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Working hours: a hot topic for the Labour Inspection Authority director

Working hours: a hot topic for the Labour Inspection Authority director

(Feb 11, 2011) Ingrid Finboe Svendsen's dream is to create a popular drive for a better work environment. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority has often been in the spotlight for dealing with cases of social dumbing, but the Authority's director wants to showcase the full scope of what the organisation does. And this is where Facebook comes in.

Work is top priority in integration of Sweden's new arrivals

(Feb 09, 2011) As soon as newly arrived refugees are granted permission to stay in Sweden the process of getting them established in society begins. The goal is to cut the time it takes to get settled into the labour market. Those who want to can use personal guides who'll help them with work and integration.

Hillevi Engström: more social responsibility needed in working life

Hillevi Engström: more social responsibility needed in working life

(Nov 24, 2010) Once the leading star of Swedish Police, Hillevi Engström is now in charge of whipping working life into line. She wants to use her role as Minister for Employment to challenge businesses to take social responsibility. In return she offers economical incentives and an improved education system.

Will Lex Laval work?

(Nov 02, 2010) On 9 September the Swedish Building Workers' Union (Byggnads) took industrial action against a Lithuanian company building a school in Höllviken in Southern Sweden. The union demanded the company paid its Lithuanian workers according Swedish salary agreements. Are we heading towards a new Laval ruling?

Guðbjartur Hannesson - Iceland's Minister for Welfare

Guðbjartur Hannesson - Iceland's Minister for Welfare

(Oct 03, 2010) Guðbjartur Hannesson is Iceland's new minister in charge of merging all welfare issues into one ministry. He must do this while the country's budget is cut to the bone in the wake of the 2008 crash which left the country's economy in ruins. The Ministry of Welfare must be up and running by the end of the year.

Iceland's new slimmed-down and EU-critical government

(Sep 29, 2010) Iceland's government has been cut from twelve to ten ministers. Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir says the ministerial posts will be cut further in the new year with the merging of several departments.

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.

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