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Kongsberg: Working together for growth

(Nov 01, 2001) By investing in networks, partnerships and closer co-operation between research and private industries, Norway intends to concentrate on growth and innovation over the next ten years. This initiative, entitled "Value Creation 2010", was launched at a conference in Kongsberg at the end of October.

Well-being at work

(Nov 01, 2001) Nordic efforts to improve working environments are now beginning to show results. Tarja Filatov, Finland's Minister of Labour, has brought the attention of the Nordic Council to the economic significance that a good working environment can have for businesses and the national economy.

A Big Step for Equal Wages

(Jun 01, 2001) In April this year a new agreement was struck between the two biggest unions in Reykjavik and the municipality. The agreement will bring about a radical change in wage structures and form the basis for the evaluation of all jobs.“A blow has been struck for a fairer and more just pay structure between men and women, something we have been striving to achieve since 1997,” says Birgir Björn Sigurjonsson, Director of Human Resources for the City of Reykjavik.

Head-hunters to help Longterm Unemployed

(Jun 01, 2001) Expert group proposes new models to meet labour market demands: “We believe that improving the function of the labour market and ensuring the availability of labour will be key factors in the next few years. This policy line includes the provision of some additional services for more hard-to-place applicants by ‘head-hunters’,” says Heikki Räisänen, an adviser at the Finnish Ministry of Labour in charge of the expert group who put forward the proposal on further developing the Labour Market Policy reform of 1998.

Equality Gives Way to Market Forces

(Jun 01, 2001) Two male social advisors, newly appointed to the County Administrative Board in Malmö, were given salaries in excess of those earned by their incumbent female colleagues. In a judgement issued by the Swedish Labour Court on 23 May, this difference was attributable solely to market forces and not in any way gender discriminating.

Nordic PESs cooperate effectively - but continued obstacles to a true common labour market

(Jan 01, 2001) «The public employment services (PESs) in the Nordic countries cooperate effectively when employers are looking for labour from neighbouring countries. Contacts are made easily and trustfully, and are based on confidence and familiarity. » So says international director Peter R. Myklebust, of the Norwegian Directorate of Labour.

A Nordic strategy for maintaining a supply of labour?

(Jan 01, 2001) As with the rest of Europe, the labour force in the Nordic countries will change in the future. There is a great risk of a future lack of manpower. Therefore, during the autumn, discussions will start between politicians and the social partners in the Nordic countries regarding future manpower requirements. The challenge is to find strategies that cover future manpower needs, without renouncing fundamental value systems.

Fierce debate about Norwegian sickness benefit

(Jan 01, 2001) The costs of sick pay and sickness pension in Norway have increased dramatically in recent years and correspond to half the income from the oil pumped out of the North Sea. This is worrying in consideration of not only the costs but also the drain on manpower.

Initiative to strengthen Nordic cooperation in the IT area

(Jan 01, 2001) The Nordic countries cannot rest on their laurels just because they have had success with the new technology. If IT is to be accessible to all, a joint effort and cooperation between the Nordic countries is needed, says Lennart Daleus, leader of the Swedish Centre party and member of the European Committee of the Nordic Council.

The Battle against Monotonous work

(Jan 01, 2001) Through the implementation of a series of initiatives, the Danish Minister of Labour, Ove Hygum, is aiming to improve conditions for the 200,000 Danish wage-earners who carry out the same monotonous work every day. However, according to the Confederation of Danish Industries (DI), it is being done in an amateurish way.

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