In mid-June 2003, negotiations between the European-level intersectoral
social partner organisations - the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC),
the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe
(UNICE)/European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
(UEAPME) and the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation and
of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP) - resulted in agreement on
a joint statement on managing change and its social consequences. The
statement identifies a range of factors that can contribute to preventing or
limiting the negative social impact of restructuring, including 'good social
On 8 July 2003, the UK's Labour Party government published its latest white
paper on skills. The white paper, entitled 21st century skills: realising our
potential , sets out an England-wide strategy for improving the skills and
productivity of the workforce. As such, it aims to tackle what it calls 'deep
and pervasive problems' that have resulted in the UK suffering from a
significant productivity and skills deficit relative to its major
competitors. Output per hour worked is at least 25% higher in Germany and the
USA, and over 30% higher in France, than in the UK. Only 28% of the UK
workforce have an intermediate-level qualification, compared with 51% in
France and 65% in Germany. It is also estimated that there are over 7 million
adult workers, or around 30% of the UK workforce, without a level 2
qualification or above - ie five 'good' GCSEs (exams taken at the end of
compulsory secondary education) at grades A*-C or a National Vocational
Qualification (NVQ) level 2.
On 7 July 2003, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) published a
consultation document  setting out how the UK government proposes to
implement the EU information and consultation Directive (2002/14/EC) 
(EU0204207F ), and inviting comments on draft Regulations. The approach
taken by the draft Regulations is based on a framework established in
discussions between ministers and representatives of the Confederation of
British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC), who agreed an
'outline scheme' for the implementing legislation which is incorporated in
the consultation document. The draft Regulations also take account of
responses to the DTI discussion paper published in July 2002 (UK0208101N
), and views expressed at a series of round-table discussions held around
the country. The government is now consulting on the detail of draft
Regulations, their practical operation, and the sort of guidance that
employers and employees will need in applying the new legislation. The
government has set a four-month consultation period (ie until 7 November
2003) during which interested parties may submit comments and a second set of
round-table discussions will be held.
On 29 May 2003, the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) held a human
resource management conference  in Dublin, which looked at examples of how
Ireland’s public sector organisations are responding to the challenges
posed by the current modernisation and 'change management' agenda, as
described in the sections on delivering high-quality public services
contained in the country's new national agreement, Sustaining progress 
(IE0304201N ). Public sector employers and are facing negotiations on this
modernisation agenda, and progress is expected as a 'quid quo pro' for the
recent pay increases received by public sector workers under a 'benchmarking'
exercise (IE0207203N ), which compared the pay of public servants with
that in the private sector.
/Sector Futures are specialised, targeted reports using findings from
existing foresight studies, scenario work, innovation studies and reliable
data sources. December 2003 features the third and last article in the series
on the future of information and communication technologies (ICT). It focuses
on policy issues for the future of the sector./
Communiqué is the newsletter of the Foundation It is published 6 times per year and provides up-to-date news and information on the Foundation's work and research. This issue contains the following articles: Better quality jobs will boost EU competitiveness; Social dialogue a vital tool for acceding countries in preparation for EMU; Industrial restructuring for economic and social growth; Understanding the knowledge society; Improving labour protection for economically dependent workers; Changes to the European industrial relations landscape.
The Foundation offers a wide variety of online information sources on the subject of industrial restructuring. This leaflet outlines different facets of restructuring and provides links to a large body of relevant Foundation work on this important subject. Industrial restructuring is a striking feature of the economic landscape in Europe today. Whatever the approach, restructuring represents an attempt at managing and anticipating change, simultaneously tackling issues of economic, social and environmental significance.
In May 2003, a /methods agreement/ was signed between trade unions and
management at GIAT Industries, the French arms manufacturer. The agreement
sets out a procedure and timetable for consultations over a major
restructuring plan involving large-scale job losses which the company
announced in April. In line with this procedure, a draft 'company contract',
outlining the state's commitments and GIAT's plans for the 2003-8 period, was
presented in June and criticised by the unions.
A reform of France's /UNEDIC/ unemployment insurance scheme agreed by
employers' organisations and three trade union confederations in December
2002 will substantially restrict unemployment benefit entitlements when new
eligibility rules come into force on 1 January 2004. In mid-2003, UNEDIC
issued figures indicating that cuts in entitlement will affect between
610,000 and 860,000 people currently in receipt of benefit. These figures
have fuelled new criticism from the union confederations (CGT and CGT-FO),
which did not sign the reform agreement.
In summer 2003, attempts are continuing to redeploy the 3,200 employees of
the French airline, Air Lib, which went into liquidation in February.
Meanwhile, the legal authorities and parliament have both been conducting
investigations into the circumstances surrounding the takeover and subsequent
bankruptcy of the company .
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.
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.
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 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.
This report is carried out in the context of the three-year pilot project (2021–2023), ‘Role of the minimum wage in establishing the Universal Labour Guarantee’, mandated to Eurofound by the European Commission. Its focus is module 3 of the project, investigating minimum wages and other forms of pay for the self-employed. Out of concern for the challenging conditions faced by certain groups of self-employed workers, some Member States have established or are in discussions about proposing some statutory forms of minimum pay for selected categories of the self-employed.
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 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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the food and drinks 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 aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.
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 report offers the most up to date insight on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work and life of Europeans over the last two years. The main focus is on Eurofound’s e-survey Living, working and COVID-19 which was launched on 9 April 2020 just after the onset of the crisis. Through five rounds of the survey (two in 2020, two in 2021 and one in 2022), the range of questions changed to match the evolving situation and to understand the effects on the everyday lives of citizens and workers in the EU27.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the textiles and clothing 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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the professional football 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 aim of this Eurofound’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the professional football sector in the EU Member States.
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.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
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.