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Finland's Anni Sinnemäki: passionate about an individually tailored welfare system

Finland's Anni Sinnemäki: passionate about an individually tailored welfare system

(Aug 31, 2010) Finland's Minister of Labour wants to make individuals visible. Young people should not be seen as a uniform group but as separate people with different needs. In Finland a lot of time has been spent analysing each person's situation, and as a result, she says, the state can offer more rational measures tailored to the individual's needs.

Red cabinet member - impatient in the long run

Red cabinet member - impatient in the long run

(Jun 30, 2010) Audun Lysbakken swears that it is he - and not the media - who will set the agenda for his ministry's work. That means working on long-term, preventative measures to avoid people becoming social outsiders - results of which will not show up on statistics for another 10 to 15 years.

National pride gave Icelanders tunnel-vision

National pride gave Icelanders tunnel-vision

(May 24, 2010) Icelanders help each other out in bad times. But when it comes to a man-made crisis they don't really know how to act.

Hanne Bjurstrøm: Norway's new Minister of Labour with a vision

Hanne Bjurstrøm: Norway's new Minister of Labour with a vision

(May 05, 2010) Norway's new Minister of Labour, Hanne Bjurstrøm, wants to sort out the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, find efficient systems to deal with social dumping and help more people with reduced work capacity. Her vision: to help anyone who is able to do some work get out of being passive recipients of state support. To do that she needs the support of companies.

Laval case brings new Swedish law

(Apr 11, 2010) After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing the Swedish Parliament passed legislation on 24 March to reflect the Court of Justice of the European Union's judgement in the much-debated Laval case.

Inger Støjberg - fighting unemployment with cross-party cooperation

Inger Støjberg - fighting unemployment with cross-party cooperation

(Mar 02, 2010) Just as the economic crisis hit Denmark in April 2009, Inger Støjberg took up her position as Minister of Employment and Gender Equality. She was already known as a vocal spokeswoman for the Danish Liberal Party. Now she is the promoter of broad agreements with the opposition.

Study: Denmark and Norway enjoy Nordic region's highest mobility

(Feb 08, 2010) Denmark coined the term flexicurity, which by some has been used to describe the entire Nordic labour market model. But a new study comparing all the Nordic countries casts the Danish model in a unique light.

The Laval case, act III – Sweden's Labour Court rules union must pay high damages

(Jan 12, 2010) The Labour Court judgment is important in principle and very controversial. For the first time in EU history a trade union is made to pay damages after industrial action contrary to EU-law.

Árni Páll Árnason: "a working life for all"

Árni Páll Árnason: "a working life for all"

(Nov 25, 2009) What kind of labour market do we want? What do we expect from companies? What are our expectations for the work place? Árni Páll Árnason feels these are all questions that deserve deep probing. His quest is to put an end to people being pushed out of working life at society's cost.

Municipal job activation in the firing line

Municipal job activation in the firing line

(Oct 26, 2009) Denmark has made municipalities solely responsible for job activation and employment projects for the unemployed in what has proved to be a very controversial reform.

Denmark leading by example

Denmark leading by example

(Oct 23, 2009) While other industrialised countries are talking up environmental promises ahead of the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark is already acting green and leading by example, writes freelance journalist Gwladys Fouché.

Iceland's crisis

Iceland's crisis

(Sep 22, 2009) The money, the assets - have they all evaporated? Once upon a time there was a tiny country - an island - far out at sea, west of Scandinavia, east of the large American continent.

Pay cuts - a shortsighted strategy

(Aug 19, 2009) With the economic downturn unemployment has become a real threat to Nordic workers. Many are prepared to stretch far to keep their jobs, including taking voluntary pay cuts. But pay cuts do not necessarily solve a business' problems, and could prove to be a bottomless pool.

Nordic labour markets: a Brussels point of view

(Aug 19, 2009) Those looking to learn something from the Nordic labour markets treat them with envy and respect, but also with a degree of scepticism, writes Jørgen Rønnest.

Positive factors at work – a new perspective

(Aug 01, 2009) What makes workers happy and content, and what keeps organisations healthy and productive? What makes workers resilient and good at adapting when more and more is demanded of them in an ever changing environment?

Iceland: light at the end of the tunnel?

(Jun 19, 2009) When faced with an economic crisis, Icelanders used to simply buckle down and work harder for a while. Now they're faced with the unusual situation of having no jobs to go to. This economic crisis has hit everybody hard, and especially the unemployed.

The best research has people-focus

(Dec 03, 2008) Working life research in the Nordic region has highlighted big changes in how businesses are run. So-called borderless working life offers flexible working hours and less division between work and leisure. But what are the long-term consequences?

Making new welfare policy in the US

(Jun 01, 2008) Can conditional cash payments help your kids stay in school or do well on tests or help families beat the poverty trap? It was proven successful in Mexico, New York City is testing it now, and Britain's Gordon Brown is watching closely to see if there is something to learn.

Working con amore

Working con amore

(May 01, 2008) After fifteen years in Italy, it feels wonderful to be taken on the wings of the Scandinavian labour market. Not under! That's the whole point.

Working Nation: The Mindset of the Enterprising Icelanders

(May 01, 2008) The Icelanders are known for being a great working nation. No nation has a larger part of the population in employment at any one time. This reflects both a high work participation rate amongst Icelandic women as well as amongst the elderly. Indeed many Icelanders stay in paid work up to the age of 70. The Icelanders thus retire later than people in most other nations, helping to keep pension expenditures modest.

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