On October 1998, an Italian newspaper alleged the exploitation of child
labour in a Turkish plant working for the Benetton group. Italian trade
unions, together with their Turkish counterparts, intervened and concluded an
agreement which forbids the use of child labour in the Turkish textile plants
working for the Benetton group.
Unemployment cover - that is, the number of eligible people who may claim
unemployment benefit - is the cause of a serious controversy between the
government and the trade unions in Spain. In the draft state Budget for 1999,
released in autumn 1998, funds allocated for unemployment benefit have been
cut by 9.5%. The government maintains that, because of the positive
development of employment prospects in the economy, the amount allocated is
sufficient. The unions, however, feel that this is in sharp contradiction
with their demand to increase unemployment cover, a central topic in the
negotiations between themselves and the government.
September 1998 saw the publication of a report on the impact of the
introduction of the euro single currency on various aspects of industrial
relations and other employment matters in France. The study, drawn up by a
working group of employers, trade unions, social security organisations and
the government, examines the transition period from 1999-2000, as well as the
effect of the single currency on collective agreements and the functioning of
Between 1 March and 31 May 1998, works council  elections took place in
around 33,000 German establishments. In contrast to countries such as France
(FR9809131F ), the results of the German elections are not published by a
central authority. However, a preliminary evaluation of the results, based on
a survey of around 1,000 companies where trade unions affiliated to the
German Federation of Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB) operate,
was conducted by the Hans-Böckler Foundation in June 1998 (Trendreport
Betriebsratswahlen '98: Kurzfassung - DE9806270N ). Subsequently, in
September, the Cologne Institute of Business Research (Institut der deutschen
Wirtschaft, IW) published the findings - summarised below - of a
comprehensive survey of the 1998 works council elections covering 13,659
establishments, 84% of which were in manufacturing and 16% in services
("Schlappe für den DGB - Betriebsratswahlen 1998: Keine Lust auf
Experimente", H-U Niedenhoff, in IW-Gewerkschaftsreport 3/98).The IW has been
conducting surveys of the results of the works council elections since 1975.
In autumn 1998, a draft bill on "false self-employment" was submitted to the
Portuguese social partners for discussion. It would regularise such
situations by making it possible to turn them into fixed-term contracts and,
from there, establishing the presumption of the existence of a permanent
In October 1998, the SAK trade union confederation's delegation for private
sector services proposed measures aimed at improving Finland's service sector
and creating jobs. These measures include changes in the tax structure.
In September 1998, an agreement was signed by trade unions and Infostrada, an
Italian company in the fixed-network telephone sector, on the recruitment of
1,300 people to work in customer-service call centres. Given the particular
characteristics of the customer-care activity involved, and considering that
this is the start-up phase of the call-centre service, the parties agreed to
a high degree of flexibility in both the employment relationship and working
In July 1998, the employers' associations, trade unions and autonomous
government of Galicia signed a set of "agreements on measures for growth and
employment in Galicia 1998-2001", also known as the "Galician Employment
Plan". This is the first example of such tripartite social concertation in
this Spanish autonomous community.
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.
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.
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 examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2020 yearbook, provides a snapshot of what is happening in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2020. The scope is broad, from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment and on people’s well-being to the inequalities in the working conditions of women and men. It also highlights the connections between Eurofound’s work and EU policy priorities in the coming years.
The third round of Eurofound's e-survey, fielded in February and March 2021, sheds light on the social and economic situation of people after nearly a full year of living with COVID-19 restrictions: How are people doing? What is their outlook on life? How has the availability of vaccinations changed their perceptions? This report presents an overview of the main findings and tracks the developments across the 27 EU Member States since the survey was first launched in April 2020.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
This report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.