The French government was forced to amend its controversial proposals on
pension reform by wide-scale strike action and demonstrations organised in
protest on 13 May 2003. Following talks with the social partners, it revised
the plan - though not the key point of increasing the contribution period
required for a full pension - on the basis of a deal agreed by two trade
union confederations, CFDT and CFE-CGC. The talks thus led to a split in the
united trade union front on the issue, and unions opposed to the planned
reform have called more protest action. Parliamentary debate on the bill
began in June and is expected to to be completed in July.
Der Bericht vermittelt einen Überblick über die - in Tarifverträgen
vereinbarte und gesetzlich geregelte - Dauer der Arbeitszeit in der
Europäischen Union und in Norwegen im Jahr 2002 (und 2001), der auf den
Beiträgen der nationalen Zentren des Europäischen Observatoriums für die
Entwicklung der Arbeitsbeziehungen (EIRO) basiert. Zum ersten Mal
berücksichtigen wir auch Daten von drei der Kandidatenländern, die 2004 in
die EU aufgenommen werden: Ungarn, Polen und die Slowakei.
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.
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.
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.
In June 2003, the Cologne Institute for Business Research (Institut der
deutschen Wirtschaft, IW ) 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.
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
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.
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.
A meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
Council was held in Luxembourg on 2-3 June 2003 under the Greek Presidency.
Ministers debated a range of employment and social policy issues, with
varying degrees of success.
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.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
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.