Glossary

Absence from work - Absence from work due to illness refers to the number of work days lost per year per currently employed person

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Access to employment - Access to employment refers to the opportunity for a person to enter into employment, either for themselves or for others.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Age discrimination - Age discrimination refers to the less favourable treatment of an individual or group due to conditions or requirements relating to age which cannot be shown to be justifiable.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

An inclusive labour market - An inclusive labour market is defined in the cross-sector EU-level social partners’ autonomous framework agreement of 25 March 2010 on inclusive labour markets (EU1005011I) as a labour market that allows and encourages all people of working age to participate in paid work and provides a framework for their development.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Atypical contracts - Atypical contracts are generally defined as employment contracts that do not conform to a standard, open-ended and full-time contract. This can encompass many types of contract, including part-time, fixed-term, temporary, casual and seasonal.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Atypical work - Atypical work refers to employment relationships that do not conform to the standard or ‘typical’ model of full-time, regular, open-ended employment with a single employer over a long time span.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Casual work- There is no legal definition of casual work, although the European Parliament, in a 2000 study on atypical work in the European Union, provides a working definition of ‘work which is irregular or intermittent, with no expectation of continuous employment’. The European Parliament’s report also notes that, during the European-level cross-sector social partner negotiations on part-time work, it was not possible to find a definition of casual workers at European level and so it was decided to leave this to national legislation or to collective agreements.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Casual worker- A casual worker is a worker on a temporary employment contract with generally limited entitlements to benefits and little or no security of employment. The main attribute is the absence of a continuing relationship of any stability with an employer, which could lead to their not being considered ‘employees’ at all. Casual workers differ from other non-permanent workers in that they may often possess fewer rights and less protection.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Childcare - Childcare denotes the care of children that is provided either by parents, the state, a private organisation or other person. It acquires particular relevance in employment and industrial relations when one or both parents works, and either needs time off to look after children or support from external organisations or networks.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Collective bargaining- Collective bargaining is a process of decision-making between parties representing employer and employee interests which implies the “negotiation and continuous application of an agreed set of rules to govern the substantive and procedural terms of the employment relationship ….” [Collective Bargaining in Industrialised Market Economies: A Reappraisal, J.P. Windmuller et al, ILO, Geneva, 1987].

Source: OECD Glossary (2019)

Collective bargaining coverage - Collective bargaining coverage is an indicator of the extent to which the terms of workers’ employment are influenced by collective negotiation. It is the coverage rate, i.e. the number of employees covered by the collective agreement, divided by the total number of wage and salary-earners.

Source: OECD Glossary (2019)

Concealed employment- Concealed employment is employment which, while not illegal in itself, has not been declared to one or more administrative authorities to whom it should be made known, thereby leading to the evasion of legal regulations, the evasion of taxes, or the evasion of a reduction of social security entitlements.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Corporate social responsibility- The European Commission defines corporate social responsibility (CSR) as ‘the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society’ (Communication of 25 October 2011, A renewed EU strategy 2011-14 for Corporate Social Responsibility). This Communication also states that to fully meet their corporate social responsibility obligations, enterprises should have in place a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical, human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Data protection - Data protection refers to limits on the processing and use of personal data. This includes data about employees, such as personal health records, and data created or used by employees in emails or internet use.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Decent work - Decent work is a term originally coined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in a report published in June 1999, when it described the goal of decent work as ‘not just the creation of jobs, but also the creation of jobs of acceptable quality’.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Decoupling of social rights- Decoupling of social rights refers to separating social rights from the employment relationship and linking them to citizenship. In practice, this would mean loosening the connection between specific work activity and the accumulation of social rights. One argument is that with the effective end of a job for life and the demise of internal labour markets, employees have potentially reduced the ability to accumulate rights. Decoupling of social rights is a safeguard against this scenario by creating a link between lifetime employment and social rights, for example connecting pensions and mobility. In other words, social rights would become transferable from one job to another.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Discrimination - Discrimination may be defined as different treatment of individuals or groups based on arbitrary ascriptive or acquired criteria such as sex, race, religion, age, marital or parental status, disability, sexual orientation, political opinions, socio-economic background, and trade union membership and activities.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Discrimination on the grounds of age- Age discrimination refers to the less favourable treatment of an individual or group due to conditions or requirements relating to age which cannot be shown to be justifiable.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origins- Discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origins is outlawed by Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000. The Directive implements the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin. Article 2 defines the concept of discrimination and states that it encompasses direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and instructions to discriminate.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief - Religion or belief discrimination refers to differential treatment of individuals or groups based on their system of belief or worship.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation- Discrimination with respect to sexual orientation refers to different treatment on the basis of an individual or group’s sexual preference.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Displaced workers- Displaced workers are workers who permanently lost a stable job in the last few years and who are currently unemployed, out of the labour force or re-employed. 

The analysis of displaced workers relies on flow analysis concerned with what happens to these workers after displacement from their job. Do they find another job or not, and if so, under what conditions? These studies are based on longitudinal or retrospective follow-up surveys.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

European labour market - The term ‘European labour market’ is used to describe the demographic profile of the labour force as well as the systems of regulation, at EU level, concerned primarily with the free movement of workers but additionally with other forms of regulation that shape Europe’s labour market.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Equality between women and men- Equality between women and men refers to the absence of discrimination and the promotion of equal treatment for men and women in and beyond the workplace.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Equal opportunities - Equal opportunities refers to an equal distribution, among individuals, of opportunities for education, training, employment, career development and the exercise of power without their being disadvantaged on the basis of their sex, race, language, religion, economic or family situation, and so forth.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Equal pay- Article 157 TFEU gives an explicit commitment to equal pay for women and men, stating that equal pay without discrimination based on sex means: that pay for the same work at piece rates shall be calculated on the basis of the same unit of measurement; that pay for work at time rates shall be the same for the same job.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Equal treatment in collective bargaining - Equal treatment in collective bargaining refers to the process of negotiation between unions and employers over terms and conditions of employment, and to the rights and responsibilities of trade unions that impact impartially on women and men or promote equality of treatment between men and women.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Equal treatment in social security - Social security refers to the public or state system of welfare and protection against social risks. In the workplace context, employers may administer measures to afford financial protection for employees after events such as invalidity, death (for family members), unemployment, industrial accidents and occupational diseases.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Evening work - The definitions of evening work and night vary considerably so that it is not easy to establish a strictly common basis for all Member States. Generally speaking, however, "evening workers" can be considered to be work done after the usual hours of working time in this Member State, but before the usual sleeping hours. This implies the possibility of sleeping at normal times (whereas "night work" implies an abnormal sleeping pattern).

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Full employment – Full Employment occurs when the economy is producing to its maximum sustainable capacity, using labour, technology, land, capital and other factors of production to their fullest potential.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Gender equality - Gender equality refers to equality between women and men with respect to their treatment, opportunities, and economic and social achievements. The concept is often viewed in relation to the workplace and labour organisations.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Harassment and violence at work - Violence and harassment at work is defined by the Framework agreement of April 2007 as ‘unacceptable behaviour by one or more individuals and can take many different forms, some of which may be more easily identified than others … harassment occurs when one or more worker or manager are repeatedly and deliberately abused, threatened and/or humiliated in circumstances relating to work.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Hazard payExtra pay to an individual worker or a group of workers working under dangerous or undesirable conditions.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Health and SafetyHealth and safety regulations are aimed at the promotion and maintenance of:

  • the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations;
  • the prevention among workers of leaving work due to health problems caused by their working conditions;
  • the protection of workers in their employment from risks resulting from factors adverse to health;
  • the placing and maintenance of the worker in an occupational environment adapted to his or her physiological and psychological capabilities.

In short, health and safety promotes 'the adaptation of work to the person and of each person to their job'.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

ILO international labour standards - ILO international labour standards embrace numerous aspects of labour markets, ranging from minimum wages and equal pay to health and safety regulations. These standards can be classified into six main categories:

  • respect for fundamental human rights;
  • protection of wages;
  • employment security;
  • working conditions;
  • labour market and social policies;
  • industrial relations.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Inadequate employment- Inadequate employment related to excessive hours (also called “overemployment”) is defined as “a situation where persons in employment wanted or sought to work less hours than they did during the reference period, either in the same job or in another job, accepting a corresponding reduction of income”.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Incapacity to work - Incapacity for work refers to the inability of the victim, due to an occupational injury, to perform the normal duties of work in the job or post occupied at the time of the occupational accident.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Inclusive labour markets- An inclusive labour market is defined in the cross-sector EU-level social partners’ autonomous framework agreement of 25 March 2010 on inclusive labour markets (EU1005011I) as a labour market that allows and encourages all people of working age to participate in paid work and provides a framework for their development.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Invisible underemployment - Invisible underemployment refers to individuals who are working in jobs where their skills are not adequately utilised.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Involuntary part-time work - Involuntary part-time work comprises three groups: (1) individuals who usually work full-time but who are working part-time because of economic slack; (2) individuals who usually work part-time but are working fewer hours in their part-time jobs because of economic slack; and (3) those working part-time because full-time work could not be found.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Job loss - Job loss refers to the disappearance of jobs because of fundamental structural economic changes as distinct from transient fluctuations in demand. These structural changes include technological innovation, changes in the pattern of international trade, shifts in the location of activities, and changes in the structure of employment and organisation within enterprises.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Labour standards- Labour standards represent core values which it is agreed should apply in all workplaces. In recent years, social partners have concluded a number of labour standards agreements with employers, establishing the minimum labour standards to apply in all of an employer’s undertakings. These agreements generally cover co-operation, responsibility and social dialogue and are particularly a feature of large companies with global interests.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Living wage- A wage sufficiently high to permit a worker to keep a given standard of living.

Source: OECD Glossary (2019)

Lockout - A lockout is a total or partial temporary closure of one or more places of employment, or the hindering of the normal work activities of employees, by one or more employers with a view to enforcing or resisting demands or expressing grievances, or supporting other employers in their demands or grievances.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Long-term unemployment - Long-term unemployment is defined as that involving people out of work and looking for work for 12 months or more.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Maternity leave - Maternity leave is leave granted only to mothers for a limited period of time around the time of childbirth (although it is possible for the father to take the post-natal part of the leave in extreme circumstances, such as the mother’s death or illness).

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Mobbing- Mobbing at work is characterised by the systematic psychological abuse or humiliation of a person by an individual or a group, with the aim of damaging his/her reputation, honour, human dignity and integrity, and ultimately driving the victim to quit the job.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Normal hours of work - Normal hours of work are the hours of work fixed by or in pursuance of laws or regulations, collective agreements or arbitral awards, or the number of hours in excess of which any time worked is remunerated at overtime rates.

Source: OECD Glossary (2019)

Occupational disease - The term occupational disease is linked to the identification of a specific cause-effect relationship between a harmful agent and the affected human organism. However, it is not easy – and considerably more difficult than in the case of accidents – to prove that a disease is occupationally conditioned, i.e. caused by conditions at, not outside work.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Occupational health hazards - Occupational health hazards are hazards of exposure to pollution, noise and vibrations in the working environment. Exposure limits are promoted by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Occupational accident- An Occupational accident is an unexpected and unplanned occurrence, including acts of violence, arising out of or in connection with work which results in one or more workers incurring a personal injury, disease or death. As occupational accidents are to be considered travel, transport or road traffic accidents in which workers are injured and which arise out of or in the course of work, i.e. while engaged in an economic activity, or at work, or carrying on the business of the employer.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Overtime- Overtime work is work performed by an employee in excess of the normal hours of work which has been officially requested and approved by management. It is work that is not part of an employee’s regularly scheduled working week and for which an employee may be compensated.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Part-time work/employment - There is no universally accepted definition of part-time work/employment. A definition proposed by the ILO defined part-time work as “regular employment in which working time is substantially less than normal” (Population active, emploi, chomage et sous-emploi: un manual du BIT surles methodes et concepts, Hussmans, Merhan et Verma, ILO, Geneva, page 87). This is the definition used for administrative purposes in some countries. However, such definitions are inconvenient for use in household surveys. These tend to ask employees if they consider themselves as part-time, or base the distinction between full- and part-time working on an hours cut-off considered most suitable for the country concerned.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Parental leave- Parental leave is long-term leave available to parents to allow them to take care of an infant or young child a period of time. This is usually granted in addition to maternity/paternity leave.

Source: OECD Glossary (2019)

Paternity leave - Paternity leave  is leave granted only to fathers for a limited period around the time of childbirth (not necessarily immediately after birth, but within a short period thereafter).

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Place of work - The place of work is the location in which a currently employed person performs his or her job, and where a usually employed person performs the primary job used to determine his/her other economic characteristics such as occupation, industry, and status in employment.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Poverty line - An income level that is considered minimally sufficient to sustain a family in terms of food, housing, clothing, medical needs, and so on.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Right to work - The right to work at EU level is guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Article 15) which stipulates: ‘1. Everyone has the right to engage in work and to pursue a freely chosen or accepted occupation; 2. Every citizen of the Union has the freedom to seek employment, to work, to exercise the right of establishment and to provide services in any Member State.’

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Seasonal work - A seasonal worker is defined in Article 3(b) of Directive 2014/36/EU on the conditions of entry and stay of third-country nationals for the purpose of employment as: a third-country national who retains his or her principal place of residence in a third country and stays legally and temporarily in the territory of a Member State to carry out an activity dependent on the passing of the seasons, under one or more fixed-term work contracts concluded directly between that third-country national and the employer established in that Member State.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Social benefits - Social benefits are current transfers received by households intended to provide for the needs that arise from certain events or circumstances, for example, sickness, unemployment, retirement, housing, education or family circumstances.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Social health insurance scheme - A social health insurance scheme is one where the policy-holder is obliged or encouraged to insure by the intervention of a third party.  For example, government may oblige all employees to participate in a social security programme; employers may make it a condition of employment that employees participate in an insurance programme specified by the employer; an employer may encourage employees to join a programme by making contributions on behalf of the employee; or a trade union may arrange advantageous insurance cover available only to the members of the trade union. 

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Social exclusion - Social exclusion is the consequence of a series of problems affecting an individual or group such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low income, poor housing, high crime, ill-health and family breakdown. When such problems combine, they can create a vicious cycle.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Social protection- Social protection systems are highly developed in the European Union. They protect people against the risks of inadequate incomes associated with unemployment, ill-health and invalidity, parental responsibilities, old age or following the loss of a spouse or parent. The ability of workers to sustain these risks and provide this support depends to a great extent on their employment context, and whether, and to what extent, individual capacity or collective solidarity at work can provide social protection.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Social security - Social security refers to the public or state system of welfare and protection against social risks. In the workplace context, employers may administer measures to afford financial protection for employees after events such as invalidity, death (for family members), unemployment, industrial accidents and occupational diseases.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Subsidised employment - Subsidised employment are targeted measures to promote or provide employment for unemployed persons and other groups specified as labour market priorities (other than youth or the disabled).

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Stress at work - In October 2004, the European social partners signed a Framework agreement on work-related stress as an autonomous agreement. The objective of the agreement is to provide employers and workers with a framework to identify and prevent or manage problems of work-related stress. Stress is defined as: a state, which is accompanied by physical, psychological or social complaints or dysfunctions and which results from individuals feeling unable to bridge a gap with the requirements or expectations placed on them.…Stress is not a disease but prolonged exposure to it may reduce effectiveness at work and may cause ill-health.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Structural unemployment - Structural unemployment is the rate of unemployment consistent with constant wage inflation (non-accelerating wage rate of unemployment (NAWRU)), or constant price inflation (non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU)), given current economic conditions.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Temporary employment - Temporary employment comprises work under a fixed- term contract, in contrast to permanent work where there is no end-date. Employment under temporary contracts often entails a different set of legal obligations on behalf of employers; in particular, certain aspects of employment protection legislation do not apply to temporary contracts.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

The unemployed - The unemployed comprise all persons above a specified age who during the reference period were: 

  • without work, that is, were not in paid employment or self- employment during the reference period; 
  • currently available for work, that is, were available for paid employment or self-employment during the reference period; and 
  • seeking work, that is, had taken specific steps in a specified recent period to seek paid employment or self-employment. 

The specific steps may include registration at a public or private employment exchange; application to employers; checking at worksites, farms, factory gates, market or other assembly places; placing or answering newspaper advertisements; seeking assistance of friends or relatives; looking for land, building, machinery or equipment to establish own enterprise; arranging for financial resources; applying for permits and licences, etc.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Time related underemployment- Time-related underemployment exists when the hours of work of an employed person are insufficient in relation to an alternative employment situation in which the person is willing and available to engage.

Source: OECD Glossary (2019)

Undeclared work - Any paid activities that are lawful as regards their nature but not declared to public authorities, taking into account differences in the regulatory system of Member States.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2018)

Unemployment rates- Eurostat produces harmonised unemployment rates for individual EU member states, the euro area and the EU, based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recommended definition and using the results of a harmonised source, the European Union Labour Force Survey (LFS). Unemployment rates represent unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force (the total number of people employed plus unemployed). [Formerly known as Comparable unemployment rates (CURs).].

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

Underemployment - Underemployment exists when a person’s employment is inadequate in relation to specified norms of alternative employment, account being taken of his or her occupational skill. Two forms of underemployment may be distinguished: visible and invisible.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Usual hours of work per week - Usual hours of work per week identifies the most common weekly working schedule over a selected period of a person in employment.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Visible underemployment - Visible underemployment includes individuals who are involuntarily working less than the normal duration of work determined for the activity, who are seeking or available for additional work during the reference period.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Vulnerability - Vulnerability is a measure of the extent to which a community, structure, service or geographical area is likely to be damaged or disrupted, on account of its nature or location, by the impact of a particular disaster hazard.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Wage and labor costs-  Wage and labour costs may be described through use of three distinct and complementary indicators: (1) average real wages; (2) nominal and real wage rates and/or earnings; (3) average compensation costs.

The first two may be viewed from the workers’ standpoint and represent a measure of the levels and trends of their purchasing power and an approximation to their standard of living. The third measure provides an estimate of employers’ expenditure on the employment of labour.

Source: OECD Glossary (2019)

Wages and salaries- Wages and salaries are defined as "the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable to all persons counted on the payroll (including homeworkers), in return for work done during the accounting period" regardless of whether it is paid on the basis of working time, output or piecework and whether it is paid regularly or not.

Source: OECD Glossary (2019)

Work - Work is any activity which contributes to the production of goods or services within the production boundary.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Work experience - Work experience refers to the past work experience of the person classified as unemployed. It establishes whether the person worked before or is seeking or available for work for the first time.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Workers in seasonal employment - Workers in seasonal employment are workers who hold implicit or explicit contracts of employment where the timing and duration of the contract is significantly influenced by seasonal factors such as the climatic cycle, public holidays and/or agricultural harvests. These workers may be classified as employees or own-account workers according to the specific characteristics of the employment contract.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Work for the disabled - Work for the disabled in the context of labour market programmes comprises sheltered work and subsidies to regular employment.

Source: OECD Glossary (2018)

Working conditions - Working conditions refers to the working environment and aspects of an employee’s terms and conditions of employment. This covers such matters as: the organisation of work and work activities; training, skills and employability; health, safety and well-being; and working time and work-life balance.

Source: EurWork Glossary (2019)

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