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Labour Law

Lex Laval revised in Sweden – to what effect?

(Mar 01, 2017) 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.

Nordic countries positive to EU social pillar – but want to set wages themselves

(Dec 13, 2016) We urge that the proposed European Pillar of Social Rights takes into account the special features of our labour markets and respects the role played by the social partners in the Nordic Region. That is what the Nordic countries’ labour ministers write in a joint declaration to the European Commission.

Towards a more authoritarian labour market – without freedom of expression?

Towards a more authoritarian labour market – without freedom of expression?

(Nov 16, 2016) “This is not only about their working life. It is about their lives,” says Dag Yngve Dahle, who has written a book on the freedom of expression in working life together with Maria Amelie, called ‘Moderne munnkurv’, or Modern muzzle. They look at what happens to people who have been accused of a breach of loyalty to their employer.

New Swedish legislation protects whistleblowers

(Nov 16, 2016) A new law will be introduced in Sweden this January to improve the protection of whistleblowers, strengthening the employees’ situation. However, they will still be left with much responsibility when it comes to deciding which wrongdoings are serious enough to afford them protection.

Collective decision making important, but...

Collective decision making important, but...

(Nov 16, 2016) “All this research on collective decision making is important, but it has its limitations. I think far too much has been exaggerated. There is an extremely good relationship between the workers’ representatives and the company leadership,” exclaims Knut E. Sunde, director of industrial policy at the Federation of Norwegian Industries.

The posting of workers directive: EU Commission sticks to its guns

(Nov 16, 2016) Should posted workers have the right to the same wages as workers in the country to which they are posted? Yes, says the European Commission, sticking to its proposal for changes to the posting of workers directive, despite fierce resistance from Eastern European member states.

EU pressure to liberalise the road transport industry

(Sep 16, 2016) Both Denmark and Finland will have to face the EU Court of Justice if they fail to change rules which they have implemented to prevent social dumping through the abuse of the EU’s so-called cabotage rules, says the European Commission. It is stepping up its work to liberalise the market for road freight transport.

The core idea of labour law is under threat

(Jun 20, 2016) The core idea of labour law is to protect the weaker party in an employment relation. This is increasingly under attack from market-led thinking where the main aim is to create opportunities for everyone to get a job. This might sound good, but it could lead to a worsening of conditions for both those who have managed to get a foot in the door of the regulated labour market and for those who are knocking, waiting to get in.

Can the Nordic model survive the sharing economy?

(Jun 20, 2016) The sharing economy, where customers use the Internet to find providers of different services without using physical middlemen, is also a threat to the Nordic model which builds on collective agreements. Employers and employees are forming non-contract relationships within a growing number of trades. If there is a contract, it mostly states that the partners cannot be considered to be employer or employee.

Three Swedish initiatives for increased gender equality

(Mar 04, 2016) It calls itself ‘the world’s first feminist government’, and with three new initiatives the Swedish government shows it is living up to the name: A more equal occupational injury insurance system, a review of parental benefits to ensure it creates a more equal situation for both parents and finally there will be a strengthening of the discrimination act.

I am incredibly thankful for part time work!

I am incredibly thankful for part time work!

(Mar 03, 2016) 35 year old Cecilie Enevold has gone part time in order to spend more time with her two small children. That was a difficult but correct decision, she says.

Danish parents want Swedish part time conditions

Danish parents want Swedish part time conditions

(Mar 03, 2016) The Danish gender equality debate is on fire. A large majority of Danes think parents of small children should have a right to work part time, but the trade unions, the government and feminists disagree.

Labour dispute at Icelandic smelter – a threat to the country’s agreement model?

Labour dispute at Icelandic smelter – a threat to the country’s agreement model?

(Feb 08, 2016) A bitter labour dispute between trade unions and employers at Rio Tinto Alcan’s Icelandic smelter Isal is in its second year. Workers have twice threatened to go on strike, but have pulled back at the last minute because of fears the smelter would be shut down. Six trade unions are negotiating, but most of the 500 employees at the smelter in Straumsvík belong to the Hlíf union.

Nordic countries fight unwanted consequences of EU benefit rules

(Feb 08, 2016) The EU’s rules on social security benefits need modernisation and the cost must be shared more equally between member states. If not, liberal benefit systems like those found in Nordic countries might not be sustainable, argue Nordic governments as they join forces to push the issue in the EU.

New regulations improve Swedish workers’ protection against bullying

(Nov 24, 2015) Swedish employers are to become better at preventing people going off sick because of unhealthy workloads or bullying at work. That is what new regulations from the Swedish Work Environment Authority aim to achieve. They contain clearer rules for how employers should work with organisational and social work environment issues.

New proposal for improved control of posted workers’ terms and conditions

(Oct 22, 2015) Tearing up Lex Laval would improve the terms and conditions for foreign workers in Sweden according to the Posted Workers Committee review of Lex Laval, which was presented to Sweden’s Minister for Employment Alva Johansson on 30 September.

“So you want to pay VAT?"

(Sep 29, 2015) The shadow economy, undeclared work, social dumping. We are talking cheating and deception, but how do you fight the illegal actions which erode the welfare state?

Fewer Swedes want to buy or perform undeclared work

Fewer Swedes want to buy or perform undeclared work

(Sep 29, 2015) Today nearly three times as many Swedes are negative towards undeclared work compared to six years ago. One explanation to this change in attitudes are the household tax breaks introduced in 2007 and 2008. Now the government is reducing the size of the deduction and critics warn against an increase in undeclared labour.

Coordinated controls in fight against Norway’s shadow economy

Coordinated controls in fight against Norway’s shadow economy

(Sep 29, 2015) In Norway staff from six different authorities have gathered in joint offices in Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger to fight the shadow economy. Building sites and other workplaces have been targeted in coordinated operations by 120 investigators. The results have been good so far. The operations run alongside campaigns against undeclared work and have had broad media coverage.

A Danish conflict: Fighting the shadow economy vs respecting privacy

A Danish conflict: Fighting the shadow economy vs respecting privacy

(Sep 29, 2015) The Danish government wants to ban the hunting for undeclared work in private gardens. The social partners and the opposition fear this will lead to more social dumping.

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