This information sheet offers a brief overview of the Foundation's new research project in the living conditions sphere. The Foundation launched a new pan-European ‘quality of life’ survey in May 2003. This project will provide new information and analysis on living conditions and quality of life issues throughout the 28 countries of the EU and its candidate countries. The first results, to be presented at the end of 2003, will draw on the survey’s findings, together with existing information from a database of comparable EU-wide data.
In May 2003, all companies in the Luxembourg finance sector were asked to
adopt a set of guidelines on tackling sexual harassment and to distribute
them to their workforces. This initiative was launched by organisations
representing the sector's employers, personnel managers and occupational
health services, and includes the creation of a panel of external
confidential advisers to whom employees can refer cases of sexual harassment.
Slovakia is one of the EU candidate countries that have asked for support
within the framework of the EU's PHARE  programme in the reinforcement of
social dialogue and collective bargaining at all relevant levels and in the
implementation of relevant EU Directives into national legislation. Thus, in
2001, representatives from Slovakia, the Netherlands and the UK concluded a
'twinning' covenant for PHARE project SR 0006.01. The twinning involves Dutch
and British experts from governments, employers' organisations and trade
unions transmitting their knowledge and experience to their Slovak
colleagues. The project aims to achieve the following results:
In June 2003, the Portuguese government submitted a draft 'Social contract
for competitiveness and employment' to the social partners, aimed at
achieving convergence with average EU levels of productivity and purchasing
power, combating tax fraud and evasion, and increasing competitiveness. The
government wants employers and trade unions to agree to pay moderation and
biannual wage bargaining, along with investment in innovation and training
and a review of company taxation.
In late 2000, the Swedish government set up a governmental working time
committee (Kommittén för nya arbetstids- och semesterregler, KNAS), with
social partner involvement, to examine the entire system of legislation on
working time and leave and make proposals for reform (SE0101176N ). In
June 2002, the committee issued a report (/SOU 2002:58/) proposing new
legislation to give all workers an additional five days of leave per year
(SE0206105F ). On 17 June 2003, it presented its final report (SOU 2003:54
), calling for a simplification of current rules on annual and other forms
of leave for employees.
In 2002, Poland's State Labour Inspection found that, overall, compliance by
employers with labour law in terms of payment of remuneration and other
employee benefits improved somewhat. However, the total value of unpaid wages
and benefits rose sharply, in a context of economic difficulties for
employers and the economy.
In June 2003, Telefónica de España - the Spanish fixed telephony business
of the Telefónica group - announced plans for a workforce reduction of
around 11% in the short term, in order to deal with market difficulties and
improve competitiveness. Negotiations are due to start on a redundancy
procedure with trade unions.
According to figures published in 2003, tn 2002 the number of registered
collective labour disputes in Poland fell below 100 for the first time in six
years, while the year saw only one strike, compared with 11 in 2001. However,
protest actions outside the employer's premises became increasingly frequent.
In June 2003, the Dutch Trade Union Federation (FNV) decided on major
cutbacks and restructuring as a result of its poor financial position. Its
budget is to be cut by a quarter, activities are to be reduced (notably at
regional level) and up to 90 out of 240 jobs may be lost.
A referendum on extending the right to reinstatement for unfairly dismissed
workers provided by Article 18 of the Workers' Statute to all companies (it
currently applies only to those with over 15 workers) was held in Italy in
June 2003. However, it failed because only 25.7% of the Italian electorate
went to the polls, while a turn-out of more than 50% was needed to make the
referendum valid. The referendum reopened divisions between the trade unions.
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 study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the electricity 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 electricity sector in the EU Member States.
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.
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
The civil aviation sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most severe crises the sector has ever experienced, giving rise to a number of significant challenges for companies and workers alike. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
This policy brief will provide an update on upward convergence in the economic, social and institutional dimensions of the European Union, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying Social Scoreboard.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
This report analyses the working lives of workers in Europe in 2021, when the continent was still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines working conditions during that period and the association between job quality and work outcomes such as health and well-being, work–life balance, and financial security. The report also considers how the shifts in working life during the pandemic are likely to affect work in the future.