Publications

Search results: 935 items found
  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The economic situation in Belgium was favourable in 1997, with growth rates
    reaching 2.1%. This was largely achieved through export growth, as domestic
    consumption remained weak. Inflation stood at 1.9%. According to the
    Institute for the National Accounts (Institut des Comptes Nationaux/Instituut
    voor de Nationale Rekeningen, ICN/INR), the 1997 budget deficit was 2.1 % of
    GDP. The improved economic prospects, and the 1998 budget measures seem set
    to reduce the deficit even further. The National Employment Office [1]
    (Office nationale de l'Emploi/Rijksdienst voor Arbeidsvoorziening, ONEm/RVA)
    reported the unemployment rate for 1997 at 13.3% for the total labour force
    (10.3% for men and 17.2% for women).

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/national-employment-and-placement-service

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Further problems have been looming in the UK's troubled and much-diminished
    mining industry for some time now, and came to a head at the beginning of
    December 1997 when the industry's largest producer, RJB, issued calls to the
    Government to step in to save the industry, with eight pits and some 5,000
    jobs said to be at risk. The crisis was triggered primarily by the fact that
    RJB had failed to secure enough contracts with power generators, which argue
    that the company's coal is too expensive.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The introduction of a statutory National Minimum Wage (NMW) was one of the
    commitments of the Labour Government that came to power in May 1997
    (UK9704125F [1]), and the National Minimum Wage Bill was published on 27
    November and received its first reading in Parliament. Margaret Beckett, the
    President of the Board of Trade, who is responsible for the bill, said that
    it would set the framework within which the Government would introduce the
    NMW, once it had carefully considered the recommendations of the Low Pay
    Commission [2] (LPC). The bill, she stated, will enable the Government to
    introduce a NMW which is as simple and universal as possible (UK9711177F
    [3]).

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-labour-market/the-industrial-relations-consequences-of-the-new-labour-government
    [2] http://www.dti.gov.uk/lowpay/
    [3] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-social-policies/the-national-minimum-wage-an-update

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) was one of the key privatisation
    measures of the Conservative governments of 1979-97, which brought much
    insecurity into the lives of those who provided services to local
    authorities. Much to the joy of local authority workers and trade unions, in
    June 1997 the new Labour Government announced that the rules on CCT would be
    changed after a wide-ranging consultation exercise (UK9706141N [1]). On 21
    November 1997, local government minister Hilary Armstrong laid before
    Parliament new regulations which amend the existing framework for CCT to make
    it more flexible, and encourage local authorities to move to a "Best Value"
    based approach to service delivery, in which value to customers would take
    priority over competition per se. She said: "In due course we will be
    replacing CCT with a new legislative framework on Best Value. In the
    meantime, I want local authorities to develop Best Value ahead of primary
    legislation."

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/government-relaxes-compulsory-competitive-tendering-rules

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Toyota, the Japan-based motor manufacturer, has a UK plant at Burnaston in
    Derbyshire, which is said to have the third-highest productivity levels of
    any car plant in Europe. It was widely expected that the company would
    continue its investment in the UK by building a new plant aimed at production
    for the small-car market in that country. However, on 10 December 1997, the
    announcement was made that the GBP 400 million assembly plant, which is
    likely to create over 2,000 jobs, will be built in Valenciennes, northern
    France.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The 1997 /Warwick pay and working time survey/ shows, on the one hand, that
    formal "benchmarking", or even measurement, of employee performance is not as
    common in the UK as might be expected. Benchmarking against the international
    competition is particularly infrequent, even where firms are experiencing an
    internationalisation of market boundaries or in the nature of their
    competition. On the other hand, the survey finds that employers do have
    access to a wide range of other formal and informal networks through which
    they can share and compare their experiences. The evidence shows that
    managers do use these opportunities for information-sharing when making
    changes to pay and working time systems. In practice, therefore, a looser
    form of benchmarking might already be widespread, and this might be a useful
    consideration to take into account when the Government - which regards
    benchmarking as a vital tool for improving employment relations and business
    performance - seeks to develop policy proposals in a White Paper in 1998.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    There are two inter-related factors within UK workplace relations which,
    arguably, are both caused by, and solvable by British managers. The first is
    an increase in workplace stress - the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), for
    example, has recently released figures (in its /Health and safety statistics
    1996/7/) showing that half a million people believe that they are suffering
    from work-related stress. The second is the need for high-performing
    companies. Both of these are in large part dependent on the type of managers
    within the workplace. All too often in the UK - according to some
    commentators - job insecurity, work intensification and "bossy" management
    are seen as the answer to improving performance, but are also the cause of
    much stress.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Over the five years to 1997, growth and productivity levels in the UK have
    shown above average figures for the EU. In 1997, GDP continued to grow at
    between 3% and 3.5%. Average earnings growth fluctuated within the range of
    4.25% to 4.75%, with average pay awards remaining at around 3% for most of
    1997, but moving towards the 4% mark in the last quarter.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    It was with confidence that the Social Democrat Government presented its
    report on the Swedish economy in 1997. When it took office in 1994, Sweden
    had one of the biggest public sector deficits in the European Union. In 1997,
    it was reduced to 0.4% of GDP, measured by EU accounting principles, and the
    consolidated debt ratio had fallen for three consecutive years. "This is a
    signal to other countries that Sweden's decision to stay outside the monetary
    union at the start is not because of a wish to pursue a less responsible
    policy than other EU member states," the Minister of Finance, Erik Åsbrink,
    commented.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    At the beginning of 1997 the Minister for Equal Opportunities Affairs, Labour
    Law and Working Hours appointed the director general of the National
    Institute of Economic Research, Svante Öberg, as a special investigator with
    the task of proposing measures to promote a satisfactory system of pay
    determination (SE9704111F [1]). On 27 November 1997, he presented his first
    results (Medlingsinstitut och lönestatistikSOU 1997:164).

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/new-rules-for-pay-determination-claimed-to-lead-to-better-agreements