Companies are constantly competing for the next big thing in innovation – the next-generation 3D phone, the quantum computer, the virtual doctor. They fixate on technological breakthroughs and look for new business models. But innovation also needs systems, an organisational structure and people who work together. The human factor in innovation is often forgotten or neglected – the employees’ skills, their level of input, their autonomy in their jobs and the rewards they receive. Or do such factors really play any role in innovation?
Europe is showing visible signs of progress; in most countries, labour markets are healthier than they have been in a decade, with more people active and in work than ever before, while social exclusion is declining. However, it is also a continent in transition, where an imbalance in opportunities for prosperity and quality of life – depending on where you live or which particular social group you belong to – directly determines to what extent you have felt this recovery.
Wages grew and wage inequality fell in most EU countries in 2015. Germany is not one of the countries where wages rose most, but it did have the largest reduction of wage inequality. Our analysis shows that the German minimum wage policy introduced in 2015 strongly lifted the wages of the lowest-paid employees, particularly those employees who were lower-skilled, younger or working in services.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2017 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as recounted in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2017. As economies recover, Eurofound reported on the positive trends in employment, with rising numbers in work and a continued expansion of employment in good jobs. It also provided an updated account of quality of life in Europe post-crisis, showing that on many dimensions Europeans are doing as well as before the crisis, if not better.
This is the Consolidated annual activity report of the Authorising Officer for the year 2017. The report describes Eurofound's activities, particularly its research, information and communication programmes and policy achievements, in relation to the objectives set in the Work Programme 2017.
Digital technologies are transforming work, but the implications have not yet been fully grasped. In a recent Eurofound report, we focus on three main vectors of change to discuss the effects of digital technologies on work and employment and the policy responses such change demands.
Research Manager Isabella Biletta looks at fraudulent practices in the contracting of work. Such practices involve the abuse of legitimate employment relationships with the aim of sidestepping labour and social regulations and with the effect of undermining workers’ rights and fair competition in business. The article is based on several years of Eurofound research on the subject.
New proposals for workers with disabilities, possible changes to rules on dismissals, and reform of the supplementary pension system are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2018.
Collective bargaining at national and sectoral levels, civil service traineeships, developments in negotiations in the construction and banking sectors, and measures to support jobseekers with disabilities are the main topics of this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Luxembourg in the first quarter of 2018.
Measures to combat employment insecurity, improvements to collective bargaining dynamics, and the Ryanair cabin crew strike are the main topics of this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Portugal in the first quarter of 2018.
The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This publication series include the ERM reports, as well as blogs, articles and working papers on restructuring-related events in the EU27 and Norway.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) 2021, an extraordinary edition conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series gathers all overview reports on developments in working life, annual reviews in industrial relations and working conditions produced by Eurofound on the basis of national contributions from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents (NEC). Since 1997, these reports have provided overviews of the latest developments in industrial relations and working conditions across the EU and Norway. The series may include recent ad hoc articles written by members of the NEC.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The report describes trends in social and economic discontent across the EU between 2002 and 2020, highlighting in particular the turbulent times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report explores the evolution of social cohesion and its impact on economic and social discontent. It assesses the relationship between social cohesion and discontent during the pandemic, allowing for a comparison of the situation as it stands in 2023. The focus of the report is on regions where social cohesion is low, where a contrast is drawn with regions where social cohesion is much higher.
This report analyses the working conditions and job quality of different types of self-employed workers. Drawing on data from the European Working Conditions Survey, it looks into policies in Member States aimed at addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with specific types of self-employment.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the chemical 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 chemical sector in the EU Member States.
The focus of this report is on the role that human capital plays in determining inequalities across the EU, as well as within Member States. Using Cedefop’s work in this area, the report provides a comparative analysis of national trends in education and lifelong learning, including differences between educational groups in terms of income, living conditions and health.
The report maps trends in income inequality and examines the situation of the middle classes in the EU during 2020, the year most associated with the COVID-19 lockdowns. It charts developments in the size and composition of middle-class households across countries, identifies those that suffered disproportionately in 2020. Taking a longer lens, the report describes the evolution of income inequalities over the last 15 years, comparing the Great Recession (2007–2009) with the COVID-19 pandemic, and outlines the trends both between and within Member States.
This report explores the implications of the right of all EU citizens to live independently. It investigates the barriers faced by people who wish to live independently, and the situation of people at risk of living in institutional settings. It maps the various measures taken by EU Member States to foster independent living and autonomy. The report also includes policy pointers to support future decision-makers and provides a review of lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.