EWCS 2015: Research reports

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​Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. Its findings highlight actions for policy actors to help them address the challenges facing Europe today. In 2015, Eurofound carried out its sixth survey in the series (in operation since 1991). This sixth survey interviewed nearly 44,000 workers in 35 countries. Its findings provide detailed information on a broad range of issues, including exposure to physical and psychosocial risks, work organisation, work–life balance, and health and well-being.

Following the publication of the Sixth European Working Conditions Survey – Overview report in November 2016, a number of research reports on specific themes and drawing on the EWCS data were commissionned and published in 2017.


 

In the rapidly changing world of work, the traditional dichotomy of employee and self-employed is insufficient to capture the wide diversity of self-employed workers in Europe today. The report Exploring self-employment in the European Union identifies five categories of self-employed, reflecting the wide-ranging attitudes, income levels, and health and well-being among this diverse group. Based on data from the sixth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) and the European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), the analysis reveals that the majority of self-employed workers enjoy high levels of job quality. However, there are concerns in relation to so-called ‘economically dependent workers’: while they are classed as self-employed, they lack both the autonomy that self-employment usually offers and the social protection granted by regular employment.

 

Working time is a recurrent topic of study because the nature of work, its content, the conditions under which it is performed and the labour market itself keep changing. The report Working time patterns for sustainable work provides an overview of the recent evolution of working time duration and organisation in the EU and highlights the most important trends and differences between Member States. Through an in-depth analysis of data from the sixth European Working Conditions Survey carried out in 2015, it examines – from a gender and life course perspective – the links between working time patterns, work–life balance and working time preferences, on the one hand, and workers’ health and well-being on the other. Finally, the report explores the extent to which prevailing working conditions and working time patterns in EU Member States are sustainable in the long term. 

 

 

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