In 2002, the Ministry of Labour started a three-year experiment of using
private 'job hunters' to find work for long-term unemployed people. The
experiment has been conducted in employment offices in the largest cities.
The aim is to find jobs for people who have been unemployed for longer than
six months, or for a shorter period in the case of people with special
difficulties in finding a job - eg owing to age or disability. The job
hunters can be private firms, associations or individuals operating as
entrepreneurs. Agreements to provide such services are reached between the
employment offices and the job hunters after a competitive tender process, in
the same way as in any other public procurement. Each employment office can
reach an agreement with several job hunters, who then conclude contracts with
the unemployed people concerned, selected from candidates proposed by the
employment office. The client and the job hunter sign a three-month contract,
which can be renewed for another three months. The job hunters are paid if
they find the job seeker a non-subsidised private sector job for at least six
months. The job can be full time or part time, but the working time must be
at least 75% of the normal.
In Austria, 'minimally employed workers' (geringfügig Beschäftigter) are
defined as employees whose income per year does not exceed a fixed amount
(calculated as a monthly average) laid down by law and upgraded annually. For
2003, this monthly pay limit amounts to EUR 309.38. Nearly all minimally
employed workers are part-time workers.
On 7 July 2003, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published a
discussion paper, The UK experience of European Works Councils , seeking
views on how European Works Councils (EWCs) set up by UK-based companies have
been working in practice. The principal aim of the exercise is to build up a
'stronger evidence base' from which the UK government can develop its
approach to the EU-level discussions on the possibility of revising the 1994
EWCs Directive (94/45/EC ), which are due to get underway later in 2003.
The European Commission has indicated that it will begin consultations with
EU-level trade unions and employers’ organisations on the revision of the
Directive in the autumn, raising the prospect of amendments to the Directive
being brought forward sometime in 2004 or 2005.
In July 2003, the municipality of Rome and the local employers' organisation,
the Industrialists’ Union, signed an agreement to increase women’s
presence in the city's information and communications technology (ICT)
companies and improve the skills and qualifications of women already employed
in the sector.
In July 2003, a new national collective agreement was signed for the 270,000
workers in the Italian food and beverages sector. As well as providing for a
pay increase of 6.55% over two years, the agreement strengthens joint
industrial relations structures, with a new joint body in charge of training,
and introduces greater flexibility in working time and forms of employment.
Management and trade unions at the state-owned electricity company, the
Electricity Supply Board (ESB), have concluded a 'partnership agreement' on
working arrangements for workers who will operate two modern electricity
generating plants currently under construction in the Irish midlands at a
cost of EUR 240 million - the Lough Ree and West Offaly power stations. The
agreement places a strong emphasis on equality issues and introduces
team-based working, an annual hours system and new reward mechanisms.
A new general anti-discrimination law was adopted in Belgium in February
2003. It bans discrimination on many grounds and in various contexts,
including employment relationships. It was expected that the law would have a
major positive impact on equality at work, but has come under criticism for
being unclear and hard to apply. For example, the law's definition of the
discrimination to be prohibited is thought by some experts to be at odds with
recent EU Directives on the issue, while some of the provisions may create
difficulties in the employment context.
Since 1990, the relationships between the social partners and the state have
played an important role in the process of economic and social transformation
in Slovakia. Although the transformation process was not entirely without
conflicts during the 1990s and early 2000s, disputes between the social
partners did not result in any serious industrial action. Indeed, after
Slovakia became independent in 1993, no genuine strikes were recorded until
January-February 2003, when railway workers held two stoppages (SK0306101F
). Over this period, as a result of privatisation and the development of a
market economy, the role of the state in the economy has been redefined. This
new role has manifested itself in a reduction of direct interventions by the
state authorities in the activities of individual sectors, enterprises and
plants, and in efforts to influence the economy more indirectly through the
tools of tax and fiscal policy. In the industrial relations area, the state
has restricted itself to setting the legal framework for the labour market
and social policy, including the rules for collective bargaining (SK0210102F
) - though it should be noted that the state is still a significant
employer in the public services (eg education, healthcare and railways). The
main role of the state in the social dialogue which has developed in Slovakia
is the fulfilment of various tasks within the tripartite'concertation'
process, involving the employers and the employees representatives at the top
level or, in some cases, at sector level.
The Italian government took over the EU Presidency from Greece on 1 July
2003, and will hold it until the end of the year. It has set out its
programme and priorities in a document entitled Europe: Citizens of a shared
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.
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.
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 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.
This report will map the existing regulations on telework in European Union Member States, including in legislation and collective agreements. It will present the most recent changes to these regulations and shed light on how the future of (tele)work could be regulated at both national and EU level, in order to improve working conditions in telework arrangements and reduce the risks associated with telework and with specific ways of working remotely.
As part of a process to collect information on essential services, the European Commission (DG EMPL) requested Eurofound to provide input on certain aspects of existing and planned measures in the Member States to improve access to essential services, in reference to Principle 20 of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The scope of the exercise included energy services, public transport and digital communications, and the focus was on people at risk of poverty or social exclusion (in practice, people on low incomes in most cases).
This report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
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 policy brief will provide an update on upward convergence in the economic, social and institutional dimensions of the European Union, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying Social Scoreboard.
The financial services sector is pertinent for studying the impact of digitalisation, as the main ‘raw material’ of the sector is digitally stored and processed. Process automation in the sector is likely to lead to significant job losses over the next 10 years, as the high street bank presence declines and the online bank presence increasingly accounts for a higher share of overall activity. Such trends have already been identified in bank restructurings captured in Eurofound’s European Restructuring Monitor.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the electricity sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the electricity sector in the EU Member States.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the gas sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements. The aim of this Eurofound’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the gas sector in the EU Member States.
This report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?