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  • 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.


  • 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:


  • 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).


  • Article
    20 June 2003

    Dans l’Union européenne, l’année 2002 a en général été marquée par
    un ralentissement de la croissance économique, une hausse du chômage et une
    recrudescence de l’inflation. Il n’est pas surprenant dans ce contexte
    que les salaires - et notamment les appels à la modération salariale -
    aient revêtu autant sinon davantage d’importance dans les relations
    industrielles. Par ailleurs, l’évolution des salaires a plus que jamais
    été un thème phare en 2002, année où l’Union économique et monétaire
    (UEM) de l’UE est entrée dans une nouvelle phase avec l’introduction des
    billets et des pièces en euros dans les 12 pays de la 'zone euro'. Les
    avancées de l’UEM impliquent que les pays de la zone euro ne pouvant plus
    utiliser les taux de change et les taux d’intérêt comme moyens de
    compensation des déséquilibres des performances économiques, la politique
    salariale a dû jouer un rôle de plus en plus important pour corriger ces
    déséquilibres. En outre, dans le cadre de l’UEM, l’évolution des
    salaires constitue un facteur clé pour déterminer si l’économie de
    l’UE connaît une tendance inflationniste ou déflationniste.
    L’introduction de l’euro a par ailleurs amélioré la transparence en
    matière de comparaison des niveaux de salaire en Europe.

  • Article
    20 June 2003

    In der gesamten Europäischen Union war 2002 generell ein Jahr, in dem sich
    das Wirtschaftswachstum verlangsamte, die Arbeitslosigkeit zunahm und sich
    die Inflation verstärkte. Es ist nicht überraschend, dass in diesem Kontext
    die Entlohnung - und insbesondere Aufforderungen in Bezug auf maßvolle
    Lohnforderungen - ihre zentrale Bedeutung für die Arbeitsbeziehungen behielt
    und sogar noch ausbaute. Zudem standen im Jahr 2002 die Lohnentwicklungen
    stärker als je zuvor im Brennpunkt des Interesses, da in diesem Jahr die
    Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion (WWU) der EU mit der Einführung von
    Euro-Banknoten und -Münzen in den zwölf Ländern des 'Euro-Gebiets' in eine
    neue Phase trat. Der Fortschritt der WWU bedeutet, dass sich die
    Aufmerksamkeit mehr und mehr auf die Entlohnung als Mittel für die Anpassung
    an wirtschaftliche Ungleichgewichte richten wird, da die Länder des
    Euro-Gebiets für derartige Anpassungen keine Wechselkurse und Zinssätze
    mehr verwenden können. Ferner sind innerhalb der WWU die Lohnentwicklungen
    ein Schlüsselfaktor dafür, ob sich die Wirtschaft der EU in Richtung einer
    Inflation oder einer Deflation entwickelt. Durch die Einführung des Euro
    sind Lohnvergleiche innerhalb Europas auch transparenter geworden.

  • Article
    18 June 2003

    In May 2003, the white-collar Confederation of Vocational Unions
    (Yrkesorganisasjonenes Sentralforbund, YS) participated for the first time in
    the statutory congress [1] of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC),
    held in Prague. Over the previous year or so, YS had joined international
    trade union organisations at the Nordic, European and global level - ie the
    Council of Nordic Trade Unions (Norden Faglige Samorganisasjon, NFS [2]),
    ETUC, and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU [3]).
    YS had long aspired to become a member of these organisations, and its
    leader, Randi Bjørgan, stated in a press release that she was delighted
    finally to be able to represent YS at the ETUC congress. She emphasised in
    her speech at the congress that the issues facing Norwegian trade unions are
    also important issues in other countries, and that the congress confirmed the
    value of cooperation to tackle these issues through the European trade union


  • Article
    18 June 2003

    Figures published by Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå, SSB) in
    mid-2003 suggest that approximately 150,000 working days were lost as a
    result of labour disputes in 2002. The number of working days lost per 1,000
    employees was approximately 70. This means that the number of working days
    lost in industrial disputes in 2002 (NO0206105F [1]) was lower than in the
    other years over the past decade when bargaining over main wage settlements
    occurred (ie 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2000). The equivalent figure in 2000, the
    year of the last main bargaining round, was just under 500,000. At the same
    time, however, the 2002 figures confirm that Norway is among those
    industrialised countries with a medium to high level of industrial conflict
    (TN0303104U [2]).


  • Other
    18 June 2003

    This report outlines the proceedings from a Foundation seminar on the theme of interactions between the labour market and social protection. The main conclusion to emerge is that interactions between the labour market and social protection are complex but very necessary in the current situation in Europe. Creative policy mixes are needed in order to make the trajectories of policy reform successful. They will lead to more sustainability of the European social model. The seminar expanded on work done previously by the Foundation such as the first Foundation paper on quality of work and employment. It referred also to a number of more specific projects, which are/have been carried out by the Foundation such as ‘negotiating the conditions of flexibility’, ‘pacts for employment and competitiveness’, and ‘integrated approaches towards the activation of minimum-income recipients’.

  • Other
    18 June 2003

    This conference at Sheffield Halham University addressed some critical issues relating to how the supply of care workers – both those involved in childcare and those who provide domiciliary care for older people living in their own homes – can be stimulated to match the growing demand for their caring labour. The conference heard contributions from leading experts in the field, drawn from employers, trade unions, policymakers and academics, representing seven different European countries.

  • Case study
    16 June 2003

    The European Monitoring Centre for Change (EMCC) set out five case studies regarding developments in the graphics and media sector. These cover: Sportnews Internet Services, Greece; the BBC, UK; Gopher Publishers, the Netherlands; Borsen, the leading business newspaper in Denmark; and Daydream Software, Sweden. Each case study sets out the background to the company, market dynamics and company changes, organisation and workforce and the market, education and training, and virtualisation of the workplace. The interview questionnaire is also included for reference.


  • 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.  

  • 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. 

  • 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