Swedish job centres face busy times as 16,000 people on long-term sick leave are transferred from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency to the Public Employment Service. From now on they should be offered individual help and advise to help them re-join working life. The move has been met with fierce criticism, forcing the government to back down on several points.
Getting the long-term unemployed back into work is hard. You need focus, determination, the will to try new things and good cooperation between companies, job centres and education, says Denmark's Minister of Labour Inger Støjberg. She is gathering inspiration for a new initiative against long-term unemployment.
Norway's government and the social partners have reached a new agreement aimed at reducing sick leave. The agreement covers the next four years and prolongs the 2001 Inclusive Workplace Agreement.
The debate on retirement age has been intense in Finland in recent years, and now it is really starting to take off. New research shows more and more Finns are prepared to work after the age of 63. Meanwhile the government is trying through normative means to get people to stay in work until they are at least 65.
Shipping is the most global of all businesses. One reason for introducing a new Marine Labour Convention is to create a more even playing field for the shipping companies. Shipowners should no longer be able to save money by cutting wages or neglecting the working environment.
Sweden could be forced to change its rules on temporary employment after pressure from the European Commission. It has voiced doubts over whether Swedish laws comply with EU's fixed-term work directive (1999:70).
The Swedish Supreme Court must annul the judgment of the Swedish Labour Court in the Laval case! That's what the Swedish Building Workers' Union and the Swedish Electricians' Union demand. They say the supreme court made serious mistakes when sentencing them to pay record damages after the twist over the building of a school in Vaxholm (see The Laval case, act III – Sweden's Labour Court rules union must pay high damages)
The European Union's Year for Combating Poverty 2010 touches a sore spot in Sweden and Finland. Poverty and social exclusion is on the rise while politicians maintain their welfare policies are solid enough to face the challenges. Poverty experts agree that in this debate the EU Commission plays the progressive force to the Nordic governments' conservative one.
Iceland follows Norway's lead and introduces legislation forcing companies to fill their boardrooms with at least 40 percent women. But before the law comes into effect in 2013 gender equality has taken a small step back.
Giant pan-Nordic drive for health and well-being takes off.
Sweden's Supreme Court has refused to reverse the Swedish Labour Court's judgement in the Laval case. Now a labour law expert says the state should pay the considerable compensation which trade unions have been ordered to pay.
The Nordic countries are unofficial world champions when it comes to social capital - a clear competitive advantage. But to keep that advantage business leaders must become better at exploring the potential of social capital, according to a new Danish book.
Jobs and social security were important issues during September's parliamentary elections in Sweden. Yet there was no focus on how people view their working environments. "There was an exceptional lack of debates about working life," says Roger Mörtvik, public policy director at the Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees.
All the Nordic countries are hard at work to limit the rising youth unemployment. The measures differ but there is broad agreement on the need for early, comprehensive and active measures to help youth finish their education.
Norway's and Russia's Foreign Ministers signed an agreement on 2 November making it much easier for 9,000 Norwegians and 45,00o Russians to visit each other.
The work environment is often associated with risks, but now the Swedish government wants to turn the phrase on its head and highlight the positive sides. A good work environment can improve workers' health, lift the business and improve competitiveness. Those are some of the conclusions from the government's national action plan for the work environment which it presented in September.
The fight against some Eastern European workers' bad working conditions in the Nordic countries depends on better information.
How do you reach youths who are not in education nor employment? How do you motivate youth to finish their education? How do you secure a safe transition between school and working life? These were among the questions when labour ministers met to discuss youth unemployment in Copenhagen on 25 November.