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29 October 2019
ECHR sets out the circumstances under which covert video-surveillance of employees is justified
In a decision handed down on 17 October 2019 the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that covert video-surveillance of staff, which in this case subsequently resulted in employee dismissals, did not constitute a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, nor of Article 6 section 1 ensuring the right to a fair trial. The ECHR judges deemed that the Spanish courts’ judges had meticulously assessed the rights of both the applicants’, in this case...
29 October 2019
EU : the ETUC campaigns for full implementation of the EU Directive on Work-Life Balance
In a press statement published on 29 September 2019, the European Trade Union Confederation underlined that in order to fully transpose EU Directive 1158/2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers (c.f. article No. 11231), seven countries will have to introduce paternity leave, while others will have to extend its duration. Alongside the statement, the ETUC also published the result of its study, ‘REBALANCE, Trade unions’ strategies ad good practices to promote work-life balance’ (attached). which...
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...
24 October 2019
EU judges dilute the role of social partners in European social policy making
Is the European Commission required to implement an agreement concluded between European social partners as part of the consultation procedure intended by the Treaty? In a ruling handed down on 24 October, the Tribunal of the European Union ruled that the European Commission, which has sole authority in terms of social policies even if the social partners have used their rights to negotiate such an agreement. For the Luxemburg Court, the European Commission remains the guardian of the general interest, while the...
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
EU: European Labour Authority becomes a working reality
Companies looking to offer its services in another EU Member State or employ staff from different EU Member States could soon be able to turn to the European Labour Authority (ELA) and receive clear and precise information on applicable rules and regulations, including information on sector collective agreements. On 16 October 2019, the European Commission officially launched the start of the ELA’s work during its inaugural ceremony, which welcomed participants including the European Commission President,...