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Europe — 56% of establishments use working time flexibility

16 December 2009

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) yesterday presented the first findings of its European Company Survey 2009 at a high profile event in Stockholm. The main results of the survey will be published in Spring 2010.

The research on how to improve labour market flexibility in order to become more competitive was carried out among 27,000 private and public establishments in all 27 EU countries plus Croatia, Turkey and Macedonia (FYROM).

The survey found that working time flexibility is the most common type of flexibility in European companies. More than half (56%) of all establishments with 10 or more employees in the EU27 use some type of flexi-time arrangement. This reflects a substantial increase compared to four years ago as measured in the previous European Company Survey, undertaken in 21 countries.

The European Company survey also looked at the views and experiences of workplace social dialogue. The survey found that six out of ten employees (63%) in Europe are covered by a recognised institution of employee representation. The survey findings paint a picture of robust practices of workplace social dialogue in Europe, and also point to limitations and to important differences across Europe.

The survey mapped work practices considered to be important elements of contractual and functional flexibility in an organisation. About two thirds of surveyed establishments (67%) indicated that they use some form of temporary work arrangement like temporary agency workers, fixed-term contracts and freelancers. Three out of four establishments indicate that the need for further training is periodically checked in a systematic way. However, training is not equally distributed among all workers.

To find out more about the European Company Survey (ECS) please click here


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