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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two major companies in the Belgian aeronautical industry, Sabca and Sonaca,
have been forced by the sector's difficulties to restructure their
activities. Plans announced by the two Wallonia-based companies in spring
2003 will involve making several hundred workers redundant. The trade unions
are demanding alternative solutions, and stepped up protest work stoppages
KEY-Finland  is the joint mission of the Finnish trade union
confederations – the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (Suomen
Ammattiliittojen Keskusjärjestö, SAK), the Confederation of Salaried
Employees (Toimihenkilökeskusjärjestö, STTK) and the Confederation of
Unions for Academic Professionals (AKAVA) – in Brussels. The current
director of KEY-Finland, Jorma Skippari, leaves his position in summer 2004.
Due to this, in June 2003 SAK, STTK, and AKAVA invited Jarmo Lähteenmäki,
the president of the Finnish Paperworkers’ Union (Paperiliitto), to take up
the position of director of KEY-Finland from 1 April 2004.
On 24 June 2003, the Cologne Institute for Business Research (Institut der
deutschen Wirtschaft Köln, IW) published the results of a survey  of 900
firms with a total of 1.6 million employees, conducted in May 2003. The
survey examined the vocational training situation in Germany. Whereas the
Federal Labour Office (Bundesanstalt für Arbeit, BA) recently estimated that
there would be a severe shortage of approximately 70,000 vocational training
places in Germany in autumn 2003 (DE0305103F ), the IW results are more
optimistic. According to the IW survey 'only' about 20,000 to 30,000 people
are unlikely to find an apprenticeship place before new courses begin in the
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).
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.
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 study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in European sectoral social dialogue taking place at cross-sectoral level. 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 at cross-sectoral level in the EU Member States.