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  • Article
    7 October 2003

    The Bank of Ireland has concluded an EUR 600 million agreement with Hewlett
    Packard, whereby the bank's information technology infrastructure services
    will be outsourced to the US-based information technology multinational. The
    announcement of the move caused concern among the 500 staff of the Bank of
    Ireland's Dublin-based technology operation, who are to be transferred to
    Hewlett Packard under the deal. Members of the Irish Bank Officials
    Association (IBOA), who make up almost one-third of the affected workers,
    held a 24-hour work stoppage in protest on 1 August 2003. However, on 8
    September they voted in a ballot to accept an agreement on the terms of the
    move and are expected to transfer to Hewlett Packard in the near future.

  • Article
    7 October 2003

    In late August 2003, the Cologne Institute for Business Research (Institut
    der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln, IW [1]) published its latest report [2] on
    international labour costs in manufacturing. In 2002, total hourly labour
    costs in the west German manufacturing sector amounted to EUR 26.36 - EUR
    2.16 less than in Norway, which has taken over from western Germany at the
    top of IW's international ranking of labour costs (see the table below).
    Norway attained the number one position due to a 5% increase in Norwegian
    labour costs (NO0302104F [3]) and the depreciation of the Norwegian kroner
    against the euro.


  • Article
    7 October 2003

    In September 2003, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) published its
    sixth annual employment trends survey, conducted in conjunction with the
    Pertemps recruitment agency. The survey, carried out in May 2003, reports the
    responses of 551 private sector employers and covers a range of labour market
    issues, including key influences on competitiveness, flexible working,
    pensions, informing and consulting employees, and workforce diversity. A
    central theme of the report is that prospective regulatory developments such
    as the proposed EU Directive on temporary agency work (EU0306206F [1]) and
    the possible removal of the scope for individuals to opt out of the 48-hour
    limit on average weekly working hours (UK0307102N [2]) are viewed by
    employers as a 'threat to labour market flexibility' which 'could have a very
    serious impact on UK business'. Key findings are outlined below.


  • Article
    7 October 2003

    On 17 September 2003, the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) announced that
    its members in the Royal Mail had voted against taking industrial action in a
    dispute about pay and conditions. Contrary to the expectations of most
    observers, Royal Mail employees voted not to strike by 48,038 votes to
    46,391, a majority of 1,647. The outcome of the ballot averted what would
    have been the first national postal strike since 1996, and was widely seen as
    a rebuff for the CWU’s left-wing leadership.

  • Article
    7 October 2003

    In September 2003, the Belgian federal government opened a national
    'conference for employment' bringing together federal, regional and community
    ministers and the social partners. The aim of the conference is to draw up
    measures leading to the creation of 200,000 new jobs by 2007. The initial
    measures will appear in the draft federal budget for 2004.

  • Article
    7 October 2003

    In August 2003, the German Trade Union for Building, Forestry, Agriculture
    and the Environment (Industriegewerkschaft Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt, IG BAU) and a
    Polish trade union representing employees in agriculture (Związek Zawodowy
    Pracowników Rolnictwa w Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, ZZPR) jointly issued a
    bilingual information booklet [1] aimed at Polish seasonal workers in Germany
    (/Informacje dla pracowników sezonowych zatrudnionych w Niemczech//
    /Informationen für polnische Saisonarbeitskräfte in Deutschland)/. It
    contains information on a wide range of issues, such as: the basic legal
    provisions concerning the employment contract; employers' legal obligations
    concerning health insurance; the national social benefit system; legal
    entitlement to paid leave; regulations on pay and taxes; limitation periods
    concerning pay claims; the legal provisions for terminating a contract; and
    the legal minimum standards to be observed by employers concerning
    accommodation. The booklet gives advice on how the trade union can help its
    members in legal cases involving conflicts with the employer which may occur
    during the seasonal employment, and provides the addresses and phone numbers
    of regional trade union offices.


  • Article
    7 October 2003

    The Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers (Teollisuuden ja
    Työnantajain Keskusliitto, TT) and the Employers’ Federation of Service
    Industries (Palvelutyönantajat, PT) are Finland's two main central
    employers' organisations. Merger plans have been floated for some years, but
    they have recently become more serious and concrete. In mid-September 2003,
    TT and PT announced that they have launched a joint project to study the
    possibilities of replacing their current separate organisations with a new
    joint organisation. According to the timetable, technical preparations should
    be carried out in 2003 and the final decisions taken in 2004. Everything
    should be in place for the new organisation to start operation in the
    beginning of 2005. The coordinator of the project is Matti Packalén.

  • Article
    1 October 2003

    A report published in September 2003 by the Directorate-General of Employment
    and Labour Relations (Direcção-Geral do Emprego e das Relações de
    Trabalho, DGERT) at the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (Ministério
    da Segurança Social e do Trabalho, MSST) finds that in the first half of
    2003 the trend seen in previous years towards a reduction in the amount of
    collective bargaining in Portugal continued - as indicated in table 1 below.

  • Article
    30 September 2003

    On 21 August 2003, the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsforeningen
    i Danmark, LO) and the Danish EmployersaeuroTM Confederation (Dansk
    Arbejdsgiverforening, DA) published a joint analysis of male and female
    wages. The analysis (Kvinder og MA|nds LA¸n [1]) is the most comprehensive
    study yet conducted of the causes of gender-related wage gaps in Denmark. It
    quantifies a number of factors which have a decisive impact upon earnings and
    maps out the contribution of these different factors to the substantial
    differences between menaeuroTMs and womenaeuroTMs earnings. The factors
    examined are: work function; education/training; occupational sector; work
    experience; changes between jobs; leave periods; geographical location; and

    [1] og maend løn_2003_NY netversion.pdf

  • Article
    30 September 2003

    Reform of the pension system is again one of the Italian government's top
    priorities in September 2003, in the context of discussions on the 2004 state
    budget law. In order to curb spending on pensions, the government intends to
    modify key aspects of the system. It proposes to: raise the retirement age;
    introduce incentives to encourage people of pensionable age to remain in
    work; pay employees' end-of-service allowances into a supplementary pension
    scheme; and curtail the advantages of workers covered by special pension
    schemes. Some aspects of the reform will be subject to dialogue with the
    social partners, which are largely opposed to the changes proposed.


  • Sectoral social dialogue

    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.

  • Minimum wages in the EU

    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.  

  • COVID-19

    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 three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.

  • European Working Conditions Surveys

    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.

  • European Restructuring Monitor

    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.

  • Challenges and prospects in the EU

    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.

  • European Company Survey 2019

    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. 

  • National social partners and policymaking

    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).

  • New forms of employment

    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.

  • European Company Surveys

    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.

Forthcoming publications