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  • Article
    27 Mayıs 1997

    The importance of continuing vocational education is increasingly being
    recognised by policy-makers across the European Union, not only because of
    its positive impact on maintaining the competitiveness of enterprises, but
    also because of its potential contribution to the free movement of labour and
    the improvement of employment prospects. This is particularly important in
    the context of the evolving "information society". The Commission has given
    particular emphasis and resources to continuing training through its
    vocational training programme, LEONARDO, and in declaring 1996 the European
    Year of Lifelong Learning.

  • Article
    27 Mayıs 1997

    Part-time workers have traditionally not been allowed into the same
    occupational pension schemes as full-time workers, but because there are far
    more women than men among part-timers the practice was challenged on the
    grounds of sex discrimination through the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In
    1994, the ECJ ruled in a set of linked cases that the practice did amount to
    sex discrimination. The judgment was not welcomed by the then Conservative
    Government, so the Trades Union Congress (TUC) advised qualifying individuals
    that they should register their cases with industrial tribunals. After a
    number of test cases in the UK tribunals, it was ruled that part-timers who
    had been denied access to occupational pension schemes could not claim
    backdated pension rights any further back that two years prior to the ECJ's
    ruling - that is, 1992. After appeals were turned down, the cases are still
    waiting to be heard by the House of Lords.

  • Article
    27 Mayıs 1997

    Two separate committees - a group of professors appointed by the Government
    and a committee of economists from the Finnish social partners - published
    reports in early May 1997 on the industrial relations implications of EU
    Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) for Finland The social partners themselves
    have adopted a joint declaration on EMU membership.

  • Article
    27 Mayıs 1997

    Occupational pension schemes are becoming more and more important in Italy
    even though their full implementation is still difficult, both because the
    legal framework has not yet been consolidated, and because their form and
    content must be defined by the social partners through collective bargaining.
    The latter point still remains problematic, as no agreement has yet been
    reached as to whether pension schemes should be developed at national or
    local level. Nevertheless, evidence from recent collective bargaining at
    national and local levels shows that occupational pension scheme issues are
    growing in importance.

  • Article
    27 Mayıs 1997

    In elections held in April 1997, a joint list of socialist and communist
    trade unionists narrowly won control of Portugal's South and Islands Banking
    Union (Sindicato dos Bancários do Sul e Ilhas, SBSI), which will continue to
    be affiliated to the General Workers' Union (União Geral de Trabalhadores,
    UGT).

  • Article
    27 Mayıs 1997

    The hard core of the strike threat are 10,000 civil servants in internal
    revenue collection and in the customs service. They have two complaints:

  • Article
    27 Mayıs 1997

    "Negotiate a reduction of working time - or else public opinion will force
    through legislation". That was the message in an article written jointly by
    Prime MinisterGöran Persson and the chair of the Swedish Metal Workers'
    Union, Göran Johnsson, and published in the evening paper /Aftonbladet/ on
    28 April 1997. Considering that one of the authors is the Prime Minister of
    Sweden, it could be seen as a veiled threat to the employers. In the 1997
    bargaining round, several trade unions called for a cut in working hours, and
    the employers consistently rejected them.

  • Article
    27 Mayıs 1997

    The first annual review of the social dialogue process at the European Union
    level was adopted by the Commission on 6 May 1997. The review characterises
    1996 as "a particularly fruitful and productive year" for the social dialogue
    at European level. Despite this overall positive assessment, the review
    highlights the fact that, despite endeavours towards the establishment of a
    dialogue between the social partners, and in some cases, negotiation, this
    represents only the background of a European-scale industrial relations
    systems which is yet to take shape.

  • Article
    27 Mayıs 1997

    The first of the two recently-announced mergers, which is to take effect from
    1 July 1997, is between the National and Provincial Building Society Staff
    Association (NAPSA) and the Banking, Insurance and Finance Union (BIFU). The
    National and Provincial Building Society was recently taken over by the Abbey
    National, but NAPSA members voted to become part of BIFU rather than the
    Abbey National's own staff association. Despite the strong support for BIFU
    from NAPSA members, the company has refused to recognise the union. BIFU said
    that "in the merger and conversion mania which is sweeping this country there
    is little regard for the impact on staff. They are the casualties - that's
    why it is important for unions to work together". BIFU, which has 115,000
    members, hope that this will be the first of many mergers which will ensure
    it a stronger role in the financial sector.

  • Article
    27 Mayıs 1997

    One of the most significant transformations of British industrial relations
    in recent years has been the shift from national to enterprise-level
    bargaining. Multi-employer bargaining arrangements have tended to be replaced
    with multi-establishment, single employer bargaining, although there are also
    signs of decentralisation within the individual firm. Similarly, within the
    public sector (UK9702104F [1]), efforts have been made to fragment
    traditional bargaining arrangements through the introduction of "Agency"
    status and market-testing to the civil service and local authorities, and by
    further institutional decentralisation through the promotion of National
    Health Service (NHS) Trusts and local management of schools. These changes
    have occurred alongside a dramatic decline in coverage of collective
    bargaining, largely due to the decline of manufacturing employment and the
    expansion of the service sector.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/public-sector-pay-policies

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  • European Working Conditions Surveys

    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.

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  • National social partners and policymaking

    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).

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  • European Company Surveys

    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.

Forthcoming publications