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After a couple of yellow cards – EU agreement on Swedish startup jobs

(May 26, 2022) Sweden will be able to spend 404 million euro in state support for so-called etableringsjobb – or entry jobs – for newly arrived and long-term unemployed people. That is now clear as the European Commission has approved a completely new model for encouraging companies to hire people who find it particularly hard to access the Swedish labour market.

Nordics split as EU minimum wage proposal delayed

Nordics split as EU minimum wage proposal delayed

(Apr 25, 2022) Is time almost up for the proposed European minimum wage? Much is pointing in that direction. The war in Ukraine and the French presidential election has put breaks on the issue. And there is still great disagreement within the EU.

Another yellow card from Sweden – against platform work proposal

(Mar 25, 2022) The European Commission has yet again presented a proposal that puts the Swedish labour market model at risk. That is the view of the Swedish parliament, which has decided to hand out a so-called yellow card against the proposed directive for better working conditions in platform work, presented in December. The strains from Denmark and Finland are more positive.

Will the ILO elect its first female Director-General?

Will the ILO elect its first female Director-General?

(Mar 25, 2022) On 25 March, the International Labour Organisation, ILO, will elect a new Director-General. There are five candidates, two of whom are women – Kang Kyung-wha from South Korea and Muriel Pénicaud from France. Both are former government ministers.

Sweden: most casual jobs and lowest work protection

Sweden: most casual jobs and lowest work protection

(Jan 28, 2022) Sweden has the highest unemployment levels among the Nordics, and also more casual jobs and lower employment protection levels for those on temporary contracts. An award-winning dissertation shows the consequences deregulation has had for people without permanent employment.

Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson: Planned to be a sheep farmer, now Iceland's labour minister

Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson: Planned to be a sheep farmer, now Iceland's labour minister

(Dec 07, 2021) A new government in Iceland was announced on 28 November, over two months after the parliamentary elections. The new labour minister is Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson from the Left-Green Movement.

Platform work challenges the Nordic model

Platform work challenges the Nordic model

(Dec 07, 2021) Should we be adding a third labour market category in addition to employer and employee? As the Nordic labour ministers met in Helsinki between 22 and 23 November, much of the discussion centred on platform work and the challenges this presents for the Nordic model.

Hadia Tajik, a trade union-supporting labour minister

Hadia Tajik, a trade union-supporting labour minister

(Nov 16, 2021) Hadia Tajik, Norway's new Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion, is a strong defender of trade unions. She will be responsible for what the red-green coalition government calls a spring clean of the labour market.

Collective agreement extensions – the second best alternative?

Collective agreement extensions – the second best alternative?

(Nov 16, 2021) Why is there so much resistance in the Nordics against the EU Commission directive on minimum wages? The answer is that the countries believe they have a nearly perfect system of collective agreements, so why change something that works? In many European countries where the social partners are weaker, extensions of collective agreements form an important part of the wage model.

"Important to continue the extension of collective agreements"

"Important to continue the extension of collective agreements"

(Nov 16, 2021) Many workers enjoy improved conditions thanks to the extension of collective agreements. One leader of a trade union organising fisheries workers believes the solution must continue even though it is not a magic solution.

A death blow for the social dialogue as a constitutional mechanism in the EU?

A death blow for the social dialogue as a constitutional mechanism in the EU?

(Oct 04, 2021) The European Public Service Union EPSU lost on all points, while EU Commission’s claim was upheld – arguing it was not obliged to execute or carry forward new agreements that have been added to the social dialogue for decisions in the Council of Ministers, writes the latest issue of EU & Arbetsrätt.

The Nordic's most precious resource

(Sep 08, 2021) Trust is a crucial resource for the Nordic welfare states, but it does not cover everything and everyone. If you look closer, there are big differences in trust between the Nordic countries, but also internally in each of them.

The Swedish model entering a new era: more power to central organisations

(Sep 08, 2021) It has been described as a victory for the Swedish model. Yet the employment act reform now being proposed by the Swedish government is in reality a structural shift where central labour market organisations will gain greater power at the expense of their affiliated unions. It also changes the division of responsibilities between the state and the social partners, on which the Swedish model is based.

Will Sweden's new Employment Act fall foul of government crisis?

(Jun 29, 2021) In early June the Swedish government presented its contribution to a reform of the Employment Act and added 11 billion kronor a year to cover retraining and studies. Then the government crisis happened and the question now is what will become of the difficult labour protection issue.

The social pillar strengthened after EU Porto summit

The social pillar strengthened after EU Porto summit

(May 10, 2021) The EU’s informal summit in Porto, Portugal, on 7 - 8 May ended in a declaration which strengthens the social pillar’s importance in the Union. To the relief of Nordic member states, the introduction of statutory minimum wages was not mentioned in the final document.

Minimum wages: ball back in EU Commission's court

(Mar 19, 2021) The EU can adopt the European Commission’s proposed directive on minimum wages – as long as one article is deleted or changed. That was the answer from the Council of Ministers’ legal service after the Danish government requested a statement. The question now is what will be the Commission’s next step.

EU Court: Equal treatment for all, also among minorities

(Feb 24, 2021) Can it be discrimination if an employer favours one person over another if both have some sort of disability? Yes, says the EU Court of Justice in a new ruling. The ban against discrimination does not apply only in relation to persons who are not disabled.

Theme: The battle over statutory minimum wages

Theme: The battle over statutory minimum wages

(Jan 30, 2021) 2021 is set to be a crucial year for statutory minimum wages in Europe. The debate has been raging for a long time and the differences are growing. But on 28 October, the EU Commission put its foot down. We ask the social partners, politicians and researchers what they think will happen.

Do we know more about the USA than Europe?

(Jan 22, 2021) Many have become experts on US politics in the past 12 months. A few days ago, Donald Trump left the White House for the last time and Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the USA. The transfer of power also has consequences for the Nordics and Europe.

Yellow card from Sweden and Denmark to proposed minimum wages in the EU

Yellow card from Sweden and Denmark to proposed minimum wages in the EU

(Jan 22, 2021) The Swedish and Danish parliaments want the EU Commission to withdraw the proposed directive on statutory minimum wages. Both parliaments have used the so-called yellow card procedure, arguing the proposal is in breach of the EU’s principle of subsidiarity.

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