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The Future of Work seen from Reykjavik

Newsletter from the Nordic Labour Journal 4/2019

Nordic region leading by example

The most important thing the Nordics can do to contribute to the ILO is to lead by example. That was the message from the Director-General Guy Ryder during the fourth and final conference on the Future of Work, held in Reykjavik.

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ILO and the Nordics: At the frontline in fight for the future of work

There was a positive atmosphere as the ILO Director-General and representatives from the Nordic ministries of labour gathered in Iceland to discuss the challenges around the future of work. The Nordic model has proved to be adaptable to rapid and major change before, and the development of new technology is something people can actually control.

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Equal pay: a fight between genders or between the rich and poor?

Society treasures resources and power more than anything. If we do not deal with economic inequality we will get nowhere, said the leader of the Icelandic trade union Efling, Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, during a panel debate at the Nordic conference The Future of Work, held in Reykjavik between 4th-5th April.

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Parental leave in Iceland gives dad a strong position

Since Iceland introduced nine months parental leave with three months earmarked fathers, their participation in childcare has changed radically – in a good way. Mothers return to work earlier, and get back to working ordinary hours faster. Daddy leave has been the main driver in this development.

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ILO's DG Guy Ryder finds inspiration from problem-solving Iceland

Why does the Director-General of ILO choose Iceland as one of his last stops before the organisation’s centenary celebrations kick off? Why Reykjavík and not Paris or Rome?

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Nordic project: why do so few girls want to become engineers?

Many future jobs will be centred around digitalisation, the development of artificial intelligence and robots, and biotechnology. But far too few girls chose to study the subjects that are relevant to these areas. The Nordic labour ministers want to know why.

Norway: Gender pay gap remains, but influence is slightly up

The gender pay gap among full-time employees in Norway remains at 20 %. After adjusting for age, education, sector and several other factors, there is still a 13 % gender difference.

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A shift in work-related crime – or just prettier facades?

The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority has uncovered less work-related crime in 2018, even though more controls have been carried out compared to in previous years. Some point to improved cross-sector cooperation, while critics say inspections are of little use if they are not unannounced.

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Iceland’s equal pay standard – the employer’s best weapon?

From Reykjavík in the south to Sauðárkrókur in the north – companies across Iceland are introducing the equal pay standard which aims to eradicate gender pay gaps. But the reform also faces criticism from some who say it restricts employees’ opportunities to secure pay increases and bonuses.

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Digitalisation and new forms of employment: what’s happening under the surface?

We have yet to see dramatic change to the way people are employed in the Nordic region as a result of digitalisation and new ways of organising work. But the nature of work will change nevertheless. This could lead to conflicts of interests and friction between different work groups, says Fafo researcher Jon Erik Dølvik. He heads a major research project which will inform Nordic governments and the ILO.

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Outgoing Secretary General: keep the Nordic focus

The Nordic region and Nordic cooperation is held in high regard at home and abroad, so keep up the high levels of ambitions. That was the parting message for Nordic parliaments and governments from the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Dagfinn Høybråten, as he stepped down after six years today.

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