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  • Article
    3 August 2003

    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.

  • Article
    3 August 2003

    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.

  • Article
    3 August 2003

    On 7 July 2003, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published a
    discussion paper, The UK experience of European Works Councils [1], 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 [2]), 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.


  • Article
    3 August 2003

    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.

  • Article
    3 August 2003

    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.

  • Article
    3 August 2003

    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.

  • Article
    31 July 2003

    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.

  • Article
    31 July 2003

    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
    [1]). 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
    [2]) - 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.


  • Article
    30 July 2003

    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
    dream [1].



  • 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, 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.

  • 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.  

  • 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