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Newsletter from the Nordic Labour Journal 6/2015

Theme: Shadow economies - the Nordic strategies

Editorial: “So you want to pay VAT?"

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?

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Fewer Swedes want to buy or perform undeclared work

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.

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Coordinated controls in fight against Norway’s shadow economy

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.

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A Danish conflict: Fighting the shadow economy vs respecting privacy

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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Youth unemployment at the Economic Forum: how to solve it?

What is needed to make sure young people can find a proper job, allowing them to make a decent living? Youth unemployment hits the Nordic countries and other European countries in different ways, but it remains a major challenge for all of them. Is the youth guarantee the solution? What is the answer?

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Unity to deal with EU pressure on the Nordic model

Adjustments and unity will be needed to maintain the unique Nordic collective-bargaining model. That was the assessment from Denmark’s Minister for Employment, Danish EU politicians and the social partners at a conference in the wake of a new report about the Nordic collective-bargaining model and the EU.

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Jari Lindström: The Minister of Employment who switched sides

A few years ago Jari Lindström was an unemployed paper mill worker in an industrial town with no future. Today he is Minister of Justice and Employment in the Finnish government planning considerable benefit cuts. Lindström has been forced to defend decisions he was fighting against not long ago.

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The Nordic region’s remote areas need a dynamic employment policy

“Whether unemployment is high or low, it is crucial to have a concrete and dynamic employment policy which can withstand the changing economy. Employment is key for a society’s long term survival, especially in small societies.”

Sweden tightens public procurement rules

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.

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OECD: Big increase in number of foreign born doctors and nurses

Over the past ten years the number of nurses and doctors who have moved to one of the 38 OECD countries has risen by 60 percent. The number of foreign born doctors now makes up nearly one third of all doctors in Sweden and one in four doctors in Norway.

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Time pressure bigger work environment issue in the Nordics than rest of Europe

Psychosocial risk factors are identified as the main challenge by the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work in their second major survey of work environments in European countries.

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