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Living and working in Europe 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to be a defining force in the lives and work of Europeans for a second year in 2021, and Eurofound continued its work of examining and recording the many and diverse impacts across the EU Member States. Living and working in Europe 2021 provides a snapshot of the changes to employment, work and living conditions in Europe, as gathered by Eurofound’s research activities in 2021. This yearbook also summarises the Agency’s findings on other challenging aspects of social and economic life – including gender equality in employment, wealth inequality and labour shortages – that will have a significant bearing on recovery from the pandemic, resilience in the face of the war in Ukraine, and a successful transition to a green and digital future. Eurofound’s research on working and living conditions in Europe provides a bedrock of evidence for input into social policymaking and achieving the Agency’s vision ‘to be Europe’s leading knowledge source for better life and work’.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2022 Report

Enhancing social dialogue towards a culture of safety and health: What have we learned from the COVID-19 crisis?

Germany on the way to adequate minimum wages

The hike to €12 is also a strong signal on the planned European minimum-wages directive.

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.

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.

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.

Transnational labour and social rights

As labour increasingly transcends the national container, a European layer of social insurance is increasingly necessary.

First collective agreement for platform workers in Spain

The agreement follows a critical Supreme Court judgment and the ‘riders’ law’ deriving from social dialogue.

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.

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

On 21 October, the European Commission hosted its first technical seminar focusing on social partners’ contribution to policy making. It forms part of the review aiming to support the EU sectoral social dialogue to better embrace challenges in the world of work, such as digitalisation and new forms of work.

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