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'Flexible' Beschäftigungsverhältnisse sind ein Phänomen auf europäischen
Arbeitsmärkten, dem in den letzten Jahren immer mehr Aufmerksamkeit zuteil
wird und das Gegenstand zahlreicher gesetzlicher Vorschriften ist - zumindest
auf Ebene der Europäischen Union. Flexible Beschäftigungsverhältnisse
können im allgemeinen Sinne als eine Beschäftigungsform definiert werden,
die nicht auf einem unbefristeten und fortlaufenden Arbeitsvertrag beruht,
sondern zeitlich begrenzt ist; die wichtigsten Formen sind Beschäftigung mit
befristeten Arbeitsverträgen, Leiharbeit sowie Gelegenheits- bzw.
Saisonarbeit. In dieser Vergleichsstudie, deren Grundlagen die Beiträge der
nationalen Zentren der Europäischen Beobachtungsstelle für die Entwicklung
der Arbeitsbeziehungen (EIRO) in den EU-Mitgliedstaaten und Norwegen
darstellen, sollen der Zusammenhang zwischen flexiblen
Beschäftigungsverhältnissen und der 'Qualität' des Arbeitslebens
untersucht sowie dessen Behandlung bei den Arbeitsbeziehungen betrachtet
werden. Zunächst geht es um zeitlich befristete
Beschäftigungsverhältnisse, wobei genauere Informationen über Leiharbeit
in einer früheren Vergleichsstudie der EIRO enthalten sind - TN9901201S .
Over the second half of 2002, the industrial relations agenda in Portugal has
been dominated by the government's proposal for a Labour Code, which would
replace most current labour legislation by bringing existing provisions
together in a single text. At the same time, current provisions would be
amended in a variety of areas. This article reviews the initial stage of the
debate, which ended in November with the submission of a draft to parliament,
and highlights the main proposals relating to individual employment law.
This feature examines social partner involvement in Portugal's 2002 National
Action Plan (NAP) for employment. It is one of a set of similar features for
all the EU Member States, written in response to a questionnaire
The Collective Bargaining Act (No. 2/1991 in the Collection of Laws), as
amended, defines how collective disputes between employers and trade unions
can arise, regulates the conduct of industrial action, and provides for
mediation and arbitration procedures in advance of any action.
The legal framework of the industrial relations system is changing in
Slovenia. The most important of these changes will be the adoption of a new
Law on Collective Agreements by parliament, most probably in the first half
of 2003. However, as well as this legislative change, employers'
organisations and trade unions also need to accept the principles of a
democratic society and market economy. So far, trade unions have been more
successful in accepting these principles - eg through the introduction of
voluntary membership, the regulation of union representativeness and the
introduction of more decentralised and confederal internal organisational
structures and decision-making (SI0210102F ) - than have employers'
organisations. This is quite understandable in view of the prolonged process
of privatisation. Nevertheless, in the processes of collective bargaining,
participation, resolution of labour disputes and tripartite cooperation,
trade unions need representative and legitimate partners on the employer
In October 2002, the Polish parliament passed a new law on the minimum wage,
which should come into force in early 2003. The new legislation increases the
minimum wage, amends the way in which it is set, and sets a lower rate for
recent school-leavers. The trade unions have been very critical of the new
In late 2001, one of the statutory instruments accompanying Poland's national
budget for 2002 abolished the 'pre-retirement allowance', which allowed
people meeting certain age and employment requirements to cease work before
retirement age. No new benefits of this sort are now being paid, although the
payment of pre-retirement allowances allocated in the past is being
continued. As of August 2002, almost 350,000 registered unemployed people
were collecting such benefits. The amendment of the pre-retirement benefit
laws has been challenged before Poland's Constitutional Tribunal
independently by four parties, including the country's two principal trade
union organisations, OPZZ and NSZZ Solidarność.
Labour costs in Poland account for a relatively small share of the overall
costs of production, with the share of net wages being especially low. This
results from the comparatively high tax burden on labour. The actual level of
labour costs depends, first of all, on the branch of the economy, followed by
the size of the enterprises involved and their ownership status. The highest
wages in Poland, and consequently also the highest labour costs, are still
found in mining, despite recent restructuring. Poland has much lower labour
costs than the EU Member States or the USA, but higher than those in some
neighbouring central European countries.
Despite a long-standing prohibition of gender-based discrimination at work in
Poland, the evidence indicates that discrimination against women remains
widespread, while it has been very difficult for victims of discrimination to
seek legal redress. Amendments made to the Labour Code in 2002 seek to tackle
these problems, including by making it easier to bring court cases.