A selection of the latest European HR news from the Federation of European Employers (FedEE).
Belgium and Netherlands: Qualifying salaries for work permits
Both Belgium and the Netherlands have introduced new salary requirements for work permit applications which apply from January 2012. In Belgium the minimum annual salary required to get the ‘B type' work permit has increased to 37,721 euros and to 62,934 euros for executive and senior management positions. In the Netherlands the minimum required annual salary for highly skilled workers from non-EEA countries is 51,239 euros for those over the age of 30, 37,575 euros for applicants who are younger than 30 years, and 29,931 euros for foreign graduates from a Dutch institution of higher education.
Spain: Progress with labour market reforms
Spanish employer and trade union bodies have extended the deadline for negotiating a labour market reform package. Crucial factors relating to recruiting, dismissal and wage modernisation are yet to be resolved. However, agreement has been reached on the temporary conversion of full-time to part-time positions in SMEs - providing there are clear criteria for reversing the move when finances improve. A consensus has also been achieved on the localisation of conflict resolution and the movement of all non-religiously-based public holidays to Mondays.
France: Boost to employment through tax shift
The French government will shortly propose a substantial shift in the burden of taxation from work to consumption. The introduction of a ‘social' value-added tax would reduce labour costs and significantly increase France's international competitiveness.
Germany: Statutory minimum wage introduced for temporary workers
Germany has introduced a statutory minimum wage for temporary workers, effective from January 1st 2012. The rate is 7.89 euros per hour in Western Germany and 7.01 euros in Eastern Germany. This will be increased to 8.19 euros and 7.50 euros respectively from November 1st 2012.
Europe: Negotiations on working time amendments
Employers have until September 1st 2012 to reach agreement with the European Trades Union Congress (ETUC) on necessary modifications to the Working Time Directive. If no agreement is concluded by this date the European Commission will bring forward their own proposals for change. These changes include modifying the treatment on-call time and compensatory rest periods, extending the reference period for averaging working time to 12 months (where a 48 hour/week opt-out is not in use) and measures to reinforce the protection of those opting-out from weekly working time restrictions.
Spain: Minimum wage frozen for 2012
The new Spanish cabinet decided at a meeting on December 30th 2011 to freeze the national minimum wage for the whole of 2012. The minimum wage is normally adjusted each January, but Spain's recently appointed Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is determined to overcome the country's persistently high level of unemployment by taking all available steps to control wage inflation.
© Copyright: FedEE Services Ltd 2012
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