Norway: Inclusive workforce agreement shows positive results


 Implementation of the tripartite agreement on the 'Inclusive workplace' appears to be successful, according to the most recent annual report.

In 2001, the authorities and the main social partners in Norway signed an agreement on the 'Inclusive workplace'. The three specific objectives of this tripartite agreement are:
  • • to reduce sickness absence by at least 20% from the level observed in the second quarter of 2001;
  • • to secure employment for a larger number of people with disabilities or reduced work ability; and
  • • to increase the actual retirement age, i.e. to prolong working life.

Since 2009, the government and the labour market partners have carried out an annual review of the current situation for the programme. The most recent report (in Norwegian), for 2015,  shows that since 2001 the proportion of employed 55–61 year olds has increased by five percentage points, while the increase in the 6266 age group has been as high as 14 percentage points. This increase is partly the result of a pension reform carried out in 2011. In addition, the proportion of seniors on disability pensions continues to decrease while for young people under the age of 30, the opposite is the case. The employment rate among young people aged 20–24 has had an underlying downward trend through the period from 2001 to today. For the 2529 age group, the decline has primarily come after the financial crisis and is partly due to the the following factors: the higher proportion of young people in education, the fact that fewer young people combine education with part-time jobs, and increased job competition because of high immigration. Meanwhile, the number of young people registered as having reduced working ability has increased in recent years.

A key goal of the agreement is to achieve a reduction in absenteeism rates of 20% compared with the level in Q2 2001. The seasonally adjusted figures show that absenteeism in Q4 2014 was 11.5 percent lower than in Q2 2001. Within several sectors, the decrease has been 20% or higher.

 

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