The Nordics focus on work environments – but in different ways
The Icelandic dream turned into a nightmare, says a Polish woman. Eastern European bus drivers work for 500 euro a month. Hotels suspected of employing asylum seekers. People trafficking suspected as two people worked around the clock in a basement. These are headlines from Iceland.
The Danish government has become so worried about the deterioration of the quality of working environments that it is now making changes to working environment measures. Trade unions are calling for a stop to cuts to the Working Environment Authority.
Nordic countries must make comprehensive changes to their working environment policies in the face of new ways of working and more posted workers from the EU. Everyone seems to agree that working environment issues are getting increasingly important, yet there are major differences in how the different countries handle the challenges – not least when it comes to social dumping.
Finland’s strengths have not been used to create a competitive advantage. Now Finnish working life is to become the best in Europe. Businesses compete to innovate, create trust, well-being and competencies. The economic crisis was a temporary setback, but also a fresh start for the Working Life 2020 programme ('Arbetsliv2020’).
A new, national centre for knowledge about and the assessment of working environments should be established either at Stockholm University or as a new government body, according to a proposal presented to the Swedish government.