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  • Article
    22 July 2003

    The Act on Data Protection in Working Life [1] (477/2001) came into force on
    1 October 2001 (FI0106191F [2]), governing the protection of personal data in
    the employment context. However, it lacked clear rules in a number of areas,
    such as employers’ rights to conduct drug tests on job applicants and
    employees, use video surveillance at the workplace and open employees’
    e-mails while they are absent. On the initiative of parliament, the Ministry
    of Labour soon afterwards set up a working group to prepare proposals for
    legislation in these areas. The group included members from the Ministry of
    Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Transport and the Data Protection
    Ombudsman (Tietosuojaviranomaiset), as well as representatives of trade
    unions and employers’ organisations. It published its unanimous report on
    26 June 2003.

    [1] http://www.mol.fi/english/working/dataprotection.html
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-working-conditions/act-on-protection-of-privacy-in-working-life-adopted

  • Article
    22 July 2003

    On 28 June 2003, the German Metalworkers' Union (Industriegewerkschaft
    Metall, IG Metall) called off a four-week strike in the eastern German
    metalworking industry, after failing in its attempts to negotiate a 35-hour
    working week (down from the current 38 hours) with employers' associations,
    amid widespread opposition to the action in the federal government, amongst
    the general public and, indeed, in the union's ranks (DE0307204F [1]). IG
    Metall's defeat has revived the debate on the future of collective bargaining
    in Germany.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/ig-metall-suffers-defeat-over-35-hour-week-in-east-german-metalworking

  • Article
    22 July 2003

    The Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund,
    ÖGB) enjoys a de facto monopoly of trade union representation, and Austrian
    trade unionism is thus characterised by a notably high degree of unity and
    coherence. ÖGB is currently divided into 13 member unions which together
    cover all branches of the economy. Their membership domains are, in general,
    complementary, though not in the strict sense that only one union always
    covers any given sector or company. In the private sector, six blue-collar
    workers' unions and one white-collar union coexist. Furthermore, there are
    two unions which represent both blue- and white-collar workers - in the arts,
    media, sports and liberal professions and in the printing, journalism and
    paper industry respectively. The pattern of union representation in the
    public sector mirrors the structure of the employing public authorities.
    Accordingly, there are separate unions for central and regional government
    and for local government. Separate unions also exist for former public
    enterprises - ie postal services and telecommunications companies and the
    Austrian Federal Railways (Österreichische Bundesbahnen, ÖBB) - which are
    undergoing a transition period due to liberalisation and privatisation.

  • Article
    22 July 2003

    On 28 June 2003, a dispute over the introduction of a 35-hour working week in
    the eastern German metalworking industry ended when the German Metalworkers'
    Union (Industriegewerkschaft Metall, IG Metall) called off a four-week after
    negotiations finally broke down without any agreement being reached. The
    negotiating parties on the employers' side were the federal employers'
    association for the German metalworking and electrical industry,
    Gesamtmetall, and two regional employers' associations for the metalworking
    industry in the eastern states (Länder) of Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony -
    Verband der Metall- und Elektroindustrie in Berlin und Brandenburg (VME) and
    Verband der Sächsischen Metall- und Elektroindustrie (VSME).

  • Article
    22 July 2003

    An agreement on the reform of pay and conditions of employment covering a
    million National Health Service (NHS) staff was concluded at the end of 2002
    (UK0303104F [1]), and ratified later in membership ballots held by trade
    unions (UK0306103N [2]). Separate negotiations between the government health
    departments, NHS employers and the British Medical Association (BMA) - a
    powerful professional association and the main trade union for more than
    100,000 doctors - proved to be more difficult. The negotiation and
    ratification of new contracts for 43,000 local doctors (general practitioners
    or GPs), and for 27,000 hospital consultants and specialist registrars,
    exposed serious tensions within the BMA and in its relationship with
    government ministers. This feature first explores the completed contract
    negotiations for GPs. It then outlines the main elements of a tentative
    agreement on a new contract for hospital consultants reached on 17 July. If
    this is accepted in a ballot of BMA members in August, it will end the threat
    of industrial action by hospital doctors.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/new-pay-system-planned-in-national-health-service
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/national-health-service-pay-reforms-ratified-by-union-members

  • Article
    21 July 2003

    EU Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of
    the provision of services [1] seeks to avoid 'social dumping' by ensuring
    that a minimum set of rights is guaranteed for workers posted by their
    employer to work in another country. The basic principle is that the working
    conditions and pay in effect in a Member State should be applicable both to
    workers from that State, and those from other EU countries posted to work
    there. The Directive covers undertakings established in a Member State,
    which, in the framework of the transnational provision of services, post
    workers to the territory of another Member State.

    [1] http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31996L0071&model=guichett

  • Article
    21 July 2003

    EU Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of
    the provision of services [1] seeks to avoid 'social dumping' by ensuring
    that a minimum set of rights is guaranteed for workers posted by their
    employer to work in another country. The basic principle is that the working
    conditions and pay in effect in a Member State should be applicable both to
    workers from that State, and those from other EU countries posted to work
    there. The Directive covers undertakings established in a Member State,
    which, in the framework of the transnational provision of services, post
    workers to the territory of another Member State.

    [1] http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31996L0071&model=guichett

  • Article
    21 July 2003

    In June 2003, the Italian government approved a draft decree enacting the
    recent 'proxy law' on employment and the labour market. The decree envisages
    numerous measures and innovations in terms of employment services and
    contracts - such as staff leasing, on-call work, project work and
    work/training contracts - and of the involvement of the social partners in
    management of the labour market. Before the decree is finally passed, it will
    be discussed by the government and the social partners, which have differing
    views on the proposals.

  • Article
    21 July 2003

    This article examines the Greek situation, as of June 2003, with regard to:
    legislation and collective bargaining on the pay and conditions of posted
    workers (ie workers from one EU Member State posted by their employer to work
    in another); the number of such posted workers; and the views of the social
    partners and government on the issue.

  • Article
    21 July 2003

    EU Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of
    the provision of services [1] seeks to avoid 'social dumping' by ensuring
    that a minimum set of rights is guaranteed for workers posted by their
    employer to work in another country. The basic principle is that the working
    conditions and pay in effect in a Member State should be applicable both to
    workers from that State, and those from other EU countries posted to work
    there. The Directive covers undertakings established in a Member State,
    which, in the framework of the transnational provision of services, post
    workers to the territory of another Member State.

    [1] http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31996L0071&model=guichett

Series

  • 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. 

  • Sectoral social dialogue

    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.

  • 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