Belgium - Inter-professional collective agreement on telework 

A new nationwide collective bargaining agreement was concluded setting forth specific rules covering teleworking during the current COVID-19 crisis. It will be in effect until the end of 2021. It applies to all companies which did not, by 1 January 2021, introduce any arrangements covering teleworking, under prevailing regulations on structural or occasional teleworking. It applies in a supplementary way for teleworking not covered by a collective agreement at company or industry level, by individual arrangements or by policies which were introduced ‘in accordance with the rules on social concertation’. 

Denmark - Union empowers migrant construction workers 

Eastern European construction workers have been plagued by unequal pay and subpar working conditions, but several Danish trade unions initiatives are trying to make them feel welcome. For example, the BJMF union of construction workers has created posters in around seven languages, providing information on how to get in touch with the right people and on other union initiatives directed at migrant construction workers.

Slovenia - Minimum wage raise 

The Labour Minister announced after a meeting with the social partners that he will set the minimum wage for 2021 at €1,024 gross. This is 120% of the minimum cost of living and the lowest possible rise under minimum wage legislation. Last year, the minimum wage stood at €941 gross. The minister said the government intended to partly help employers cover the raise until the end of June, with the option of a six-month extension.

Sweden - Agreement for laundry industry workers

IF Metall has reached an agreement for the laundry industry. Nearly 80% of those who work in the laundry industry are at a salary level that is below the low-wage level of SEK 26,100 (€2,572). The contract follows in the footsteps of other IF Metall agreements, with a wage increase of 5.4% over the agreement period, from 1 February 2021 until 30 June 2023. The Laundry Agreement also includes an agreement on an extended part-time pension. The parties have also agreed to appoint a joint working group on wage development for laundry industry workers.

Spain - Short-time working mechanisms extended 

The decree-law on the ‘reinforcement and consolidation of social measures to defend employment’ was published. Resulting from negotiations between the Ministry of Labour and the social partners to renew and adapt the extraordinary measures that have been taking since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decree-law enacts the ‘fourth social agreement to defend employment’ that was secured between the Ministry of Labour, the CEOE and Cepyme employers’ organisations, and the CCOO and UGT trade unions, as well as extending the temporary employment regulation procedures until 31 May 2021. 

Find out more in the January issue

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