Strong growth in the European economy has not improved the quality of life for workers according to a report by EU research outfit Eurofound. Living and working in Europe says “groups within our society are being failed by the economy, the labour market and social policy.”
It says more needs to be done to establish a better work-life balance for workers across Europe.
Eurofound identified a strong recovery in European employment over the past decade. However it warns of an imbalance in opportunities across the EU, which vary depending on where you live.
The report found that 10% of workers in the EU are at risk of poverty, and it says the living wage should supersede the minimum wage to help workers living in poverty.
It also found that long-term unemployment among young people has dropped. But the Irish rate of 6% is slightly above the EU average of 5.5%.
There are recommendations on enhancing social dialogue and reporting on labour market trends to address inequality. Recommendations reference the Towards upward convergence 2017-2020 programme, which sets out Eurofound’s lobbying and activity in 10 key areas.
These include campaigns on working conditions and sustainable work, innovation and job creation, inclusivity in labour markets, and monitoring convergence in the EU.
Eurofound will publish a report on casual work and short/zero-hour contracts later this year.