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News 2017

Job prize to get more Danish long term unemployed into work
A cash prize awaits Danes who get a job after a long time on unemployment benefits. Long term unemployment benefit receivers are also given help to find casual jobs. Yet one expert questions whether the economic incentive is large enough.
Norway in legal pickle over Posting Directive
In Norway the social partners are responsible for wage setting and therefore they are responsible for solving the problem. That was the Norwegian government’s message to Efta’s surveillance authority ESA.
Palestinian, woman, dyslexic – and successful businessperson in Iceland
Fida Abu Libdeh arrived in Iceland aged 16. “I didn’t even understand whether my teacher was trying to teach me Icelandic or Danish. It wasn’t until many years later I learnt I had dyslexia,” she says.
Falling life satisfaction among Nordic youths
Life satisfaction is falling among Nordic youths, and at least one in four experience several symptoms of unhappiness, like headaches and stomach-aches. But there are large differences between the individual Nordic countries.
Camilla Stoltenberg: Nordics should cooperate to improve young people’s mental health
The Nordic countries should get together and create ambitious goals to improve young people’s psychological well-being, argues Camilla Stoltenberg, professor and Director-General of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Can cafés of influence and democracy heroes make us feel better?
One in five children and young people are struggling mentally. And the problems have been on the increase in all of the Nordic countries in recent years. That is the backdrop for a Nordic summit on mental health in Oslo.
Lex Laval revised in Sweden – to what effect?
Swedish trade unions will again be able to take industrial action in order to get foreign companies to sign collective agreements for their posted workers. That is what the Swedish government proposes, arguing the limitations introduced through the so-called lex Laval go too far. In practice the difference might not be quite as dramatic as it might seem.
Lack of positive expectations an obstacle when young people with psychological problems seek work
“I was furious over the way I was treated in school when I told the teachers that I was mentally ill. The entire school system reacted by completely removing any demands on me. Any expectations of me achieving anything at all, and succeeding with anything, completely disappeared,” says Adrian Lorentsson.
NIVA Education introduces online courses
NIVA Education has started offering online courses in various topics to do with working environments and safety. “The best thing about these courses is that I can go back and listen to a lecture again and again. You always notice something new,” says Ásta Snorradóttir, is a lecturer in occupational rehabilitation at the at the University of Iceland.
International campaign needed to fight ruthless staffing agencies
Two new international agreements trying to improve conditions for workers in the construction and textile industries, as well as oil workers' more traditional but still difficult trade union fight. Those were the issues up for debate during a Fafo seminar in Oslo on globalisation, precarious work and trust.
Robotisation and Mercedes bring a thousand new jobs to Finland
Suddenly Finland is about to become known as a car making nation. There is already talk about “the west coast miracle”. Valmet Automotive is recruiting one thousand new car workers in addition to the ones they already employ. More and more Mercedes models are being ordered from their Uusikaupunki car plant, which is growing at record speed.
Micro-management a threat to Nordic labour market models
There is a need for an institutionalised exchange of ideas between the Nordic countries on labour market issues, believes Oxford Research, which has compared labour market politics in the Nordic countries. They also encourage politicians to avoid micro-management and to trust those who work with these issues.
Nordics and Baltics agree on digital development
Big numbers were presented during the Digital North conference in Oslo on 25 April, where digitalisation ministers from the Nordic and Baltic countries signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement. Digitalisation can create 500,000 new jobs in Europe, and the new 5G networks which are already being rolled out in the Nordic region are 100,000 faster that the first ever mobile network was 20 years ago.
Swedish port conflict could lead to change in legislation
A long-running conflict in the port of Gothenburg has made the Swedish government consider changes in regulations covering industrial action. The reason the conflict has lasted for so long is a seemingly unsolvable fight for positions between two trade unions which both represent dockworkers.
Erna Solberg heads for four more years as Norwegian Prime Minister
Erna Solberg carries on as Norway’s Prime Minister, but with a weaker parliamentary mandate. The Labour Party was the looser in Monday’s election. The Centre Party gained the most ground, carried forward by rural areas protesting against what they see as a threat to municipal independence.
Agreement on what constitutes minimum rates of pay for construction workers in Sweden
After nearly ten years of quarrelling, the Swedish trade union for construction workers (Byggnads) and their counterparts at the Swedish Construction Federation (BI) have agreed what the “minimum rates of pay” for constructions workers posted to Sweden should comprise. The parties think the same conditions should apply for public procurement of construction projects.
TBU at 50: Wage formation – the Norwegian model’s unique attribute
The basis for the Norwegian version of the Nordic model is a shared understanding of reality before the parties begin wage negotiations. The result has been few conflicts and narrow pay gaps.
Danish sharing economy strategy just a first step
The government’s long-awaited sharing economy strategy is a first, small step towards regulating the sharing economy in Denmark, but the social partners agree more needs to be done.
Native language disappearing from Icelandic workplaces
Iceland is experiencing enormous growth. Every year thousands of foreigners arrive to help Icelanders in the labour market. Tourism represents the largest area of growth, followed by the construction industry. The English language is increasingly being used within both trades. Many Icelanders are worried about the Icelandic language’s position in the multicultural society.
Continuing education gets huge push from Danish government and social partners
The Danish government and the social partners have agreed to spend nearly 2.5 billion Danish kroner (€335m) on continuing education for more workers. The agreement has broad political backing, but one labour market expert wonders whether it goes far enough.
Nordic Council Helsinki session: Promising deeper labour market cooperation
The 69th session of the Nordic Council in Helsinki had a celebratory air as Finland was marking its centenary as an independent nation. Labour market issues formed a common thread throughout the session.
Gothenburg EU summit: “We are taking the Nordic model to Europe"
The mood was very good as trade unions and voluntary organisations met ahead of the EU summit focusing on the social pillar.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir tipped as Iceland's new Prime Minister
Iceland’s Left-Green Movement (VG) won Iceland’s parliamentary elections in late October. Party leader Katrín Jakobsdóttir will most probably become Prime Minister in a coalition government. Katrín would be the country’s second female head of government after Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir.
Sweden: New jobs model for refugees and long-term unemployed
The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) have reached an agreement in principle to make it easier for refugees and long-term unemployed to find jobs in Sweden. To make the agreement binding, both organisations’ affiliates must accept it. It is also dependent on public financing of parts of the workers’ wages.
The Nordic Labour Journal – also on Facebook
You can now access news and debates about the Nordic labour market on Facebook. The Nordic Labour Journal highlights trends and policies, and also stories from working life.
Newly arrived depend on social networks to find jobs
70 percent of newly arrived people in Sweden found jobs through social networks, compared to the 16 percent who found jobs via the employment service. The employment gap between native Swedes and those born abroad is still wide, however. It is particularly hard for people those with no upper secondary education, and for women.
Metoo - also at the Oslo ministers' meeting
"This is a huge thing," says an engaged Ylva Johansson, Sweden's Minister for Employment. The working environment was a topic for debate during the Oslo labour ministers' meeting. There she explained the scale of #metoo in Sweden. Next year her country will be heading the Nordic Council of Ministers, focussing on integration, the future of work and measures to stop work-related crime.
Norwegian barometer highlights importance of collective decision-making
Changes and reorganisations are far less conflict-prone if employees both participate in and have influence over the process. Yet the trend is increasingly moving towards more authoritarian management models where standardisation and control are the most important factors. These are some of the results from this year’s barometer on collective decision-making in Norway.
Three party coalition in Iceland: Tough tasks for new minister
There are some tough tasks ahead for Iceland’s new Minister of Social Affairs and Equality Ásmundur Einar Daðason, who is also responsible for labour market issues. The Minister’s most important job will be to maintain peace and understanding in the Icelandic labour market.
Teaching Danes how to manage robots
Your future colleague might well be a robot. This will mean great changes in the labour market according to a new report discussed by the Disruption Council during its fourth meeting.
From opera to Slush – how #metoo is changing the Nordics
The global #metoo campaign, which sheds light on sexual harassment and aims to break the culture of the silence surrounding it, has arrived in the Nordics. Many groups in Sweden, from actors and journalists to lawyers and trade union members, have signed petitions. We take a closer look at the situation in Denmark and Finland.
EU youth unemployment: Some jobs are worse than being unemployed
Nine years after the start of the economic crisis in Europe, several EU countries are struggling to lift millions of youths out of unemployment and idleness. The youth guarantee, which the EU promised would get young people back on their feet, has so far produced no miracles.

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