1261 items found

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  • Sectoral agreement on employment of older people in banking

    After almost two years of bargaining, an agreement on non-discrimination on grounds of age and the employment of older people in the financial intermediation sector was reached in France by the relevant social partners on 9 July 2008. Some 35% of employees in banks are aged 50 years and over. This agreement comes under the national multi-industry agreement on the employment of older people, which was concluded on 13 October 2005 and signed on 9 March 2006 (*FR0512104F* [1])*.* [1]
  • Company attitudes to corporate social responsibility

    In early 2008, the Centre for Population, Poverty and Socioeconomic Policy Studies (Centre d’Études de Populations, de Pauvreté et de Politiques Socio-Economiques/International Networks for Studies in Technology, Environment, Alternatives, Development, CEPS/INSTEAD [1]) carried out a study (in French, 895Kb PDF) [2] assessing companies’ attitudes to and implementation of corporate social responsibility [3] (CSR) practices. [1] [2] [3]
  • Up to 10,000 job losses expected in automobile industry

    The global financial crisis has had a considerable impact on the Czech Republic’s automobile industry – the pride of and the driving force behind the Czech economy for the past 15 years, comprising 23% of Czech industrial production and exports. For example, the company Škoda Auto (Škoda Auto a.s. [1]) has repeatedly announced production stoppages and reported a decline in profit for the past three quarters, ranging between CZK 250 million (about €9.4 million as at 18 December 2008) and CZK 8.66 billion (€326.5 million). [1]
  • Immigration and training may ease labour shortage

    On 25–26 September 2008, an international ministerial conference entitled /From the shortage of job opportunities to the shortage of qualified labour force/ was held in Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava. The conference was organised by the Slovakian Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (Ministerstvo práce, sociálnych vecí a rodiny Slovenskej republiky, MPSVR SR [1]) under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, with the financial support of the Equal Community Initiative [2] as part of the European Social Fund [3]. Funds were made available in the framework of the International Organization for Migration (IOM [4]) project. The conference was also held under the auspices of the Slovakian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerstvo zahraničných vecí Slovenskej republiky, MZV SR [5]), supported by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD [6]). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
  • Government amends law to allow for higher minimum wage

    Trade union representatives demanded an increase in the minimum wage from SKK 8,100 (€269 as at 18 December 2008) to SKK 8,900 (€295.40) a month. The unions argued that the difference between the existing minimum wage level and the level of social benefits was so small that it did not motivate people to work. However, employers refused to accept the trade unions’ demand. According to the National Union of Employers (Republiková únia zamestnávateľov, RÚZ SR [1]), such a minimum wage level would be higher than the performance of the Slovakian economy actually allows. [1]
  • Government launches programme for health and safety at work

    On 17 April 2008, the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers (Latvijas Republikas Ministru kabinets, MK [1]) approved the Health and Safety Guidelines for 2008–2013, drafted by the Ministry of Welfare (Labklājības ministrija, LM [2]). The latter is responsible for implementing the guidelines, and MK’s order sets out four steps in their realisation. A programme for implementation of the guidelines must be presented to MK in two steps: by 1 June 2008 for the period 2008–2010, and by 1 April 2011 for the period 2011–2013. Reports on the progress of implementation are to be presented to MK in a further two steps: by 1 July 2011 for the first period, and by 1 July 2014 for the second period. To support the reports, two studies of working conditions and risks at work in Latvia will be carried out in 2010 and 2013. [1] [2]
  • Debate on early retirement relaunched

    On 14 October 2008, the Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and the President of the main opposition People’s Party (Partido Popular, PP [1]), Mariano Rajoy, agreed to start negotiations on the Toledo Pact – a report on the future reform of Spain’s social security system, agreed by the most representative social partner and political organisations and the government (*ES0106244F* [2]). A central aim of the discussions is to progress towards a more sustainable public pension system. [1] [2]
  • Swedish labour market model under threat

    The social partners concluded a central agreement, known as the Saltsjöbadsavtalet [1], in 1938. Its aim was to give the labour market parties the right to regulate the rules, rather than relying on state regulations. The central agreement and collective agreements are a fundamental part of the Swedish labour market model. Although the Saltsjöbadsavtalet is still valid, it has been amended several times, most recently in 1976. Since then, factors such as EU membership, globalisation and the decline in trade union membership (*SE0806029I* [2]) have affected labour market conditions. [1] [2]
  • Women satisfied with current division of labour

    In the past, the division of labour was absolute: women ruled the house and men ruled the labour market. However, in the 1960s this picture began to change. Women entered the labour market and the traditional male ‘breadwinner’ model changed to a dual earner model. This evolution was distinctive in Denmark; in 1996, only 1% of mothers were full-time housewives.
  • Unemployment hits young and older workers the hardest

    The Trades Union Congress (TUC [1]) released an analysis [2] of UK unemployment figures on 12 November 2008. Overall, it noted that the national unemployment rate was 5.8% at the end of September 2008, which represented a 0.4% increase on a quarterly basis and an 11.1% increase on a year-on-year basis. Nevertheless, the national employment rate is calculated to be 74.4%, which is above the European Union’s target of an overall employment rate of 70%. [1] [2]