In the last few years the working conditions in Europe have not improved. This is a result of the released survey of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (abbreviation: Eurofound). Eurofound’s role is to provide information, advice and expertise – on living and working conditions, industrial relations and managing change in Europe – for key actors in the field of EU social policy on the basis of comparative information, research and analysis.
Since 1990, Eurofound implements a survey about working conditions every five years. For the current research almost 44 000 labour forces in 34 different countries were interviewed – employees and self-employed persons from the 27 EU countries, furthermore, Norway, Croatia, Turkey, Macedonia and other Balkan states. The results are consistent with national studies: Fundamentally, the quality of work has not improved in the recent years. While the average working time in Europe has decreased, intensity of labour and psychological pressure increased.
Neither the autonomy in the workplace nor the development of chances to qualify in the job showed major improvements and progress in the last ten years. Moreover, Europe-wide the number of employees with fixed-term work contracts rose. It is getting more and more difficult to distinguish between self-employed and dependent workers, declares Eurofound. The progress in equalisation of gender in working environment is “limited”. The gender-based division of labour has hardly changed. At least, the female-dominated industries occupy more and more women in leading positions. Nearly one fifth of the workforces, more than in 2000, have great difficulties to combine job and private life. Taken as a whole, the former high level of satisfaction with working conditions has declined slightly, pursuant to Eurofound.