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News 2012

Wide support for early retirement and flexjob reform
There’s an increased drive in Denmark to stop young people ending up in benefit traps. Meanwhile there are cuts in subsidies to the flexjob scheme and early retirement.
OECD: Norway trumps sick leave costs of all industrial countries
Norway’s unemployment is low and employment is high. But the costs related to sick leave and early retirement are double that of the OECD country average based on GDP according to the OECD Economic Survey of Norway.
OECD: health sector Finland’s problem
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s economic survey of Finland shows the country has done well during the debt crisis which has hit many Eurozone members. The country is not facing any imminent crisis, but needs a comprehensive reform of the state health sector.
Danes need to increase productivity
The Danish economy is only slowly and very unevenly recovering from the financial crisis which is sweeping across most of Europe, says the OECD. Productivity growth is one of the main problems.
The Commission wants to exclude small businesses from working environment rules
In the Nordic countries small businesses must follow the same working environment rules as big businesses. Now the EU Commission wants to ease the regulations for smaller businesses.
ILO warns of global employment crisis
The economic crisis which began in 2008 has turned into a global employment crisis. 27 million people have become unemployed since the start of the downturn. 400 million jobs must be created in the next decade in order to keep up with an increasing global population.
How about a personal trainer - for your brain?
The Nordic Labour Journal can now add another job to the list of new occupations: ‘personal brainer’. The title holder is Finnish Reidar Wasenius. He recently made a 20 years old dream come true and opened a training centre for brains - BRIIM Center - in Helsinki.
Danes must tighten their belts
Danes must work for longer to create new jobs and to secure a balanced budget by 2020. That’s the main conclusion of the Government’s 2020 plan for the Danish economy.
Nordic opposition to minimum wage shows lack of solidarity?
Should we have a statutory minimum wage? Absolutely not say Nordic trade unions, and they’re usually backed by employers’ organisations. It’s an attitude people elsewhere in Europe find difficult to understand.
Emergency rescue plan for Denmark’s long-term unemployed
The debate over Danish unemployment benefit rules carries on despite political action.
No female quotas for new Danish equality model
The Danish government wants businesses to get more women into boardrooms but not by using female quotas.
Unions in retreat across Europe
Trade unions have lost members and influence over the past 20 years in almost all European countries. High unemployment, an increasingly deregulated labour market and weaker safety nets makes many workers weary of putting their demands forwards and to become union members. Unions in several countries also criticise what they see as a relatively self-congratulatory Nordic model.
The right use of space improves office work
Disturbing sounds like high volume conversations are often an environmental problem in workplaces, and it can lead to loss of concentration and more mistakes being made. Now new research out of Finland shows it is possible to reduce such inconveniences through flexible space concepts.
New drive to get young unemployed Danes into education and jobs
The Danish government launches another youth package to offer education to nearly 100,000 young people on benefits - many of whom have no further education at all. Meanwhile the effects of previous youth packages are beginning to materialise.
Nordic worry over EU internal market package
The European Commission’s proposal for how to apply the EU directive on the posting of workers must not limit our powers to control foreign companies! That was the unified message from government officials, authority representatives, the social partners and researchers from all Nordic countries when they met in Oslo to discuss how to deal with what remains of the the so-called internal market package.
Unemployment benefit cuts undermine the Danish model
Danish trade unions warn cuts to unemployment benefits are undermining the Danish labour market model.
How to increase equality in Norway
From next year Norway increases parental leave to 49 weeks. Yet months of daddy leave and nursery places for all children do not automatically make for a less gender segregated labour market nor does it make the male dominance in top jobs disappear, warns Professor Hege Skjeie, who has been heading the largest report on equality in Norway so far.
Iceland's new labour market policy focuses on young men
Iceland is developing a labour market policy for the period leading up to 2020, the first such policy the country has ever had. There are more people with low education in Iceland than elsewhere in Europe. Experts say the most important thing now is to develop a strategy for educating young men.
Iceland’s plan for bridging the pay gap
Iceland’s government and the social partners have reached a new gender pay gap deal. In the next two years they aim to reduce the gap and to agree on a project plan with joint solutions and measures. Their goal is equal pay for equal work. The public sector should set an example for other employers.
Norway renegotiates tri-partite inclusive workplace agreement
‘Everyone’ was there when Norway’s Ministry of Labour staged its annual conference on the inclusive workplace agreement. It was also the first public meeting between the new Director General at the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise and the President of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions.
OECD: Sweden has the most immigrants - Iceland has the most jobs for them
Sweden has the highest proportion of immigrants. Iceland, where the number of immigrants has doubled in ten years, is fast reaching the same level.

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