Commission calls for renewed efforts to preserve and improve working conditions

24 Apr 2014

A new survey published today (24 April 2014) which looks at the quality of work reveals that a majority of people (57%) see conditions as having deteriorated in the last 5 years, since the outbreak of the crisis in Europe.

Commission calls for renewed efforts to preserve and improve working conditions

A good number of workers views their own conditions as being good (77%), these being figures at the individual level.  Variations in the EU are perhaps the most astounding, ranging from 94% in Denmark to 38% in Greece. These differences are attributed to how countries have been affected by the crisis to varying degrees in terms of economic and social impact. Different levels of social dialogue and variations in labour laws also explain why opinions across the EU vary so much.

Country level opinions are not as optimistic. Greece ranks the lowest satisfaction levels at country level (16%) with a majority of workers unsatisfied with their current conditions (62%). Other countries with a low level of satisfaction include Croatia (18%), Spain (20%), Italy (25%), Bulgaria (31%) and Slovenia, Portugal and Romania (32% for each).

In its report, due to be presented at an EU conference next week, the Commission underlines a number of other areas where improves need to be made. Work intensity appears to be on the rise, accompanied by rising stress levels. For a majority of respondents of the survey (53%), stress was the greatest risk at work.

More also needs to be done on the issue of work-life balance in the EU, with 40% being denied the chance to have flexible working arrangements. With regard to health and safety at work, less than 1 in 3 workers found workplaces with policies to address emerging risks or which are directed to older workers.

The report can be read in full here or a shorter presentation of the report can be consulted here