This report uses European Working Conditions Survey data to examine working conditions and their implications for worker's health. Ensuring the sustainability of work in the context of ageing populations implies a greater number of people in employment who can remain in the workforce for longer. The report examines the interplay between work demands –which carry an increased risk of exhaustion – and work resources – which support workers in greater engagement and well-being. The findings indicate that physical risks have not increased but remain important, while emotional demands have increased, underlining the growing importance of psychosocial risks at work. Changes over time suggest that although the risk of poor health is concentrated in certain occupations, those occupations traditionally considered to be protected are increasingly exposed to risks that are likely to affect workers' health and well-being.
Eurofound has a considerable body of research findings looking at how salary levels are set in EU Member States. This report looks at the mechanisms used to determine statutory minimum wages, the use of variable pay schemes in companies in the EU, and national systems of supplementary pay. The analysis finds that variable pay usually represents a fairly significant percentage of total salary levels, ranging from 5% to 11% in most of the countries where information is available. This ad hoc report was drawn up in response to a request from the Bulgarian EU Presidency to provide information on current debates in the country.
This report examines the development of collectively agreed pay in conjunction with the development of actual compensation ('wages') and labour productivity in real terms. It applies both a longer-term perspective (the early 2000s to 2017) and a short-term perspective, with a focus on the outcomes of the most recent bargaining rounds in 2016–2017 as well as on the development of public sector negotiated pay. In most countries with available data (14 EU Member States), there has been a positive wage drift since the early 2000s, indicating that actual wages have grown more than collectively agreed pay. While growth in collectively agreed pay has, by and large, gained momentum in 2017, this has often not translated into growth in real terms due to inflation rates. In fact, 6 out of these 14 countries even saw a decline in collectively agreed pay in real terms.
While discrimination against women at work has long been a mainstream topic in research literature, only marginal attention has been paid to discrimination against men. A number of factors may be responsible for this, including change in traditional occupational roles, cultural perceptions of the 'natures' of men and women, and men's own perception (or lack of perception) of discrimination. This short report investigates whether men face discrimination based on sex in the workplace. It looks at the results of Eurofound's 2015 European Working Conditions Survey and then examines cases from five countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, France and the UK). Discrimination is examined in such areas as recruitment, education, healthcare-related services, working time and parenting, and sexual harassment. The cases demonstrate that men do indeed experience discrimination because of their sex. The cases appear to be more concentrated in female-dominated contexts and in instances of adjustment of working time in relation to parental duties.
In recent years, it has often been claimed that social cohesion, the social fabric of our societies, is decaying. The present report undertakes an empirical exploration of the validity of this alarmist view and considers the importance of social cohesion for citizens' assessments of their quality of life. Drawing on data from the three most recent rounds of Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) – carried out in 2007, 2011 and 2016 – the report sets out to assess the current level of social cohesion in the EU and its evolution over time. It focuses on groups that are at risk of experiencing low social cohesion and on societal characteristics that contribute to creating cohesion. Overall, the findings reveal that in addition to the predictable drivers of social cohesion – prosperity, a generous and inclusive welfare system, high levels of education and low unemployment – digital skills has emerged as a critical driver, leading to more cohesive societies and thereby happier citizens in the EU.
How to combine work with life is a fundamental issue for many people, an issue that policymakers, social partners, businesses and individuals are seeking to resolve. Simultaneously, new challenges and solutions are transforming the interface between work and life: an ageing population, technological change, higher employment rates and fewer weekly working hours. This report aims to examine the reciprocal relationship between work and life for people in the EU, the circumstances in which they struggle to reconcile the two domains, and what is most important for them in terms of their work–life balance. The report draws on a range of data sources, in particular the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) and the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS).
In light of the limited action in many Member States to introduce or review gender pay transparency instruments as recommended, in November 2017 the European Commission announced the possible need for further targeted measures at EU level. This report reviews experiences in four Member States – Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Finland – based on their company-level gender pay reports and audits. Evaluations point to a 'bumpy ride' in terms of compliance – at least in the initial phase of rolling out the instruments in some countries – and highlight room for improvement in engaging employee representatives and in raising employees' awareness. The need to tackle knowledge gaps around the instruments right from the start is a lesson to be learnt from the experiences of the first movers. Soft measures to accompany enforceable mandatory requirements seem to be in demand and to be working well. Ultimately, the success of the instrument depends on the attitudes of the actors, the extent to which they acknowledge the existence of unjustified gender pay gaps and their willingness to engage in a meaningful dialogue and follow-up.
The study looks at the articulation and the complex multi-level links between European and national levels of social dialogue. It examines the factors that facilitate as well as those that hinder the successful engagement of national social partners and their ability to promote their own interests effectively. It highlights the need to overcome some gaps in coordination, resources and capacities, particularly in those countries with underdeveloped structures of bilateral social dialogue at sectoral level linking to European-level social dialogue. The findings show that what is needed is a longer-term perspective on the multi-level governance of employment within the EU, one that would foster institution-building within sectoral social dialogue. Based on case studies and interviews with trade unions and employer organisations, the study illustrates that well-functioning national social dialogue is a key driver of positive and effective cooperation between all levels.