This Policy Brief provides an overview of female employment in the EU and of how it is affected by a transition to motherhood, as well as of recent policies devised to remedy the post-2008 unemployment crisis.

It also investigates the link between job quality and women’s employment patterns. The study concludes that the EU should concentrate on putting job quality back on to the policy agenda, e.g. through increased use of employment indicators, in particular job quality indicators, in the process of monitoring social and employment developments.

Table of contents

full text

Related content

Quality jobs as well as jabs

Policy implications Tackling precarious work is essential for a fair Covid‑19 recovery and healthier future of work. The Covid‑19 crisis is worsening existing inequalities in the world of work. The European Commission should embed the principle of equity into the country‑specific recommendations of the European Semester, with a view to allocating... Find out more

‘Bad jobs’ recovery? European Job Quality Index 2005-2015

This new Working Paper offers a detailed look at the quality of jobs held by European workers, and shows what aspects of work improved or deteriorated over the last decade. It updates the European Job Quality Index (JQI) – a measure that encompasses a broad range of work and employment characteristics, including wages, non-wage aspects of... Find out more

Hans Olof Wiklund

Sweden: labour inspection crusade against exclusion of women from the labour market

In 2011, the Swedish Government asked the Swedish Work Environment Authority to develop specific initiatives aimed at preventing women from being excluded from working life due to work-related problems. As part of this task, the Work Environment Authority inspected almost 60 municipal authorities and compared the work environment conditions and... Find out more

Janine Leschke, Andrew Watt, Mairéad Finn

Job quality in the crisis - an update of the Job Quality Index (JQI)

This paper is an update of the synthetic job quality index (JQI) for the EU27 countries which has been created in 2008 (see ETUI Working paper 2008.03 and 2008.07) in an attempt to shed light on the question of how European countries compare with each other and how they are developing over time in terms of job quality. The results point out that... Find out more

Janine Leschke, Andrew Watt

Job quality in Europe

The Lisbon Strategy that was launched in 2000 called for the creation of “more and better” jobs in Europe. Some progress has been made in bringing more Europeans into paid employment and cutting unemployment trends. The goal of better jobs on the other hand has been less ardently pursued resulting in a widespread perception that many of the new... Find out more

Janine Leschke, Andrew Watt

Putting a number on job quality?

There is a widespread perception that many of the new jobs being created in Europe are ‘bad jobs’. Increasingly workers are being asked, or forced, to work longer and/or more ‘unsocial’ hours, and to accept fixed-term and other ‘precarious’ contracts. Employers are widely seen as being more short-term in orientation, cutting back on investing in... Find out more