In both Norway and Sweden, legislation is underway for the purpose of placing more women on the boards of private companies unless trade and industry, on its own initiative, increases the women’s share of these positions. Despite the strong presence of equality rights in the Nordic countries, this has still to reach the boardrooms.
Sweden and Norway are well off compared to the rest of Europe when one considers the living standard, the working environment, social security and average life expectancy. The economy of these societies is threatened, however, by ill health and overwhelming numbers of sick notes. These numbers are actually topping those from other European countries. Even though the statistics may contain errors, the fight against sick leave tops the agenda.
In the ongoing debate, Swedes tend to be portrayed as suffering from illness most often, compared to the rest of Europe. “That’s totally wrong!” says Paula Liukkonen, Senior Lecturer of Business Management, who has carried out extensive research on personnel policy and working environment.
“We shall spare no efforts to make the Nordic and the Baltic countries the best when it comes to integration within the EU. Not until then may we influence the other member states, and further broaden the common labour market.”
Some 40,000 individuals commute between Sweden and Norway. For the purpose of assisting the commuters, a “Border Service” was established one year ago at Morokulien, between Kongsvinger in Norway and Arvika in Sweden. The “Border Service” offers guidance to which rules apply in each country, and shows one result of a unique cooperation between the county employment services in both countries.