European Foundation for the Improvement of the Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) provides comparative data, knowledge, expertise and advice to the governments, employers, trade unions and European Commission. For this purpose, Eurofound monitors developments and trends, analyses and assesses policies and practices and spreads the information to target groups in all European Union member states and in Norway.
Eurofound covers topics related to employment relations, working conditions and restructuring, including for example industrial relations, individual employment relations, equal opportunities in the labour market, health and safety at the workplace, skills and lifelong learning, structural changes. Main focus is set on industrial relations – collective agreements, social dialogue and social partners and their standpoints, views and activities.
In its work, Eurofound also relies on its network of national correspondents in order to collect information about member states. The role of Praxis is to be the Estonian correspondent, offering comprehensive information about Estonia.
What kind of information does Eurofound offer?
Information about member states
Thorough overview as background information about the topics covered by Eurofound for all member states and Norway is provided in the country profiles.
It is also possible to read about important national developments, reforms and new studies in the countries in the form of short articles.
Part of the Eurofound activities concentrates on changes in the European labour markets and restructuring in companies. Eurofound manages one of a kind restructuring events database, which contains information about large-scale dismissals or job creations in European companies (which affect at least 100 jobs or at least 10% of jobs in the companies with at least 250 employees).
It is complemented by a) restructuring support instruments database, which gives an overview of measures used in member states to support companies and employees in case of dismissals, to anticipate changes and to support job creation; and b) restructuring related legislation database, where information about respective regulations at national level can be found.
The main role of Eurofound is to provide expertise and knowledge on the basis of comparative information, research and analysis. The research focuses among other topics on economic and social developments that impact changes on European labour markets; developments in industrial relations; measures and regulations regarding employment relations and working conditions; on equal treatment and equal opportunities.
Eurofound also conducts specific studies called representativeness studies, which give an overview of trade unions and employers organisations and industrial relations in specific sectors. The purpose of these studies is to provide necessary information for the establishing and functioning of sectoral social dialogue committees at European level (e.g. how representative are European level social partners; whether they have members from all member states; whether there are potential members in the member states etc). European Commission uses social dialogue committees in order to consult with the social partners according to the article 154 of the Treaty of the Function on the EU before any decisions concerning employment and social affairs issues. In order to participate in the consultation process, the European level social partners must be representative.
Recent representativeness studies concerned the following sectors:
- Extractive industries
- Maritime transport
- Temporary agency work
- Graphical industry
Earlier studies are available on the Eurofound’s web page