468 items found

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  • Chemicals industry concludes first agreement of 2001 bargaining round

    In early 2001, negotiations are underway over new sectoral collective agreements to replace the three-year deals signed in 1998 (SE9806190F [1]). On 16 January, the first agreement of the 2001 bargaining round was concluded in the chemicals industry, two weeks before the existing accord was due to expire. [1]
  • Working time legislation to be examined again

    On 22 December 2000, the minority Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokratiska Arbetarepartiet, SAP) government decided, after discussions with the parties with which it cooperates in parliament - the Left Party (Vänsterpartiet) and the Green Party (Miljöpartiet de Gröna) - to appoint a new working time commission (arbetstidsutredning). The parliamentary commission will examine the whole current legislative framework on rights to annual leave, parental leave and study leave, as well as the provisions of the Working Time Act (arbetstidslagen). This government initiative follows its failure in October 2000 to present a bill on the reform of the Working Time Act (SE0011173F [1]). The remit for the new commission provides that it should be guided by the goal of strengthening the influence of individuals on their own working time, for example in relation to where and when they work. "It is not to be forgotten that some employees want to decrease their working time while others working part-time wish to have a full-time job", stated Mona Sahlin, Minister at the Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications, announcing the creation of the commission. [1]
  • Retirement age under debate

    New Portuguese legislation, adopted in December 2000, will make it easier for unemployed people aged over 55 to retire and receive an old-age pension. The new measure comes at a time when the retirement age is starting to come under debate in a country with one of the EU's highest average retirement ages.
  • Tax reform seeks better balance

    In December 2000, the Portuguese parliament approved a tax reform which will, among other provisions, lower the tax burden on employees, improve compliance and combat tax fraud and evasion. The social partners gave the reform a mixed response.
  • No general right to retain employer in transfers

    On 21 December 2000, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled in two appeal cases concerning employee's right to retain employment with their original employer in the event of outsourcing or change in ownership. Both cases had previously been through previous court proceedings at lower levels before going on appeal to the Supreme Court in 1999. The Supreme Court concluded that there is no general right for employees to retain employment with an original employer in the case of a transfer of activity to another employer, although this general rule is not without exceptions.
  • Ethnic minority labour market participation still low despite more stringent legislation

    In late 2000, the Dutch Institute for Multicultural Development (Forum) highlighted the relatively low participation rate of people from ethnic minority groups in the labour market. The organisation has threatened to institute legal proceedings, in view of the fact that legislation tightened in 1998 appears to have failed to achieve its objectives.
  • Minimum wage increased by 3.1%

    Legislation increased Luxembourg's statutory minimum wage by 3.1% at the beginning of 2001. The rise reflected increases in average real pay in the economy over 1998 and 1999.
  • Agreement signed on funding for schools sector pay

    In December 2000, the Italian government and teachers' trade unions signed an agreement on the funds to be allocated to pay increases and to the reform of the schools sector, thus ending a long-running dispute over the implementation of the sector's current national collective agreement. The resources allocated should allow a gross average pay increase for teachers of about ITL 300,000 per month from January 2001.
  • Agreement signed for atypical workers in market research

    In December 2000, the social partners in the Italian market research and opinion polls sector signed a first national collective agreement covering non-dependent "atypical" workers who perform freelance and similar work for companies in the sector. The deal is the first result of trade union efforts to lay down the principles which regulate individual employment relationships for such workers through collectively agreements. The regulation of this form of employment is currently under parliamentary discussion.
  • Home carers to be given right to 65 weeks' leave

    The publication of the Carers' Leave Bill in December 2000 – which provides carers with an entitlement to 65 weeks of leave, unpaid by the employer – is the second part of a package which also includes the Carers' Benefit scheme, which pays carers IEP 88.50 per week and was introduced in October 2000. The intention to introduce both the benefit (available to all carers, not just those in employment) and the relevant employment protection legislation was first announced in December 1999, as part of the government's budget for 2000. The scheme is relatively unusual for recent Irish labour legislation in that it does not originate in an EU Directive.