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  • Article
    25 jún 2003

    In summer 2003, work is due to start on a revision of the Toledo pact, the
    1995 agreement on the Spanish pensions system, in the light of gloomy
    demographic and expenditure forecasts. The government is seeking various
    changes, notably linking pensions to contributions paid over the entire
    career, the development of private pension schemes, a halt to early
    retirement and an increase in the retirement age. A recent European
    Commission report has contributed to the debate.

  • Article
    24 jún 2003

    In June 2003, the Cologne Institute for Business Research (Institut der
    deutschen Wirtschaft, IW [1]) published a report which finds that a 40-hour
    working week (or longer) is still a reality for 44% of all employees in
    eastern Germany. Moreover, only slightly more than one-fifth of all west
    German employees have a 35-hour week, while over half work 38 hours a week or
    more. The figures - see table 1 below - indicate that the 35-hour week is
    less common in Germany than is commonly thought.

    [1] http://www.iwkoeln.de

  • Article
    24 jún 2003

    New legislation adopted in May 2003 makes important changes to the employment
    conditions and status of Luxembourg's 21,000 civil servants. For example,
    civil servants will now find it easier to work part time and will have a more
    transparent disciplinary procedure. The age limit for starting work in the
    civil service has been raised from 40 to 45 years of age, teleworking is now
    possible, and equality delegates are to be appointed in all administrative
    units.

  • Article
    24 jún 2003

    In late April 2003, the management of the Arcelor steel group and trade
    unions at Cockerill Sambre, its subsidiary in Wallonia, Belgium, reached
    agreement on the gradual closure of the company's blast furnaces in Liège.
    This feature examines the changing objectives and strategies of management,
    the unions and the Walloon regional government during the affair, and
    outlines Arcelor's latest investment project in Wallonia along with a number
    of unresolved problems.

  • Article
    24 jún 2003

    At the annual Conference on the Family held at the end of April 2003, the
    French government announced a number of new family policy measures. Notably
    it is to introduce in 2004 a new benefit for parents of young children,
    replacing a number of existing schemes. The reaction of the social partners
    has been mixed.

  • Article
    24 jún 2003

    During 2003, Italian trade unions - and especially the Cisl confederation -
    have been repeatedly threatened and attacked by terrorist groups (with 43
    such attacks, including 12 fire-bombings, recorded between July 2002 and May
    2003). The minister of the interior has highlighted the threat to unions in
    parliament and in June the three main confederations agreed a united response
    to the attacks.

  • Article
    24 jún 2003

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s budget statement on 9 April 2003
    contained a commitment to introduce measures to ensure that pay systems in
    the public services become more responsive to differences in labour market
    conditions between the UK’s regions. In particular, the pay review bodies
    which determine levels of pay for 40% of the public service workforce would
    have a new remit to take into account regional and local factors. To augment
    the economic data available to negotiators and pay review bodies, the
    government also announced plans to publish regional inflation figures.
    Supporting its proposals, the government cited evidence from its 2002 review
    of the public sector labour market which showed that wages in the public
    sector vary far less than those in the private sector. The review found that
    'public-sector workers outside of London are probably better paid than their
    private-sector counterparts. But those in London are worse off than
    equivalent workers in the private sector' (quoted in the /Financial Times/,
    11 April 2003). The review concluded that the problem lay with national pay
    bargaining and review body arrangements.

  • Article
    24 jún 2003

    On 13 June 2003, the Norwegian government issued a proposal for new
    legislation relating to gender quotas on company boards. The aim is to
    achieve a 40% share of female board members in both larger private firms and
    public enterprises. The proposed legislation would be made applicable to
    private companies only if they fail voluntarily to achieve an acceptable
    level of female representation on their boards. The government's proposal
    comes against the backdrop of an increasing awareness of the low presence of
    women on company boards in Norway. The government sees this as an equal
    opportunities issue and argues that the business and industry community is
    not doing enough to avail itself of the competences and qualifications of
    both women and men.

  • Article
    23 jún 2003

    Since autumn 2002, trade unions representing staff employed in the French
    state education system have been taking industrial action in opposition to
    the government’s planned reforms in areas including pensions,
    decentralisation and budget cuts. After an 11th day of strike action and
    protests on 10 June 2003, the government made some progress in placating the
    unions. Whatever the outcome of this dispute, it is probable that the
    discontent among teachers, who have been highly mobilised for months, will be
    enduring.

  • Article
    23 jún 2003

    According to a representative survey of 1,001 firms with fewer than six
    employees carried out by the Forsa Society for Social Research and
    Statistical Analysis (Gesellschaft für Sozialforschung und statistische
    Analysen mbH, forsa [1]) in March 2003, many small firms of this size have
    encountered difficulties owing to Germany's dismissal protection [2]
    legislation over the past five years. The protective legislation currently
    applies to employers with more than five employees. The survey finds that
    since 1998, among firms with four or five employees, 14% and 15% respectively
    have had negative experiences related to this legislation. One in seven small
    firms in the representative survey state that they have not created new jobs
    due to the strict dismissal protection legislation which applies when their
    workforce exceeds five. For enterprises with four or five employees, which
    would be most immediately affected if they employed additional staff, this
    figure increases to 27% and 31% respectively - see the table below.

    [1] http://www.forsa.de/
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/efemiredictionary/protection-against-dismissal-1

Series

  • Sectoral social dialogue

    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.

  • Minimum wages in the EU

    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.  

  • COVID-19

    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 three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.

  • European Working Conditions Surveys

    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.

  • European Restructuring Monitor

    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.

  • Challenges and prospects in the EU

    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.

  • European Company Survey 2019

    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. 

  • National social partners and policymaking

    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).

  • New forms of employment

    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.

  • European Company Surveys

    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.

Forthcoming publications