21.06.2007

Annual review of working conditions in the EU 2006­2007

The fourth annual review of the European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO)
summarises the main developments, at EU level, in the area of working
conditions and quality of work and employment. It mainly refers to the period
January to December 2006. The analysis follows the paper Quality of work and
employment in Europe: Issues and challenges, compiled by the European
Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (hereafter
referred to as the Foundation). The paper identifies four key dimensions
necessary for the promotion of quality of work:

  • ensuring career and employment security;
  • maintaining and promoting the health and well-being of workers;
  • developing skills and competences;
  • reconciling working and non-working life.

During the reference period, no legislative progress has been made on the
working time directive, while a ruling from the European Court of Justice calls
for a more precise definition of rest and leave periods. Although there has
been no legislative progress either in addressing the problem of
musculoskeletal disorders, significant developments have been made in the area
of health and well-being, with the REACH chemicals directive and the agreements
of the social partners on silica crystalline and on combating violence and
harassment in the workplace. Meanwhile, the services directive set a balance
between competition and social protection issues. In addition, the Roadmap for
equality between women and men 2006­2010 casts ambitious goals far beyond the
workplace domain, alongside further EU policy documents in this area and the
launch of a first-phase consultation on work­life balance. The European
Commission communications on corporate social responsibility and decent work
open a wide debate on sustainable development inside and outside the EU, while
the Green Paper on modernising labour identifies ‘flexicurity' as the
cornerstone of the revised European social model.

Further info 


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions