January 2003 saw the first genuine strikes organised in Slovakia since it
became independent in 1993 (SK0211103F ). The strikes took place on the
railways as a consequence of long-term disputes between trade unions and
management. Railworkers had previously been on the verge of strike action on
several occasions in recent years. In late 1998 there were calls for a
strike, while in the following year trade unions set a strike date during
lengthy negotiations on pay increases. However, the negotiations led to a
compromise with railways management and the planned strike was cancelled. In
2001, a two-hour strike was announced by the trade unions but cancelled one
hour before it was due to start because of a lack of organisational
In April 2003, a new law on 'social employment' came into force in Poland,
aimed at providing support and employment to up to the country's large number
of people faced with social exclusion, such as long-term unemployed people,
alcoholics and drug addicts, former prisoners, and people with mental
illnesses. The legislation sets up social integration centres to provide
assistance and integration programmes, and creates a system of subsidised
employment to encourage employers to take on people from the target groups.
In the 2003 Dutch collective bargaining round, occupational pension issues
have led to a deadlock in negotiations at a number of major companies,
notably in financial services and industry. Employers want to reform their
pension schemes radically, as shrinking capital reserves and increasing
numbers of claimants have depleted their funds. The Akzo Nobel chemicals
group even wants to hive off its pension fund, making it independent. The
trade unions are fiercely opposed to this plan and other more drastic
austerity measures, but are increasingly prepared to accept a greater use of
average-salary rather than final-salary schemes and a temporary suspension of
The French government is due to propose legislation after the summer 2003
parliamentary recess reforming the 'minimum integration income' (RMI) benefit
and assistance scheme for people facing labour market difficulties. Much of
the responsibility for the scheme is to be decentralised to local level,
while a new form of employment contract - the 'minimum employment income'
contract - will be introduced for people who have been receiving RMI for two
The French government was forced to amend its controversial proposals on
pension reform by wide-scale strike action and demonstrations organised in
protest on 13 May 2003. Following talks with the social partners, it revised
the plan - though not the key point of increasing the contribution period
required for a full pension - on the basis of a deal agreed by two trade
union confederations, CFDT and CFE-CGC. The talks thus led to a split in the
united trade union front on the issue, and unions opposed to the planned
reform have called more protest action. Parliamentary debate on the bill
began in June and is expected to to be completed in July.
Der Bericht vermittelt einen Überblick über die - in Tarifverträgen
vereinbarte und gesetzlich geregelte - Dauer der Arbeitszeit in der
Europäischen Union und in Norwegen im Jahr 2002 (und 2001), der auf den
Beiträgen der nationalen Zentren des Europäischen Observatoriums für die
Entwicklung der Arbeitsbeziehungen (EIRO) basiert. Zum ersten Mal
berücksichtigen wir auch Daten von drei der Kandidatenländern, die 2004 in
die EU aufgenommen werden: Ungarn, Polen und die Slowakei.
In June 2003, management and trade unions signed a preliminary agreement on a
unified collective agreement for two of Spain's nuclear power plants, those
at Almaraz and Trillo. This may represent the first step towards a sectoral
agreement for the sector, where bargaining currently occurs at plant level.
Nous tentons dans la présente étude de dégager une vue d’ensemble de la
durée du temps de travail - telle qu’elle est établie par les conventions
collectives et la législation - dans l’Union européenne et la Norvège en
2002 (et 2001), basée sur les contributions des centres nationaux de
l’Observatoire européen des relations industrielles (EIRO). Pour la
première fois, nous incluons certaines données sur trois des pays candidats
qui rejoindront l’UE en 2004 - la Hongrie, la Pologne et la Slovaquie.
In summer 2003, France's Minister of Health announced that a reform of the
sickness insurance system is to be presented in the autumn. While an
increasing deficit posted by the sickness insurance funds has made this
overhaul necessary, industrial relations tensions in the healthcare sector
suggest that implementation may be problematic. The details of the reform are
as yet unknown, but the major thrust appears to be a reduction in compulsory
sickness insurance cover and the creation of specific measures for
Die Erweiterung der Europäischen Union, bei der voraussichtlich ab 2004 bis
zu 12 Länder Mittel- und Osteuropas sowie des Mittelmeerraums der EU
beitreten werden, rückt immer näher. Vor diesem Hintergrund hat das
Europäische Observatorium für die Entwicklung der Arbeitsbeziehungen (EIRO)
die Erfassung der Entwicklungen im Bereich der Arbeitsbeziehungen auf die
beitrittswilligen Länder ausgeweitet.
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.
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.
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 study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the food and drinks 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 food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.
There have always been workers who have worked at different locations, on site with customers or while on the move. Companies have also developed open-plan workspaces to cut costs and foster cooperation. Cloud computing allows workers to access internal data from anywhere, while digitalisation increases the use of automated decision-making and control based on (big) data. This report addresses the extent to which place of work determines job quality.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the textiles and clothing 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 textiles and clothing sector in the EU Member States.
Platform work – the matching of supply of and demand for paid labour through an online platform or app – is gaining increasing importance in Europe. It has attracted policy attention due to its inherent opportunities and challenges. Across Europe, initiatives have been introduced by governments, social partners and grassroots organisations aimed at harnessing the potential and reducing the risks of this employment form. The areas covered include regulation, representation, advice and information provision, as well as measures addressing social protection, ratings and training.
This report analyses how working conditions, job quality and working life outcomes – such as work–life balance, health and well-being, and sustainability of work – changed between February 2020 and spring 2021. Following up on responses to the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2020, it explores the differences between three distinct groups of workers: those teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic, those who continued to work on their employers' premises as frontline staff, and those who were furloughed or worked reduced hours.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.