In May 2003, a new coalition government of the Christian Democrats and two
liberal parties, VVD and D66, took office in the Netherlands. The parties'
coalition agreement provides for major cutbacks in public spending, largely
targeted on social security expenditure. The trade unions are fiercely
opposed to the proposed measures.
In a judgment issued in late May 2003, a Greek court ruled the dismissals of
many workers at Athenian Paper Mills SA (Softex) to be illegal, as redundancy
legislation had not been observed. It stated that the workers are thus
entitled to retroactive compensation for lost pay from the date they were
made redundant in 2002 up to the date of the court ruling.
A number of Greek court rulings issued in April-June 2003 have focused on the
issue of workers who are employed to meet the standing needs of employers for
long periods under successive fixed-term employment contracts. The courts
have upheld these workers' cases and converted their fixed-term contracts
into open-ended contracts, in the light of the 1999 EU fixed-term work
An agreement signed by management and the workers' commission at the VW
Autoeuropa car plant in Portugal has prevented 570 redundancies among the
3,200 employees or lengthy shutdowns, threatened as a result of a fall in
production. Under a new 'time account', scheme, workers will forgo a 3.3% pay
rise in 2003 and convert it into 10 days off per year, which will be taken on
days when the plant is shut down. The agreement came into effect in June
In May 2003, Confindustria, Italy’s main employers’ association, held its
annual assembly. Its president, Antonio D’Amato, addressed some key issues
in his address, including the reform of the pension system, Italy’s
economic recovery, the tax burden, welfare reform, labour market reform, the
public administration, the resources to be allocated to research, and
A package of major revisions of labour law has been coming into force
gradually in Poland since its adoption in 2002. From 1 July 2003, new rules
will apply to many aspects of collective redundancies, including their
definition and severance pay entitlements. Furthermore, the special
protection against dismissal and detrimental treatment provided to trade
union activists is to be subject to new limitations.
The Trade Unions’ Cooperation Forum (Szakszervezetek Együttműködési
Fóruma, SZEF ), the dominant trade union organisation in the public
service and civil administration sector - and arguably the biggest Hungarian
trade union confederation with approximately 300,000 active members
(HU0206102N ) - held its third congress on 25-26 May 2003 in Budapest.
In February 2003, trade unions and employers' organisations in the Polish
construction sector reached agreement on a minimum wage rate for 2003, which
is 50% above the national statutory minimum wage. The deal is seen as an
important development in industrial relations in the industry.
/Industrial restructuring is a striking feature of Europe's economic
landscape today. There is wide agreement among employees, social partner
organisations and policymakers at all levels that the way industrial
restructuring is managed can, and must be improved. A rich body of policy
initiatives, conceptual material and practical experience is available,
identifying the main issues and challenges governing industrial
restructuring. This EMCC dossier aims at presenting a selection of relevant
data sources in a systematic way. It reveals the principles of, and various
approaches to, corporate restructuring. A series of links provide access to a
wide variety of relevant information sources./
Following several draft versions and a series of consultations, the coalition
government of the Hungarian Socialist Party (Magyar Szocialista Párt, MSZP
) and the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats (Szabad Demokraták
Szövetsége, SZDSZ ) submitted a bill on 'healthcare service providers
and organisation of public health service' to parliament in March 2003.
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 report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.
Social dialogue lies at the heart of the EU treaties and governance. Social partners are core stakeholders who can assess policy needs and contribute to policy formation and to designing and implementing national reforms in the social and employment fields. This report focuses on the timely and meaningful involvement of national social partners in the preparation of the new resilience and recovery plans and the national reform programmes (NRPs) that were temporarily integrated under the European Semester in 2021.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2021 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2021. The range of topics as a result is broad, from the growing diversity of employment across EU regions to developments in minimum wages, and of course the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
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 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 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.
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.
Hospital and civil aviation workers have been severely impacted by COVID-19. While hospitals are on the frontline when it comes to fighting this global pandemic, civil aviation is experiencing the most challenging crisis ever encountered in the sector. This study explores how social dialogue and collective bargaining are playing a role in the way both sectors are adapting to the pandemic. What kind of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.