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  • Article
    24 June 2003

    On 13 June 2003, the Norwegian government issued a proposal for new
    legislation relating to gender quotas on company boards. The aim is to
    achieve a 40% share of female board members in both larger private firms and
    public enterprises. The proposed legislation would be made applicable to
    private companies only if they fail voluntarily to achieve an acceptable
    level of female representation on their boards. The government's proposal
    comes against the backdrop of an increasing awareness of the low presence of
    women on company boards in Norway. The government sees this as an equal
    opportunities issue and argues that the business and industry community is
    not doing enough to avail itself of the competences and qualifications of
    both women and men.

  • Article
    23 June 2003

    Since autumn 2002, trade unions representing staff employed in the French
    state education system have been taking industrial action in opposition to
    the government’s planned reforms in areas including pensions,
    decentralisation and budget cuts. After an 11th day of strike action and
    protests on 10 June 2003, the government made some progress in placating the
    unions. Whatever the outcome of this dispute, it is probable that the
    discontent among teachers, who have been highly mobilised for months, will be
    enduring.

  • Article
    23 June 2003

    According to a representative survey of 1,001 firms with fewer than six
    employees carried out by the Forsa Society for Social Research and
    Statistical Analysis (Gesellschaft für Sozialforschung und statistische
    Analysen mbH, forsa [1]) in March 2003, many small firms of this size have
    encountered difficulties owing to Germany's dismissal protection [2]
    legislation over the past five years. The protective legislation currently
    applies to employers with more than five employees. The survey finds that
    since 1998, among firms with four or five employees, 14% and 15% respectively
    have had negative experiences related to this legislation. One in seven small
    firms in the representative survey state that they have not created new jobs
    due to the strict dismissal protection legislation which applies when their
    workforce exceeds five. For enterprises with four or five employees, which
    would be most immediately affected if they employed additional staff, this
    figure increases to 27% and 31% respectively - see the table below.

    [1] http://www.forsa.de/
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/protection-against-dismissal-1

  • Article
    23 June 2003

    In March 2003, the Institute for Economic and Social Research within the Hans
    Böckler Foundation (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut in
    der Hans-Böckler-Stiftung, WSI) presented the first results of its third
    works and staff council survey (published in a special issue [1] of
    /WSI-Mitteilungen/, Vol. 56, No. 3, 2003). The survey was carried out in
    summer 2002 and included a representative sample of establishments with 20 or
    more employees. The principal aim of the survey is to give a current overview
    of the situation of works council [2] s and (public sector) staff council [3]
    s in Germany and to monitor industrial relations at establishment level. A
    special evaluation of the survey data provides information on implementation
    of the 2001 reform of the Works Constitution [4] Act
    (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz, BetrVG) (DE0107234F [5]) with regard to the
    promotion of the representation of women on works councils and of equal
    opportunities for men and women at company level ('Gleichstellung von Frauen
    und Männern in der betrieblichen Interessenvertretung', Christina Klenner
    and Christiane Lindecke, in /WSI-Mitteilungen/, Vol. 56, No. 3, 2003).

    [1] http://www.boeckler.de/rde/xchg/SID-3D0AB75F-49F96D2E/hbs/hs.xsl/119_27931.html
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/works-council-2
    [3] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/staff-council-0
    [4] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/works-constitution-0
    [5] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-working-conditions/works-constitution-act-reform-adopted

  • Article
    23 June 2003

    In March 2002, the central EU-level social partners agreed a 'framework of
    actions [1] ' for the lifelong development of competencies and qualifications
    (EU0204210F [2]). The signatories were: the European Trade Union
    Confederation (ETUC) - whose delegation included representatives of the
    liaison committee for managerial and professional staff, which brings
    together the ETUC-affiliated Council of European Professional and Managerial
    Staff (EUROCADRES) and the independent European Confederation of Executives
    and Managerial Staff (CEC); the Union of Industrial and Employers'
    Confederations of Europe (UNICE), in cooperation with the European
    Association of Craft and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME); and the
    European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises
    of General Economic Interest (CEEP). The framework identified the following
    four priority areas for action:

    [1] http://www.etuc.org/en/index.cfm?target=/en/dossiers/colbargain/lll.cfm
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/industrial-relations-undefined/social-partners-agree-training-framework

  • Article
    23 June 2003

    The issue of company directors’ pay is highly topical in the UK following
    regulations in 2002 to introduce a clearer role for shareholders (UK0111101N
    [1]). With greater transparency has come controversy over the links between
    boardroom pay and corporate performance. In June 2003, the government issued
    a consultative document looking at best practice and legislative options
    concerning directors’ severance payments, with trade unions calling for a
    tougher regulatory framework.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/shareholders-to-have-right-to-vote-on-directors-pay

  • Article
    23 June 2003

    A meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    Council was held in Luxembourg on 2-3 June 2003 under the Greek Presidency.
    Ministers debated a range of employment and social policy issues, with
    varying degrees of success.

  • Article
    23 June 2003

    The government announced in May 2003 that it intends to introduce legislation
    on corporate manslaughter, with details to follow in the autumn. The home
    secretary, David Blunkett, said: 'there is great public concern at the
    criminal law's lack of success in convicting companies of manslaughter where
    a death has occurred due to gross negligence by the organisation as a whole.
    The law needs to be clear and effective in order to secure public confidence
    and must bite properly on large corporations whose failure to set or maintain
    standards causes a death.'

  • Article
    23 June 2003

    The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) held its10th statutory congress
    [1] in Prague on 26-29 May 2003, under the slogan 'Make Europe work for the
    people'. ETUC currently has 78 member organisations (national trade union
    confederations and centres) from 34 countries in western, central and eastern
    Europe, as well as 11 sectoral European industry federations, making a total
    of 60 million affiliated members. The congress is the supreme authority of
    ETUC and meets every four years (the ninth congress was held in 1999 -
    EU9907182F [2]). The congress is composed of delegates from the affiliated
    organisations in proportion to their membership. It elects the members of the
    executive committee, the president, the general secretary and the two deputy
    general secretaries.

    [1] http://www.etuc.org/EN/xCongress/en/
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-labour-market/ninth-etuc-congress-calls-for-a-european-system-of-industrial-relations

  • Article
    23 June 2003

    This article outlines a range of initiatives being undertaken by the UK's
    Trades Union Congress (TUC) and its affiliated unions aimed at combating
    disability discrimination and promoting equal rights for workers with
    disabilities, in the context of 2003 being designated by the EU as the
    European Year of People with Disabilities [1] (EU0209201N [2]), and
    European-level social partner statements in this area.

    [1] http://www.eypd2003.org/
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/2003-designated-european-year-of-people-with-disabilities

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