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30 October 2019
Great Britain : gender pay gap rises for the first time in six years
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics – Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) released on 29 October 2019, the gender pay gap for full-time employees sat at 8.9% for fiscal year 2019, up slightly from 8.6% the year before. The ONS did clarify that the increase was not significant and recalled that the gender pay gap for all employees combined had declined from 17.8% in 2018 to 17.3% for 2019. Notwithstanding, several observers are voicing their concern as this is the first increase...
28 October 2019
Greece : reform package for growth approved by parliament
Late on Thursday 24 October, the Greek parliament voted on a package of reforms to boost growth in the country. The so-called ‘grand bill for growth’, brought forward by the conservative prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, seeks to facilitate privatisation, reform labour law – particularly as regards collective bargaining and the right to strike – and to attract foreign investment.
28 October 2019
Portugal : consensus over raising the minimum monthly wage to €700 or €750 in 2023
With the current monthly rate set at €600 (gross, paid over 14 months) Portugal’s PM Antonio Costa, who was returned to power following the Socialists victory at the legislative elections on 06 October, is seeking dialogue with the social partners to reach consensus, whilst still holding the final say. The powerful communist party friendly CGPT union wants to see a €90 increase from January 2020 as well as the target rate rising to €850, which would imply extending salary raises beyond the government’s...
24 October 2019
Brazil : parliament definitively adopts pension reform’s main text
After eight months of political negotiations in both houses of parliament, and during the night of 22/23 October, Brazil’s Senate house adopted the basic text for the government’s pension reform. Changes in the reform will affect 72 million working in the private and public sectors. The primary measure of the reform is the introduction of a minimum legal retirement age that will be set at 65 for males and 62 for females. Brazil had hitherto been one of the few countries without a minimum age threshold, relying...
23 October 2019
Brazil : the economy, pensions, and jobs – Bolsonaro’s disappointing first year report
A year ago on 28 October 2018, Jair Bolsonaro won Brazil’s presidential election. Upon taking up the reins of power in January 2019 the president named a government consistent with a clearly liberal economic approach and incarnated by the economist Mr. Paulo Guedes, as head of the ‘super’ Ministry that combined the Economy (that itself includes the former Labor Ministry), Finance, Industry, Commerce, and Planning portfolios. The new administration announced several reforms addressing pensions, privatization,...
18 October 2019
Italy: boost to employee purchasing power in 2020 budget
Under the draft budget approved by Italy’s Council of Ministers, overnight between 15 and 16 October, the tax burden on employees will be reduced from next year. The measure should take effect from July 2020 and is to release some €3 billion in 2020 and between €5.5 billion and €6 billion in 2021. Speaking to Il Sole 24 Ore on Thursday, Italy’s economy and finance minister Roberto Gualtieri said: “As regards the methods of application, we are currently in discussions with social partners.” According...
17 October 2019
Chile: political conflict surrounding weekly working time
Chile’s Chamber of Deputies plenary session on 23 October promises to be a landmark assembly, for on this day the opposition-dominated chamber will likely vote for draft legislation formulated by two communist-party deputies. The text, which dates back to 2017, intends for weekly working time to fall from 45 hours to 40 hours (c.f. article No. 11330). Public opinion polls show people are backing this bill as they toil in a country with working hours among the highest in the OECD. Alongside this another piece of...
16 October 2019
Mexico : US legislators closely examining the labor reform’s difficult initial steps
Ratification of the future North American free-trade treaty hinges on US democrat legislators, who have concerns over the concrete implementation of Mexico’s labor reforms. The Mexican government is regularly highlighting progress on the implementation of the country’s most ambitious ever labor reform program that is dedicated to freedom of association and to a thorough modernization of the labor justice system.
14 October 2019
Finland: 2020 budget sets aside funding to foster the recruitment of skilled workers
The government of Finland has just unveiled its budget for 2020, which includes a jobs package aimed at facilitating the recruitment of skilled workers by companies. The measures were prepared by sub-groups of the tripartite working group for promoting employment (made up of government, employers and unions). The working group will continue to focus on this topic up until April 2020. The employment package represents a further €300 million when compared to the previous budget.
14 October 2019
Germany : a net rise in regular employment?
Is German growth creating only unstable jobs or is it leading to more regular employment? To this important question, which is often exploited for political ends, Germany’s federal statistics agency offers an optimistic answer. According to figures published on 10 October, the German economy is clearly producing more regular jobs than previously. The threshold of 70% of jobs being defined as regular – in other words an open-ended employment contract for at least 21 hours a week of work – was exceeded in 2018. Currently, 70.3% of all jobs in Germany qualify as regular and it is the first time since 2002 that this proportion has been...