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Women less penalised for part-time work than previously thought

(Oct 31, 2013) Part-time work has few negative consequences for women in the Nordic region. New regulations have reduced the impact on pensions. A preschool teacher or enrolled nurse in Denmark or Norway who works part-time for ten years still receives 98-99 percent of the maximum pension.

Elisabeth Svantesson is Sweden’s new Minister for Employment

Elisabeth Svantesson is Sweden’s new Minister for Employment

(Oct 09, 2013) On 17 September Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt appointed Elisabeth Svantesson as his new Minister for Employment. She replaces Hillevi Engström who became Minister for International Development Cooperation. The reshuffle was announced during the Prime Minister’s government declaration.

More social enterprises on the horizon in Denmark

More social enterprises on the horizon in Denmark

(Sep 06, 2013) Social enterprises are being promoted both by the Nordic region and the EU. Denmark’s government has launched a new strategy.

Moving public services to fight social marginalisation

(Jun 19, 2013) The Swedish Equality Ombudsman, DO, has been asked by the government to prepare a move from Stockholm city centre to the suburbs of Tensta/Rinkeby – the areas which only weeks ago were shaken by riots. The Stockholm city council has also just decided to move its education department with 400 staff there.

EU standardisation of services worries trade unions

(Jun 19, 2013) Common EU standards are aiming to speed up cross-border trade in services. Just as long as this doesn’t mean introducing EU rules through the backdoor which would be in breach with member states’ labour law and collective agreements, say trade unions – whose concern is shared by the Swedish government.

OECD: Economic worries fuel immigration debate

OECD: Economic worries fuel immigration debate

(Jun 19, 2013) The number of asylum seekers in the whole of the OECD topped 400,000 for the first time in eight years in 2011. Preliminary figures shows this trend carrying on in 2012. There are large differences within the Nordic region. In Sweden last year nearly twice as many people sought asylum as in Denmark, Finland and Norway combined.

Avoiding change-induced stress in the workplace

(May 22, 2013) Changes are common in Nordic workplaces, and the social partners in Denmark are now joining forces to prevent this from causing stress.

New government in Iceland

New government in Iceland

(May 22, 2013) Iceland has a new government. It has announced a stop to EU membership negotiations to allow time to decide whether negotiations will continue at all. It is still unclear when a referendum on EU membership will take place.

ILO critical of Sweden’s handling of the Laval case

(Apr 16, 2013) Sweden’s Labour Court and ”lex Laval” comes under severe criticism from the International Labour Organisation, giving the Swedish government plenty of food for thought.

Iceland: Banking staff face health problems after crash

Iceland: Banking staff face health problems after crash

(Apr 16, 2013) The health of banking staff has deteriorated since the 2008 Icelandic banking crash. Those who lost their jobs and found new ones are doing better than those who stayed in their original jobs. The number of bank workers visting health clinics doubled between 2008 and 2012.

Working environment one important key to get Swedes to work for longer

(Apr 16, 2013) On 9 April the Swedish pension group presented its final report ‘Measures for a longer working life’. As we live longer we need to work for longer, and the review recommends establishing a flexible ‘a recommended retirement age’ for pensions, linked to life expectancy.

ILO: No extra jobs for youths despite older workers’ retirement

ILO: No extra jobs for youths despite older workers’ retirement

(Apr 08, 2013) Europe must handle rising youth unemployment as well as an ageing population. The fact that young people don’t step into jobs which are vacated might seem like a paradox, but this is what is happening according to the International Labour Organisation, which stages a major conference in Oslo between 8 and 11 April.

OECD: Norway’s welfare system needs reform to keep people with mental issues in work

(Mar 08, 2013) Norway’s sickness benefit system allowing 100 percent compensation from day one is too generous. Financial incentives for all parties - employees and employers, unions, municipalities, schools and mental health care services - should help them take responsibility. That is the OECD’s message to Norway.

The Nordic role in Europe’s crisis

(Mar 08, 2013) Participants at the conference ‘Nordic ways out of the crisis’ agreed the Nordic countries can play an important role in southern Europe’s current economic crisis. Yet just how the Nordic countries can work together and how much support there is for such work remains uncertain.

Swedish Presidency hosts 2013 summit on young people and work

(Feb 08, 2013) The programme for the Nordic Council of Ministers’ cooperation on working life issues for 2013 is called ‘An inclusive working life with focus on young people’ and has been prepared by Sweden’s Minister for Employment Hillevi Engström.

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