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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 ) 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.
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.
In 2009, the legislation that governs Sunday trading in France was amended by
Act No. 2009-974 9 (in French)  – 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)  published by the Agency for Research, Studies and
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) ) on the Regulatory Fitness and Performance
(REFIT): Results and Next Steps.
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.
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 ), the Lithuanian Labour Federation (LDF ) and
Solidarumas . They are divided – historically at least – on
ideological grounds. However, the confederations are now working together
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*).
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 , which also asked the sectors to negotiate eight
national collective agreements, including one covering film production.
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* ). However, the reforms continued as part of Greece’s
obligations under the terms of the loan negotiated with the European Union
(EU ), the International Monetary Fund (IMF ) and the European Central
Bank (ECB ), 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
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