Publications

Search results: 979 items found
  • Article
    27 december 1998

    Annualised hours have long been seen as a cost-efficient means of delivering
    labour flexibility in industries which are subject to varying levels of
    demand or which have extended operating times. The basic principle behind
    annualised hours contracts is that working time is defined in terms of the
    year rather than the week, so that the employer is better able to match
    working time to fluctuations in demand for products and services. Originally,
    it was in manufacturing industries such as paper-making and cement
    manufacture where such arrangements were mostly found. Increasingly, however,
    it is the service sector, such as television, finance, education and local
    authorities, which is now to the fore.

  • Article
    27 december 1998

    In the third quarter of 1998, the UK's GDP was 2.5% higher than a year
    earlier. Balance of trade in goods was in deficit by GBP 3.9 billion,
    compared with GBP 2.6 billion a year earlier. In December 1998, the all-items
    retail prices index (RPI) inflation rate stood at 2.8%, down from 3.0% in
    November.

  • Article
    27 december 1998

    In what is believed to be an unprecedented bilateral initiative between the
    governments of the two countries, the UK and Spain issued a joint statement
    in early December designed to influence the debate at the Vienna European
    Council meeting on 11-12 December 1998 about the EU's strategy for generating
    employment growth (EU9812141N [1]). The implicit intention of the declaration
    appears to have been to emphasise the centrality of continued labour market
    reform in boosting employment, as against the possibility of more
    interventionist job-creation measures favoured by some other Member States.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/vienna-summit-reaffirms-employment-as-priority

  • Article
    27 december 1998

    On 3 December 1998, the Department for Education and Employment published a
    consultative green paper, Meeting the challenge of change [1], outlining
    plans for a radical reform of the teaching profession. One key objective is
    the introduction of a new career and pay structure, designed to raise
    teaching standards by rewarding high performance by classroom teachers. At
    present, progression beyond the top of the main professional grade is
    dependent not on classroom performance but on teachers taking on managerial
    responsibility within schools. The government is now proposing a two-tier pay
    scale for classroom teachers, with a new higher scale separated from the
    existing one by a performance threshold, based on appraisal and assessment.
    To cross the threshold, teachers will need to demonstrate "high and sustained
    levels of achievement and commitment". Head teachers will assess and review
    teachers' progress, underpinned by external assessment.

    [1] http://www.dfee.gov.uk/teachers/greenpaper/index.htm

  • Article
    27 december 1998

    On 11 December 1998, it was announced that a ballot of union members at
    Rover, the motor manufacturer, had overwhelmingly endorsed an agreement
    negotiated between management and union officials involving 2,500 job losses
    and more flexible working hours. The changes had been sought by Rover's
    German parent company, BMW, as the price for new investment in Rover and
    keeping open the Longbridge production plant in Birmingham which employs
    around 14,000 people. BMW management maintained that a 30% productivity gap
    existed between the Longbridge plant and BMW plants in Germany, which had to
    be narrowed by means of more flexible working practices.

  • Article
    27 december 1998

    New research by the UK government's Office for National Statistics (ONS) uses
    data from the 1998 New Earnings Survey and the spring 1998 Labour Force
    Survey to produce an estimate of the number and percentage of employees
    likely to be affected by the introduction of the statutory national minimum
    wage (NMW) in April 1999 (UK9807135F [1]). As well as estimating the
    aggregate impact of the NMW, the ONS has also analysed its impact by sex,
    full-time/part-time status, region, occupational group and industry division.
    The findings of the research are published in the December 1998 issue of the
    official publication /Labour Market Trends/.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/the-national-minimum-wage-report-of-the-low-pay-commission

  • Article
    27 december 1998

    The election in May 1997 of a Labour government undoubtedly marked a turning
    point in the long march towards a deregulated labour market in the UK. An
    EIRO record written just after the election (UK9704125F [1]) reviewed the
    changes in prospect, commented on their radical nature and argued that "to
    suggest that [new Labour's] approach is minimalist is wide of the mark". In
    terms of "headline" measures, the initial turn in direction has been rapid
    indeed. The first 18 months have seen new Labour: sign up to the
    Maastricht"social policy Agreement" from which the previous UK government
    "opted out", resulting in new employment rights for Britain's workers; fulfil
    its manifesto commitment to implement a national minimum wage; and publish
    proposals to extend individual employment rights and put in place a statutory
    procedure for trade unions to secure recognition by employers.
    Interpretations of the impact of these measures continue to differ. Prime
    Minister Tony Blair has insisted that even in the face of these measures,
    "Britain will have the most lightly regulated labour market of any leading
    economy in the world" (according to the /Fairness at work/ white paper).
    However, Robert Taylor, employment editor of the /Financial Times/, argues
    that new Labour's approach, in combination with the effects of EU membership
    (now fully embraced), amounts to a "softly-softly revolution" in workplace
    relations in the UK: "By the end of next year, the UK will have the most
    intricate and comprehensive framework of labour legislation that it has ever
    had" (/Financial Times/, 18 June 1998).

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-labour-market/the-industrial-relations-consequences-of-the-new-labour-government

  • Article
    27 december 1998

    In recent years the scale of mergers and acquisitions at the international
    level has risen to unprecedented heights. The United Nations estimates that
    cross-border mergers and acquisitions amounted to USD 275 billion in 1996, a
    three-fold increase in five years. In 1998, there have been a number of
    "mega-mergers" between firms from different systems: the tie-ups between
    Daimler and Chrysler (USD 41 billion) (DE9805264N [1]) and BP and Amoco (USD
    48 billion) are two of the largest cross-border mergers in history.
    International mergers are concentrated in North America and Europe, each
    region accounting for almost one third of the sales. Within Europe, the UK is
    by far the largest seller of firms to foreign multinationals: 41% of the
    cross-border mergers and acquisitions in Europe in the period 1994 to 1996
    involved the sale of British companies. This feature examines the
    implications for industrial relations of the prevalence of international
    acquisitions in Britain.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/industrial-relations-aspects-of-the-daimler-chrysler-merger

  • Article
    27 december 1998

    The end of 1998 marked a milestone in the development of the European Union.
    On 1 January 1999, 11 Member States officially adopted the European single
    currency, the euro (the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union, EMU). Of
    the EU Member States, only Denmark, Greece, Sweden and the UK remain outside
    the "euro-zone", but it appears inevitable to many observers that at least
    most of these countries will join the single currency in the not too distant
    future. In 1998, the impact of EMU on industrial relations was assessed more
    widely than before and was the subject of keen debate for the social partners
    at European, national and regional levels.