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Labour Law

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.

Sweden tightens public procurement rules

(Sep 29, 2015) Swedish authorities could become obliged to make sure that public procurement suppliers pay their employees in line with collective agreements. A government appointed commission has just suggested how this could work.

Complicated relationship between EU and Nordic labour law systems

(Jun 22, 2015) The courts have acquired a greater role in the labour law system at the expense of politicians and the social partners. And knowing what the law actually means is becoming so difficult for employers and trade unions that the rule of law is under threat, argue the authors of a new book from the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Victory for the Finnish Electrical Workers' Union in EU Court of Justice

(Mar 06, 2015) ”6 – 0 to the Finnish Electrical Workers’ Union!” ”The greatest thing to have happened since the Laval judgement!” Reactions from the employees’ side were exuberant when the Court of Justice of the European Union announced its preliminary ruling in the case concerning 186 Polish electricians who had been posted to Finland.

The minimum wage — fit for the Nordic region?

The minimum wage — fit for the Nordic region?

(Feb 07, 2015) While Nordic trade unions consider a minimum wage to be a catastrophe, employees in many other EU countries see it as protection against social dumping. We have to debate a statutory minimum wage so that everybody can see the strengths of the Nordic collective agreement system, and the value this represents for employees and for society as a whole, says Bente Sorgenfrey, President for the Council of Nordic Trade Unions.

The minimum wage — threat or opportunity?

(Feb 07, 2015) Stop worrying and join the debate about a legally binding minimum wage across the EU. That’s the bombshell from Bente Sorgenfrey, the new President for the Council of Nordic Trade Unions, NFS. Is fear for the debate the real problem, or is a statutory minimum wage a real threat to the Nordic model? The Nordic Labour Journal kicks off the debate in this month’s theme.

The Nordics should “stop refusing to discuss a minimum wage”

The Nordics should “stop refusing to discuss a minimum wage”

(Feb 07, 2015) Nordic countries should stop thinking a legally binding minimum wage for the EU would be tantamount to saying goodbye to the Nordic model. Learn from Norway, says the Council of Nordic Trade Unions and Danish labour market experts .

Norwegian minimum wage model spreading across trades

Norwegian minimum wage model spreading across trades

(Feb 07, 2015) On 1 February parts of the collective agreement covering the Norwegian fishery industry were made universally applicable, meaning agreed wages now apply to the whole of the country. Two days later it was time for the agreement for electricians. Support for the Norwegian minimum wage model is growing.

Only far left wants minimum wage in Finland

Only far left wants minimum wage in Finland

(Feb 07, 2015) Finland is one of the Nordic countries which has not had a public debate about a minimum wage. The Left Alliance (VF), which is the party furthest to the left in Finland, is the only political party which has called for a statutory minimum wage. In April’s general elections the party’s manifesto will also include a promised minimum hourly wage of €10 — around €1,600 a month.

Iceland: fewer take paternity leave

(Dec 08, 2014) When Iceland introduced paid paternity leave in 2000 it was a huge success. New fathers welcomed the opportunity to stay at home with their children. But the trend has not continued, and fathers’ income opportunities have worsened. Families can no longer afford the cut in earnings.

The Laval judgement: Swedish government wants more power to unions

(Dec 04, 2014) The Swedish government says the EU adjustment went too far when Swedish legislation was changed as a result of the EU Court of Justice’s judgement in the Laval case. A government-appointed commission has now been asked to come up with proposals for how to make it easier for trade unions to monitor the working conditions for posted workers. But the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise says the government’s ambitions are incompatible with EU law.

Finnish cases in EU Court of Justice could have Nordic consequences

(Oct 14, 2014) Is the Finnish system of universally applicable collective agreements incompatible with the free movement of services? That is what an advocate-general at the Court of Justice of the European Union suggests in a fresh opinion. The case is only one out of three current ones which could have a major impact on the Nordic countries’ labour markets.

Conflict over part time labour stops Swedish trains

(Jun 17, 2014) A train strike in southern Sweden has put renewed focus on how competition for public contracts affects the rights of the contractors’ employees, and to which extent the procuring authority can interfere in their working and employment conditions.

Agreement on main contractor liability stopped strike

(Apr 04, 2014) A bit of history was written in the evening of 31 March when a new collective agreement was reached on main contractor liability within the Swedish construction industry. It prevented strike action with hours to spare and will see the employers’ organisation the Swedish Construction Federation (BI) establishing a fund to guarantee wages for subcontractors’ workers.

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