Unaffordable housing is a matter of great concern in the EU. It leads to homelessness, housing insecurity, financial strain and inadequate housing. It also prevents young people from leaving their family home. These problems affect people’s health and well-being, embody unequal living conditions and opportunities, and result in healthcare costs, reduced productivity and environmental damage. Private tenants have faced particularly large housing cost increases, and owners with mortgages are vulnerable to interest rate increases.
The term ‘hybrid work’ was popularised with the upsurge of telework during the COVID-19 pandemic, when companies and employees started to discuss ways of organising work after the crisis. The term has been increasingly used to refer to situations in which (teleworkable) work is carried out from two sites: at the usual place of work (normally the employer’s premises) and from home (as experienced during the pandemic) or other locations. However, the concept of hybrid work is still fuzzy and various meanings are attributed to it.
The rise of the platform economy during the last decade is one of the main disrupting forces for European labour markets. While standard employment remains the norm, platforms are expanding their reach and diversifying into novel business models. In doing so, they are also attracting an increasing number of women. This policy brief investigates why women are joining the platform economy and how the motivations to perform work on platforms differ between genders.
Europe Day is a celebration of unity, solidarity and harmony. While we may not have had much to celebrate this past year, one thing we can be proud of is how Europe has come together in the face of large-scale challenges and threats, showing that solidarity is the key to resilience and resolve.
This publication comprises individual country reports on developments in working life in each of the 27 EU Member States and Norway in 2022, based on national research and survey results. The topics covered include the policy responses of governments to inflation and how inflation has featured in collective bargaining; the role of the social partners in addressing labour shortages; and the working life of Ukrainian refugees. The reports also include updates on policy developments regarding issues such as the gender pay gap, health and safety, and work–life balance.
The year 2022 opened with cautious optimism. Europe was emerging from two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, with NextGenerationEU setting out a plan for a recovery that builds a strong and sustainable future. The Russian attack on Ukraine early in the year changed the situation dramatically, however, creating new turmoil across the continent. In its work during the year, Eurofound documented the impact of the rising cost of living and other developments arising from the war on the economic and psychological well-being of Europeans.
On request by the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Eurofound prepared a background paper as a basis for the discussion at the informal Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting on 3-4 May 2023. The paper outlines some of the key challenges on our labour markets in this regard, and points to some factors for improving the matching of skills and jobs, both in the short and long term.
The report explores plausible and imaginable scenarios examining how telework and hybrid work in the EU might have developed by 2035, and their implications for the world of work. How prepared are managers and employees, employer organisations and trade unions, and policymakers for the greater prevalence of these ways of organising work? How can they ensure that future telework and hybrid work arrangements benefit both employees and organisations?
This paper presents an analytical summary of current academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage the transition to a carbon-neutral economy on four key domains: employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the main empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transition on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
Spiralling housing costs are causing despair across the EU. The situation is making people anxious that they will lose their accommodation or become homeless; they may become overburdened financially or forced to live in substandard accommodation; and many young people are unable to leave home. While renters in the private market have faced the largest cost increases and experienced the most problems with quality of accommodation, people with other types of housing tenure are in difficulty as well. Policy actions in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights and availing of Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) funds could both address and prevent problems.
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).
Eurofound's annual review of minimum wages reports on the development of statutory and collectively agreed minimum wages across the EU and the processes through which they were set. The focus of this year’s report is on the impact of high inflation on the setting of minimum wage rates. In addition, new figures on the net value of minimum wages are presented, along with the latest policy-relevant research in the EU Member States and Norway.
As part of its response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the EU swiftly activated its Temporary Protection Directive for those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine – enabling displaced persons to settle in the EU and have access to the labour market and basic public services. This policy brief highlights the main barriers encountered by these refugees (over 5 million people to date) when seeking a job and provides suggestions on how to facilitate their integration.
This report explores the potential socio-economic implications of the transition to a climate-neutral economy on different EU regions and groups of people. It adopts a foresight approach to envision potential actions that can be taken to shape the future. After consulting with stakeholders and experts, three scenarios were developed to consider emerging economic and social inequalities at EU and regional level. The report includes policy pointers which outline measures to be taken to achieve a just transition to a sustainable, climate-neutral economy where no one is left behind.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an extraordinary level of provision of social services across the EU. Healthcare and care providers carried much of the burden and, together with essential services, played a crucial role in getting citizens through the crisis. This report explores how public services adapted to the new reality and what role was played by the digital transformation of services. The aim is to contribute to the documentation and analysis of changes in funding, delivery and use of healthcare and social services during the pandemic.
The report investigates the involvement of social partners in the just transition to a climate-neutral economy, with a particular focus on the territorial just transition plans (TJTPs). These TJTPs aim to support regions that are more negatively affected by the just transition and were agreed in a dialogue between the Member States and the European Commission. They provide support to workers in terms of retraining, relocation and securing new jobs for those who are about to become redundant.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.
This report explores how environmental performance has converged – or diverged – among the EU Member States since the early 2000s. With environmental goals piling up at the EU level, is it reasonable to expect Member States to adhere to this emerging EU environmental aquis? And, just as importantly, can we expect Member States to reach these goals at the same time? This report attempts to provide answers to these and other questions high on the political agenda.
This report investigates the potential individual and societal impacts of labour market insecurity, focusing on workers with non-permanent contracts, part-time and self-employed workers, and workers who perceive their job as insecure. It explores the impact of labour market insecurities on health and well-being, social exclusion, trust in people and the perception of fairness, as well as trust in institutions. Policies aimed at reducing labour market instability following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic are also presented.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in telework and other flexible working patterns has increased concerns about the ‘always on’ work culture, which can result in extra – often unpaid –working hours. One way of tackling this is for workers to have the right to disconnect. Drawing on a survey of HR managers and employees, this report explores legislation across EU Member States introducting the right to disconnect. It assesses its implementation in company policies and its impact on working time, work–life balance, health and well-being and workplace satisfaction.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, inflation has soared in the EU with the costs of energy and food prices rising to their highest levels in decades. While EU institutions forecast that inflation will slowly decline from 2025, collective bargaining rounds in 2022 have been unable to adapt to rising inflation and real wage growth has remained below inflation, impacting people with low incomes in particular.