Workers Say Working Conditions are Slow to Improve

By Eurofound, PRNE
Monday, November 15, 2010

DUBLIN, November 16, 2010 - Work intensity among European workers is still high, and it has not
increased over the past five years, according to the first findings of the
5th European Working Conditions Survey, out today.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click:

The survey also found that for most workers (67%), the pace of work is
set by direct demands from people and working at high speeds remains high.
The extent to which workers can make their own decisions about how they do
their job has not improved, leaving a large number of workers ill-equipped to
deal with work's demands. European workers also remain as exposed to physical
hazards, however, as they did 20 years ago.

However, in 2010, training paid for by employers was at its highest level
since 1995 (for the EU15), with 34% of workers receiving training in the last
12 months. This is a break in a 15-year trend in which employer-provided
training had not increased. And around 60% of workers feel that they would be
able to do their current job at the age of 60, a marginal increase since

Ensuring quality of work and employment is a core element in achieving an
economically dynamic and socially cohesive European Union. Examining how
working conditions have changed, or remained the same, can shed light on what
progress is being made towards this goal. The European Working Conditions
Survey is the only survey available at European level that looks at work in
all its dimensions. This time, the survey was carried it out to see how
quality of work and employment is faring during the economic crisis. "It is
important that we know what is going on in the workplace, so that we can help
policymakers design policies that are relevant and are tackling the real
issues," says Jorma Karppinen, Eurofound's Director.

For most indicators of working time stability, the figures have remained
the same since 2000, with 67% of workers working the same numbers of hours
per week, and 58% working the same number of hours every day. The proportion
of workers who work the same number of days per week has increased from 74%
in 2005 to 77% in 2010. Slightly fewer workers (61%) in 2010 than in 2000
(65%) start and finish work at the same time every day.

More information on the first findings of the 5th European Working
Conditions is available at

Notes to the editor

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working
Conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite EU body that provides European social
policymakers with comparative data, research and recommendations.

The fieldwork for the 5th EWCS took place from January to June 2010, with
more than 43,000 workers interviewed in the EU27, Norway, Croatia, the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo.

You can follow Eurofound on Twitter (,
become a fan of Eurofound on Facebook (, and
subscribe to Eurofound's channel on YouTube ( You can also register for regular
news and information from Eurofound via RSS (

For further information, contact Mans Martensson, media manager, on
email:, telephone: +353-1-2043124, or mobile:

For more information, visit


For further information, contact Mans Martensson, media manager, on email: mma at, telephone: +353-1-2043124, or mobile:

will not be displayed