In 2009, the legislation that governs Sunday trading in France was amended by
Act No. 2009-974 9 (in French)  – the so-called /Loi Mallié/ – which
reaffirmed the principle that no-one should have to work on a Sunday but
relaxed the rules to allow some businesses to open on Sundays in certain
situations, such as during the holiday season in tourist areas. However, the
number of employees working on Sundays has been growing since the 1990s, with
young people and women particularly affected, according to a recent paper (in
French, 840KB PDF)  published by the Agency for Research, Studies and
During the last few decades, public administration workers have been subject to a number of structural, modernising reforms, in a framework often designated as ‘new public management’. The current economic and financial crisis has also meant that the steep rise in public debt has prompted many authorities to try to reduce public expenditure by introducing freezes and reductions in pay and employment for civil servants. This report sets out to provide an overview of the main causes and reasons for change in central public administration in the European member states plus Norway. It also looks at the impact these changes have had on the sector's working conditions, as well as exploring how this situation is expected to evolve.
On 19 March 2013, representatives of employee and employer organisations in
healthcare held a meeting to discuss the creation of the Tripartite Council
of the National Health System of Lithuania (LNSSTT). The council was
established on 7 May 2013.
In Slovakia, benefits for those ‘in material need’ are provided to
citizens who do not have enough income. This benefit is secured by the
Constitution and several hundred thousand people, including children, are
long-term recipients of this benefit. In 2012, 6.6% of the population were
living on this benefit. However, in southern and eastern regions, where
approximately 40% of the country’s most economically-deprived people are
living, the proportion of recipients was 11%. The benefit is not very
generous and figures from the Mutual Information System on Social Protection
(MISSOC ) show that in 2013 it was a maximum €398.14 for a household of
two adults with no other income, living with two children (aged 5 and 10
years) in a three-bedroom apartment.
A report published on 22 October 2013 by the Trades Union Congress (TUC )
makes the case for a stronger voice for workers in corporate governance
structures, including ‘a mandatory system for the representation of workers
on company boards’.
In August 2013, the social partners concluded a long-term national
centralised labour market settlement. The Pact for Employment and Growth
(23.8KB PDF)  envisages that pay increases will be made in two instalments
over the next two years. The first increase of €20 per month (or a
corresponding increase in hourly rates according to industry custom and
practice) will be paid in the first year of the agreement. The second
increase, a year later, will bring the total increase to 0.4% across the
board. The social partners will reconvene in the summer of 2015 to decide
whether the agreement should be continued for a third year.
In October 2013, a high-profile industrial dispute affected the Grangemouth
oil refinery and petrochemicals plant in Scotland, which is owned by the
Swiss-based company, Ineos . The site employs 1,370 permanent workers and
2,000 contractors and is of considerable importance to the UK’s energy
network. The dispute was notable for its political and energy policy
dimensions, as well as the controversial tactics used by both the company and
the union involved, Unite .
In early 2013, UK Prime Minister David Cameron committed a future
Conservative government to the renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with
the EU (*UK1302019I* ). He also promised a referendum on the outcome by
the end of 2017 ‘with a very simple in or out choice: to stay in the EU on
these new terms or to come out altogether’.
In 2003, after a protracted industrial dispute in the French film industry,
the social partners in the live performance and audio-visual sectors were
asked to clarify and simplify their collective bargaining system
(*FR1202041Q*). Both sectors make extensive use of short-term employment
contracts. The request to reform their bargaining procedures came from the
Ministry of Labour , which also asked the sectors to negotiate eight
national collective agreements, including one covering film production.
Since 2011, the poor quality of social dialogue in Poland has led to clashes
between the government and major trade unions on a number of subjects. They
have disagreed on proposed reforms to the retirement age, the minimum wage,
atypical employment and working time (*PL1202029I*).
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.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2020. 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 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 two rounds – in April and in July 2020. 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 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.
Eurofound's representativness 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 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.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
How can working conditions be improved to make work more sustainable over the life course? This question has been the guiding principle for analysis of the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey data during the period of Eurofound’s work programme for 2017–2020. This flagship report brings together the different research strands from this work and gives a comprehensive answer to the question. It includes an analysis of trends in working conditions, examining whether these are the same for all workers or whether inequalities between different groups of workers are increasing.
Access to key social services, especially education and healthcare, as well as stable family life and decent housing are necessary for the well-being and development of children. Ensuring that all children have these resources is an EU priority; the European Commission is currently undertaking to recommend a Child Guarantee to address the situations of children in need. Service provision has been complicated by the COVID-19 outbreak, however, and the pandemic has put psychological and material strains on families.
This report builds on Eurofound's existing research on social mobility, assessing the distribution and transmission of wealth in Member States. It examines the roles of inheritance and household debt in explaining the transmission of advantage or disadvantage between the generations across Member States. The analysis is based on Eurosystem's Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
This report analyses the involvement of the national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, and their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and other key policy documents of the European Semester cycle.
This report will focus on assessing the employment impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including its effects across sectors and for different categories of workers. It will also be looking at measures implemented to limit negative effects following the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
This report examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
This report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the civil aviation (flight crew) 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 European Green Deal is at the very top of Member State agendas across the EU. This topical update maps the national discussions – in policy, public and research debates – on the potential, ongoing or already felt impact on work and employment of the transition to a low-carbon economy. It attempts to identify the most active actors involved in these discussions (governments, social partners, NGOs and so on) and their perspectives.
This report will draw from case studies of establishments across the EU that have introduced advanced digital technologies in the workplace. The technologies in focus are the Internet of Things, 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality. Each case study – illustrated in the report - will explore the approach or strategy taken by the establishment to manage the digital transition and the impact of the deployment of the technology on the work organisation and job quality.