Two national collective agreements for workers in the Italian tourism sector
were signed in July 2003. The agreements' main provisions include an 11.5%
wage increase over four years, the introduction of a supplementary health
insurance scheme and the enhancement of decentralised bargaining.
A new national collective agreement for the Italian insurance sector was
signed in July 2003. As well as pay increases, the agreement contains a
number of innovatory provisions, including: the creation of a national
observatory on bullying, the establishment of a fund for the care of disabled
workers; and enhanced information and consultation, including on equal
In August 2003, the Polish government named four coal mines which are to be
closed in 2004, following an agreement reached with mineworkers' trade unions
in 2002 on the closure of unprofitable mines. The announcement led to the
unions calling strike action in the mines concerned, despite government
assurances that new jobs or appropriate accompanying social measures will be
arranged for all the miners to be made redundant.
On 22 July 2003, the Austrian Trade Union Federation (Österreichischer
Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) and the Chamber of Labour (Arbeiterkammer, AK)
jointly presented a study on the working and living conditions of 'atypical'
workers in Austria. The study (Atypisch beschäftigt - typisch für die
Zukunft der Arbeit ) evaluates interviews conducted in 2002 with 528
people who made use of special advisory services for 'atypical' workers
offered by both ÖGB and AK. More precisely, the researchers’ focus group
were self-employed people employed under either a 'free service contract'
(freier Dienstvertrag) or a 'contract for work' (Werkvertrag) (TN0205101S
). According to Austrian labour law, both groups are classified as
self-employed in the narrow sense, although they do not employ other people
and often work for only one client. Actually, their working situation
resembles to a great extent that of (dependent) employees. People working on
a 'contract for work' basis (also referred to as the 'new self-employed', or
neue Selbständige) are obliged to fulfil a certain, well-defined task,
regardless of whether they do this themselves or subcontract to other people.
For their part, 'free service contract' workers provide an (often fixed-term)
ongoing service. Formally, they are not subject to the instructions of the
client and are free to schedule their own working time. Working materials, in
general, have to be made available to these workers by the client.
The Irish government is soon to consider a proposal to increase the five-year
'range' during which civil servants can retire on a full pension, from the
current 60-65 years of age to 62-67. This is among several suggestions to
emerge from a working group which, for over two years, has been discussing
the implementation of a major report from the Commission on Public Service
Pensions, which was published in 2001. The Commission’s 2001 report had
found that the cost of public service pensions would double between 1997 to
2012, from EUR 807 million to EUR 1.7 billion, rising by a further EUR 1.27
billion by 2027.
On 31 August 2003, the delegates at the 20th national congress of the German
Metalworkers' Union (Industriegewerkschaft Metall, IG Metall) elected a new
leadership for a four-year term of office. The new chair of the union is the
previous vice-chair, Jürgen Peters, while the previous head of IG Metall's
Baden-Württemberg district organisation, Berthold Huber, was elected as
vice-chair. The percentages of votes obtained by both candidates, 66% and 67%
respectively, were the lowest ever obtained in an uncontested leadership
election in IG Metall's history.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Trades Union Congress (TUC)
and CEEP UK- the British affiliates of the European social partner
organisations, the Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederations of
Europe (UNICE), the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the
European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises
of General Economic Interest (CEEP) - have agreed a document  giving
guidance on telework. Talks between the three organisations were prompted by
the July 2002 agreement on teleworking  between their European-level
counterparts (EU0207204F ), and were held under the auspices of the
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which published the agreed guidance
in August 2003.
Poland's once powerful trade unions now organise only 18% of the workforce,
one of the lowest unionisation rates in central and eastern Europe. The
reasons for the weakness of Poland's trade union movement have been examined
at a seminar held in May 2003 and in a book based on the discussions at the
seminar. This article summarises the main arguments and findings.
The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (Suomen Ammattiliittojen
Keskusjärjestö, SAK) published its own 'employment programme' in August
2003. It proposes 17 measures to raise the labour market participation rate,
cut unemployment and promote employment, especially for those whose labour
market position is weak. The programme also includes long-term proposals that
take into account problems caused by the ageing of the labour force.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an extraordinary level of provision of social services across the EU. Healthcare and care providers carried much of the burden and, together with essential services, played a crucial role in getting citizens through the crisis. This report explores how public services adapted to the new reality and what role was played by the digital transformation of services. The aim is to contribute to the documentation and analysis of changes in funding, delivery and use of healthcare and social services during the pandemic.
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.
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.