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Living and working in Europe 2021

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2022 Report

Germany on the way to adequate minimum wages

Minimum wages in 2022: Bigger hikes this time around

The first overview of minimum wage setting for 2022 shows that, while some negotiations are still ongoing, virtually all EU Member States have increased their nominal statutory rates. Compared to last year, when most countries settled for cautious increases against a background of deep uncertainty caused by the pandemic, growth in statutory rates for 2022 was stronger, reflecting an easing of the situation. This was especially the case in central and eastern European countries, where some increases were in double digits. Nevertheless, inflation is back in the picture and should be monitored in the coming months to get an insight into how the increases in nominal minimum wage rates translate into actual changes in the purchasing power of minimum wage earners

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Involvement of social partners in the national recovery and resilience plans

This report examines the quality of the national social partners’ involvement in designing and implementing reforms and policies in the context of the European Semester cycle and in the preparation of the national reform programmes. Within the framework of NextGenerationEU, Member States in 2021 prepared and submitted recovery and resilience plans (RRPs) aimed at making European economies and societies more sustainable and resilient, as well as better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions. Social partners reported that, despite their obligatory involvement in the preparation and implementation of the RRPs, the consultation process could have been better planned and organised, as the quality and intensity of involvement in a number of countries were quite low. This situation could be improved by ensuring more timely and meaningful involvement of social partners in the implementation of the RRPs. This would not only boost ownership in the process but also enhance the effectiveness of the policy actions and reforms envisaged.

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Overtime in Europe: Regulation and practice

Despite the well-known adverse effects of regular long working hours on workers’ health, well-being and performance, many workers in the EU continue to work beyond their normal hours. Part of this additional working time is classified as overtime. This report takes a comparative overview of how overtime is regulated in the EU Member States, Norway and the United Kingdom, including its definition, the limits on its use and the compensation received by workers for working extra hours. The report assesses the extent of the phenomenon using national-level data, delves into the factors that explain it, and examines the potential consequences for workers and firms. Finally, the report summarises the current debate on the topic, as uncompensated working hours, structural overtime and monitoring of working hours are currently some of the most discussed work-related issues across the EU.

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Transnational labour and social rights

First collective agreement for platform workers in Spain

Council agrees on mandate for negotiations on a EU framework on adequate minimum wages

The Council today (6/12/2021) agreed its position on a Commission proposal for an EU law on adequate minimum wages in the EU. Fair wages that provide for a decent standard of living are one of the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights. To improve working and living conditions, this draft law establishes a framework to promote adequate levels of statutory minimum wages, to promote collective bargaining on wage setting and to improve the effective access to minimum wage protection of those workers who are entitled to a minimum wage.

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Commission launches the dialogue with European social partners on a review of the EU sectoral social dialogue

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