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  • Article
    27 March 1997

    The Portuguese Government is planning to extend its "base-line" minimum
    income system to the whole country, and there are calls for greater
    involvement by the social partners in its operation.

  • Article
    27 March 1997

    On 20 February 1997, Parliament adopted a law establishing retirement savings
    funds. This legislation has a dual objective. Firstly, to provide private
    sector employees with a new retirement cover financed by capitalisation, and
    secondly, to strengthen the Paris financial market and balance the growing
    power of foreign institutional investors.

  • Article
    27 March 1997

    In November 1996, the UK Government failed in its attempt to have the 1993
    Directive on certain aspects of the organisation of working time (93/104/EC)
    - which lays down specific requirements concerning weekly hours, holidays,
    shifts and other patterns of work - annulled by the ECJ. The DTI launched
    consultations with business organisations on implementation of the Directive
    in December 1996, and the process was completed in March 1997. The DTI is now
    analysing the responses, but is unlikely to produce the results until some
    time after the 1 May general election.

  • Article
    27 March 1997

    On 19 March 1997, the European Commission launched the second stage of
    consultations with the social partners under the Maastricht Agreement on
    social policy on the proposal for an EU policy to counter sexual harassment
    at work. At this second stage, the social partners will be able to choose
    whether to go down the route of negotiation - leading to a framework
    agreement which can be given legal validity at the EU level. The alternative
    would be to submit their views in anticipation of a policy initiative
    emanating from the Commission.

  • Article
    27 March 1997

    Under the terms of the Works Constitution Act [1] (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz,
    §§ 111f), a procedure known as "reconcilement of interests [2]"
    (Interessenausgleich) aims at reconciling the positions of the employer and
    the workforce in case of a proposed substantial alteration of the
    establishment, or of bankruptcy. This involves weighing the respective
    interests against one another, as well as reaching an agreement on the
    procedure of change and the necessary human resource planning. Detailed
    arrangements for the subsequent implementation of the changes are then
    subject to the co-determination rights of the works council [3]. In cases
    where the employer makes no attempt to arrive at an agreed reconcilement of
    interests, or without compelling reasons fails to abide by one, employees who
    are dismissed or suffer economic disadvantage as a result may claim
    compensation for the loss of their job. A social plan [4] (Sozialplan) is a
    programme drawn up in the form of a special works agreement [5]
    (Betriebsvereinbarung) between the employer and the works council, and
    resembles a special form of redundancy programme. It contains the
    compensation packages and the human resource policies available to the
    employees affected by the changes. There is no obligation to draw up a social
    plan, provided that: the proposed alteration to the establishment consists
    solely of dismissals; certain maximum limits in terms of a percentage of the
    total workforce are not exceeded; or the case involves a newly formed
    enterprise.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/works-constitution-0
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/reconcilement-of-interests
    [3] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/co-determination-rights-of-the-works-council
    [4] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/social-plan
    [5] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/works-agreement-0

  • Article
    27 March 1997

    A working group set up by the Standing Committee of the European Central
    Banks' Trade Unions met in Ferreira do Zêzere in March, and issued a
    declaration relating to the rights of workers involved in the production and
    circulation of the Euro.

  • Article
    27 March 1997

    Following a strike call issued by French public service trade unions, a
    national day of action comprising strikes and demonstrations took place on 6
    March.

  • Article
    27 March 1997

    Health and safety at work has arisen as a very serious matter of social
    concern over recent years and has become a focus of interest for both the
    state and the social institutions concerned. The magnitude and complexity of
    the problem and the need to find direct and effective solutions have induced
    both employers and employees to examine the problem of occupational hazards
    and conditions affecting the working environment in general. It is estimated
    that in Greece the national economy is burdened by GRD 20 billion a year due
    to accidents at work (excluding costs of medical care). The Social Insurance
    Foundation (IKA) alone receives 25,000 reports of accidents at work a year.
    The problem is even bigger if we add in the cost of occupational illnesses
    which remain undiagnosed, since these are ignored by the official statistics.

  • Article
    27 March 1997

    At the beginning of March the first steps were taken towards the creation of
    the first "European super union". One of Britain's biggest trade unions, the
    General, Municipal and Boilermakers' Union (GMB), signed a joint membership
    agreement with the German chemical workers' union. The deal between the GMB
    and IG Chemie-Papier-Keramik means that 1.8 million workers will be entitled
    to joint membership. Although the two unions may not provide the same
    services, UK workers in Germany can expect legal advice, support from
    representatives, and training facilities, while German workers in the UK can
    expect legal advice, health and safety information and financial benefits
    (Record DE9703206N [1]).

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/joint-union-membership-for-german-and-uk-workers

Series

  • 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