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  • Reducing long-term dependence on benefit

    In Slovakia, benefits for those ‘in material need’ are provided to citizens who do not have enough income. This benefit is secured by the Constitution and several hundred thousand people, including children, are long-term recipients of this benefit. In 2012, 6.6% of the population were living on this benefit. However, in southern and eastern regions, where approximately 40% of the country’s most economically-deprived people are living, the proportion of recipients was 11%. The benefit is not very generous and figures from the Mutual Information System on Social Protection (MISSOC [1]) show that in 2013 it was a maximum €398.14 for a household of two adults with no other income, living with two children (aged 5 and 10 years) in a three-bedroom apartment. [1]
  • First collective agreement in healthcare signed

    On 19 March 2013, representatives of employee and employer organisations in healthcare held a meeting to discuss the creation of the Tripartite Council of the National Health System of Lithuania (LNSSTT). The council was established on 7 May 2013.
  • Government to revise rules on Sunday working

    In 2009, the legislation that governs Sunday trading in France was amended by Act No. 2009-974 9 (in French) [1] – the so-called /Loi Mallié/ – which reaffirmed the principle that no-one should have to work on a Sunday but relaxed the rules to allow some businesses to open on Sundays in certain situations, such as during the holiday season in tourist areas. However, the number of employees working on Sundays has been growing since the 1990s, with young people and women particularly affected, according to a recent paper (in French, 840KB PDF) [2] published by the Agency for Research, Studies and Statistics (DARES). [1] [2]
  • Commission details plans to cut red tape

    The European Commission says it is determined to continue its efforts to streamline its legislation. On 2 October 2013 it issued its Communication (COM (2013) 685 (150KB PDF) [1]) on the Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT): Results and Next Steps. [1]
  • Collective agreements boosted by social dialogue projects

    In spring 2012, 20 projects to promote social dialogue were launched in Lithuania, financed by the European Social Fund. At the time, there was just one sectoral collective agreement in place. Since then, discussions have taken place on 253 enterprise-level collective agreements, 32 territorial collective agreements and 16 sectoral collective agreements. The new agreements regulate a wide range of working conditions including pay, employment guarantees and health and safety.
  • New rules give trade unions extended rights

    Union membership in Lithuania is low – about 10% of all employees. The unions are divided into three main confederations, the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation (LPSK [1]), the Lithuanian Labour Federation (LDF [2]) and Solidarumas [3]. They are divided – historically at least – on ideological grounds. However, the confederations are now working together more closely. [1] [2] [3]
  • Trade unions lead largest street protest in decades

    Since 2011, the poor quality of social dialogue in Poland has led to clashes between the government and major trade unions on a number of subjects. They have disagreed on proposed reforms to the retirement age, the minimum wage, atypical employment and working time (*PL1202029I*).
  • Film industry finally strikes collective agreement

    In 2003, after a protracted industrial dispute in the French film industry, the social partners in the live performance and audio-visual sectors were asked to clarify and simplify their collective bargaining system (*FR1202041Q*). Both sectors make extensive use of short-term employment contracts. The request to reform their bargaining procedures came from the Ministry of Labour [1], which also asked the sectors to negotiate eight national collective agreements, including one covering film production. [1]
  • Public sector job cuts gather pace

    Public sector reforms in Greece began long before the country’s first bailout package was negotiated with the Troika in the spring of 2010 (*GR1202019I* [1]). However, the reforms continued as part of Greece’s obligations under the terms of the loan negotiated with the European Union (EU [2]), the International Monetary Fund (IMF [3]) and the European Central Bank (ECB [4]), and a target was set to retire or dismiss 25,000 public servants by the end of 2014. As part of this process, 12,500 were to be placed in ‘non-active’ or ‘mobility’ status by the end of 2013, and a further 12,500 by the end of 2014. It is envisaged that many of these people would be re-employed in other positions, but a significant proportion will be dismissed. [1] [2] [3] [4]
  • Romania: Working conditions of young entrants to the labour market

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