential workers, describe the challenges they face and outline the type of responses provided, or being developed, to address those challenges.
Minimum wages protect workers against unduly low pay, but to function effectively the mechanism depends on compliance by employers and enforcement by the state. This report examines the different approaches to measuring non-compliance and presents an estimate of the extent of non-compliance across the EU Member States. It discusses the different tools, regulations and institutions that Member States apply to enforce the minimum wage. And it presents findings from an analysis of 21 case studies of Member States that investigated the factors driving and discouraging non-compliance.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the professional football 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the professional football sector in the EU Member States.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in European sectoral social dialogue taking place at cross-sectoral level. 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations at cross-sectoral level in the EU Member States.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.