Eurofound publishes its work in a range of publication formats to match audience needs and the nature of the output. These include flagship reports on a particular area of activity, research reports summarising the findings of a research project and policy briefs presenting policy pointers from
research projects or facts and figures relevant to policy debates. Also included are blog articles, regular articleson working life in Europe, presentations, working papers providing background material to ongoing or already concluded research, and reports arising from ad hoc requests by policymakers. Other corporate publications include annual reports, brochures and promotional publications. Web databases and online resources such as data visualisation applications are available in Data and resources.
Depopulation of rural areas and the concentration of employment and education opportunities in urban centres is a fact of modern life. What impact does this have on the quality of life of rural residents? Do they feel increasingly isolated, and what are the emerging trends? New research by Eurofound highlights differences in quality of life across the rural–urban divide and finds that while rural dwellers are more likely to have a sense of belonging in their community than urban residents, they are also more disconnected from the wider world.
Company restructuring may hit the headlines less in good times, but it remains a central experience in the working life of many. According to the most recent European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) data, just under one in three (30%) employees in the EU reported that restructuring had taken place at their workplace in the preceding three years. A similar proportion reported working in downsized workplaces. Large scale restructuring involving job loss is usually well-documented, and there is rightly a focus on what options there are for those who have lost their jobs. But what impact does all this have on those that are left behind?
Seniority entitlements have largely been on the decline since the 1990s, and have been gradually phased-out from legislation in Europe, as well as in collective agreements. However, it would be premature to dismiss seniority-based entitlements as a thing of the past, as they remain in force across Europe, even if the more expansive term of ‘relevant experience’ is preferred. As we look to the future, we ask whether seniority-based entitlements have a renewed role in a European labour market challenged by demographic ageing and a need to keep people working for longer, or whether they are a relic of the past that contribute to inter-generational inequity, under-performance, and lower employment prospects of older workers.
Over the past four years a special project delegated to Eurofound has looked in detail at ongoing changes in manufacturing on a global scale, analysed how the industry will change further in the future, and assessed what the impacts will be for Europe. Looking at everything from changes in tasks for meat packers in Sweden, to the potential fallout of a trade war between the US, the EU and China, the remit of the project was expansive, and findings were detailed and diverse. They serve to highlight the potential labour market changes that will be brought about from automation and technological change in manufacturing.
Motivated workers have higher levels of engagement, better health and are able to work longer. Improving motivation at work is therefore a key component in meeting the challenges of Europe’s ageing workforce and improving the EU’s long-term competitiveness on a global scale. This means that fostering motivation at work isn’t just about personal or business success, it is also about Europe’s success.
After more than 60 years of European policy on the equal treatment of women and men, men still outnumber women in management positions by almost two to one. The women who do make it into management are more likely to be in non-supervising management roles where they manage operational responsibilities but not staff, and the minority that do manage staff are more likely to be managing other women.
For those of us of a certain age, the European Union has always been a driver for peace, freedom and citizens’ rights. It is an integration project that has carried the idea of social progress in its DNA since the Treaty of Rome. The EU can only advance if it is able to combine economic progress, freedom and social justice, so it is not surprising that one of the first Agencies created by the European Communities was the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions or Eurofound for short (often referred to in the past as the ‘Dublin Foundation’ due to its location).
One year after Germany’s introduction of the Entgelttransparenzgesetz (Wage Transparency Act), the results are somewhat underwhelming. This law is Germany’s take on the European Commission’s recommendation on introducing pay transparency measures to combat the gender pay gap.
Unemployment in the EU is continuing to fall, with the rate approaching its 2008 low point. This is good news: the Europe 2020 target of 75% employment in the working age population is now in sight for many Member States. However, as unemployment reaches new lows, the opposite problem is emerging – labour shortages.
Over the last decade, European labour markets have seen a surge in the number of older workers in work and a continuous decline in their unemployment rates. A lot of young and middle-aged workers lost their jobs in the Great Recession, but not so the older age group. This favourable state of affairs means they receive less policy attention, which is unfortunate for older workers who suddenly find themselves without a job.