In autumn 1996, following what company management considered the constant
opposition of some works councils to worker participation, the
Electrolux-Zanussi group in Italy announced that it intended to terminate all
company-level agreements on participation from the end of March 1997. At the
same time, however, the company invited trade unions to negotiate a revision
of the participation model which had been developed within the group during
the previous years, in order to strengthen it and confirm joint and full
support from both unions and management. Consultations among company and
union representatives started in May, but they have not yet led to an
agreement. The issue at stake is very important, since the participation
model at Electrolux-Zanussi is generally considered one of the most advanced
in Europe and the most significant in Italy.
The framework agreement, signed on 15 November 1996, for the 625,000
employees in the 275 Danish municipalities and 14 counties, is the
culmination of six years of experiments with new structures for cooperation
between workers and employers. The agreement is a response to the increasing
demands imposed on local and regional authorities for quality services,
budgetary restraints and improvements in efficiency and increased flexibility
on the part of employees.
Protests in June 1997 against the termination of ship-refitting work at
Spain's publicly owned Astander shipyard met with a forceful response from
the police. The problem arose because the Ministry of Industry imposed a
unilateral amendment to the Strategic Competitiveness Plan for the naval
sector. The dispute is still continuing, even though the Ministry has
modified its position
On 17 June 1997 the Swedish Employers' Confederation, (SAF), gave notice of
termination of the "adjustment agreement" with PTK, a negotiating cartel of
27 salaried employees' unions. The agreement thus runs out on 31 December
After 18 years in the wilderness, being frozen out of influence in the
corridors of government by Conservative administrations, trade unions have
been informed that they will be offered places on working groups being formed
to advise various government departments. The Trades Union Congress (TUC)
reports a substantially changed mood in Whitehall and Westminster, after
years of unions being systematically excluded from representing their
According to a recent study of 1997 provisions by the Institute for Economics
and Social Science (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI),
most employees in Germany receive a collectively agreed holiday bonus, though
there are significant sectoral differences in the amount of the bonus. While
most employees are due 30 days' paid leave per year, the average annual
holiday bonus for a blue collar worker in a middle-range income group ranges
between DEM 200 and DEM 2,587.
During the last few months the attention of Italian industrial relations
practitioners has been drawn by two new kinds of agreement - "gradual
alignment" agreements and so-called "discount agreements". They are quite
different, but both deal in a distinct way with the same problem: wage
flexibility. A deeper analysis of their origins and scope is important, as
the issue of wage flexibility is one of the most prominent in the debate on
the reform of Italian industrial relations, and is put forward with
increasing emphasis by employers' organisations, also with reference to the
forthcoming revision of the tripartite agreement of July 1993, which is due
to start at the end of June 1997.
Since the original introduction of early retirement schemes some 20 years
ago, the number of employees aged 60-66 taking early retirement has more than
tripled, from about 40,000 in 1980 to 127,000 in February 1997, equal to more
than two-thirds of everyone in that age group. In 1976 more than 75% of all
men remained in the labour force until they were 65; today only 28% stay on
until they become entitled to a pension at 67. Over the course of the last 20
years the average age of those taking early retirement has fallen from 63 to
60. TheMinistry of Finance estimates that there will be 160,000 recipients of
early retirement benefits by 2005, whereas theDanish Employers' Confederation
(DA) estimates that this figure will double to some 260,000 people. The wide
difference of opinion between the government estimates and those of the DA
accounts for the disagreement as to whether legislation is needed to stem the
flow of those opting to take early retirement.
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).
In 2022, the European Semester was streamlined to integrate the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) established on 19 February 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2021/241). While facing the geopolitical and economic challenges triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States have been implementing the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for more than one year and around 100 billion euro in RRF funds have already been disbursed.
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.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
This paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
As economies emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report will look at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care and information and communications technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin digital and green transitions.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
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 urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.
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.