From 1979, the economic policy of successive Conservative Governments was
based on a fundamental belief in the effectiveness of free markets. In the
case of the labour market, there was an emphasis on deregulation and the
importance of flexibility in creating employment and economic growth. The
Conservatives claimed that the UK's lack of regulation has reduced
unemployment, while the rest of Europe's higher social costs, greater
regulation and the adoption of the "social chapter" (the social policy
Protocol and Agreement attached to the Maastricht Treaty on European Union)
has caused unemployment and a lack of competitiveness. This prompted the
"opt-out" from the social chapter and a continuous resistance to other forms
European Union-level regulation - over working time, for instance.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has published more information
about the activities to be launched as part of its "European Day of Action
for Employment", to take place all across the EU as well as in some Central
and Eastern European countries on 28 May 1997.
"Territorial pacts" (patti territoriali) are an interesting and innovative
form of social dialogue that could change the Italian experience of "social
concertation", with important consequences. By developing the idea of these
pacts, the consultative National Council for Economic Affairs and Labour
(CNEL ), which had not previously played an important role in this field,
could assume a key position in social dialogue, particularly in the
preparation of agreements for the economic development of crisis-hit areas in
Currently the minimum wage in the tourism sector is ATS 54 net per hour. The
Hotel, Restaurant, Personal Services Workers (Gewerkschaft Hotel,
Gastgewerbe, Persönlicher Dienst,HGPD) is seeking an increase of the minimum
gross monthly full-time wage from ATS 11,440 to ATS 12,000 (payable 14 times
per year). This is a nominal increase of 4.9%. With current inflation
projections running at 1.9%, a real pay increase of 3.0% would result. The
minimum net monthly income would be increased by ATS 378.40 from ATS 9,358 to
ATS 9,736.40, a nominal increase of 4.0%. On the basis of 173 hours per
month, the net hourly rate would increase by ATS 2.18 from the current ATS
Pay for 15,000 newspaper distributors has been increased by SEK 2.75 per hour
retrospectively from 1 January 1997 and by SEK 0.45 from 1 August 1997,
according to the new collective agreement between the Swedish Publishers'
Association and the Swedish Transport Workers' Union. The agreement runs for
one year. A novel feature of the agreement is that employees from now on have
undertaken to distribute periodicals and other items of mail together with
the newspapers. The employers have thus achieved one of their important
On 8 April 1997, Jacques Barrot, the Minister for Employment, gave the press
a preview of the forthcoming legislation on the reduction of social security
contributions and the statutory working week. Among the subjects dealt with
will be a revision of existing legislation on banning women from working at
night, which Mr Barrot deems necessary.
On 9 April 1997, the telecommunication conglomerate Deutsche Telekom AG and
the Deutsche Postgewerkschaft (DPG) postal workers' union signed a package of
enterprise-level collective agreements for the employees at the Telekom
subsidiary Deutsche Telekom Mobilnet GmbH (DeTeMobil). After five months of
negotiations, this package represents the first such collective agreement in
the mobile telephony industry since the beginning of the step-by-step
liberalisation of the telecommunications sector.
In a recent report (/Social Europe/ 4/96, published in March/April 1997), the
European Commission assesses the progress towards the achievement of the
goals of the medium-term social action programme covering the period between
1995-7. This social action programme, adopted in April 1995, is seen by the
Commission as marking a breakthrough for new ideas and policies. The basic
concept underlying the programme is that social policy is a productive factor
facilitating change and progress, rather than a burden on the economy or an
obstacle to growth.
Portugal's major Lisnave shipyards are being privatised. New industrial
readjustment and work organisation strategies are reforming human resource
management and training standards. However, in a company that has strong
trade union traditions, discussions with employee representatives on
restructuring have been conducted in a relatively formal and
institutionalised way, with little participative input from the employees
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).
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
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.
In 2022, the European Semester was streamlined to integrate the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) established on 19 February 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2021/241). While facing the geopolitical and economic challenges triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States have been implementing the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for more than one year and around 100 billion euro in RRF funds have already been disbursed.
As economies emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report will look at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care and information and communications technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin digital and green transitions.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
As part of its response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the EU swiftly activated its Temporary Protection Directive for those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine – enabling displaced persons to settle in the EU and have access to the labour market and basic public services. This policy brief highlights the main barriers encountered by these refugees (over 5 million people to date) when seeking a job and provides suggestions on how to facilitate their integration.
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.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2022 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2022. Eurofound’s research on working and living conditions in Europe provides a bedrock of evidence for input into social policymaking and achieving the Agency’s vision ‘to be Europe’s leading knowledge source for better life and work’.
The term ‘hybrid work’ became popular due to the upsurge of telework during the COVID-19 pandemic. The term has been increasingly used to refer to situations in which (teleworkable) work is performed both from the usual place of work (normally the employer’s premises) and from home (as experienced during the pandemic) or other locations. However, the concept of hybrid work is still blurry, and various meanings are in use. This topical update brings clarity to this concept by exploring available information from recent literature and the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
Housing affordability is a matter of great concern across the EU. Poor housing affordability leads to housing evictions, housing insecurity, problematic housing costs and housing inadequacy. These problems negatively affect health and well-being, create unequal living conditions and opportunities, and come with healthcare costs, reduced productivity and environmental damage. Private market tenants face particularly large increases in the cost of housing.