On 20 June 1997 the management of one of Germany's leading chemical
companies, Bayer AG, and the company works council  (Gesamtbetriebsrat) -
politically supported by the chemical workers' union, IG
Chemie-Papier-Keramik- signed a new works agreement  to save production
sites and employment in Germany. The central aim of the agreement is to
guarantee production at the five German Bayer plants in Leverkusen, Dormagen,
Uerdingen, Elberfeld and Brunsbüttel.
The new and amended Work Environment Act adopted on 30 May 1997 has
infuriated theDanish Employers' Confederation (DA). The DA had criticised the
Minister of Labour,Jytte Andersen during the preparatory process (DK9705111N
), accusing her of ignoring the views of the social partners and attacking
the perceived hastiness of the process. It stated that: "Ms Andersen's
solitary approach will unavoidably create problems for tripartite
cooperation, which so far has been the modus operandi of the health and
safety system in Denmark". TheDanish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) is in
agreement with the DA, stating that the process has been contrary to past
practice and characterised by secretiveness. Normally the Minister would
establish a tripartite committee, which would then propose action.
The multinational industrial diamond manufacturer, De Beers, is planning a
major restructuring programme at its Shannon plant, which will involve an
overhaul of its reward and grading systems, as well as some recruitment and a
number of redeployments and voluntary redundancies. The key changes,
announced to employees at the end of April 1997, involve the proposed
introduction of a performance-based pay system and the establishment of a new
lower entry rate of pay. There would be an element of "red circling" for
existing employees at the top of their scales, which would remain unchanged
apart from the application of nationally agreed pay rises.
In May 1997, the Dutch trade union Industriebond FNV demanded a halt to
demolition work by a Chinese company on two blast furnaces in the
Netherlands, in a case which has highlighted concerns about working and
employment conditions in complex transnational assembly and demolition
In June 1997, André Flahaut, the minister for civil service affairs,
proposed a number of measures which constitute a new statute for about
100,000 federal civil servants. The cabinet accepted his proposals, which
will become operational on 1 January 1998. The most important changes are to
be found in recruitment, appraisal and disciplinary procedures for public
servants and new measures to increase mobility within the civil service.
A year after the collapse of the tripartite "corporatist" attempt to
revitalise the entire German economy (DE9702202F ), government, business
and trade unions have succeeded in forging an alliance to boost economic
growth, productivity and employment in eastern Germany.
Following a proposal by the Finnish Ministry of Labour, the Council of State
has appointed a committee, due to report by October 1997, with the task of
evaluating the need to reform the Employment Contracts Act. The committee is
to take into account developments that have taken place in society, working
life, industry and commerce and legislation. During the course of its work,
the committee will consider the status of different forms of employment, as
well as the relations between employment and social and tax legislation. It
will also assess developments that have taken place in collective bargaining,
employment protection, equal pay and treatment, the increasing international
dimensions of employment, and the need to promote job creation.
From 31 May to 1 June 1997, Copenhagen was the venue for an international
conference, known as the "Global Labour Summit". The event was attended by
780 people representing more than 50 countries, 15 international trade union
organisations, 115 national trade unions, the World Bank, the International
Labour Organisation, 50 different Danish national organisations, ministries,
universities and a few embassies. The summit was arranged by theGeneral
Workers Union in Denmark (SiD) in connection with its 100th anniversary. SiD
is the second largest confederation of trade unions in Denmark, representing
some 326,000 employees, of whom the vast majority are unskilled workers.
An April 1997 Government directive regulating the Portuguese fishing sector
has unleashed major protests by ship-owners and fishing workers, although for
different reasons. The trade unions are trying both to protect fish stocks
and to defend living conditions. The central problem is that, as a
consequence of collective bargaining in the sector, wages and other income
depend directly on the amount of fish caught. In addition, under an agreement
between Portugal and Spain signed in 1985, the Spanish fleet can still fish
without restrictions in Portuguese waters.
Recent studies published in the Netherlands show that discrimination on
grounds of age and other factors occurs frequently in job recruitment and
selection, while inappropriate treatment of applicants is also common.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2022 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2022. Eurofound’s research on working and living conditions in Europe provides a bedrock of evidence for input into social policymaking and achieving the Agency’s vision ‘to be Europe’s leading knowledge source for better life and work’.
The term ‘hybrid work’ became popular due to the upsurge of telework during the COVID-19 pandemic. The term has been increasingly used to refer to situations in which (teleworkable) work is performed both from 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 blurry, and various meanings are in use. This topical update brings clarity to this concept by exploring available information from recent literature and the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
Housing affordability is a matter of great concern across the EU. Poor housing affordability leads to housing evictions, housing insecurity, problematic housing costs and housing inadequacy. These problems negatively affect health and well-being, create unequal living conditions and opportunities, and come with healthcare costs, reduced productivity and environmental damage. Private market tenants face particularly large increases in the cost of housing.