HR European news roundup - July 2012
18th July 2012, 0 comments
First signs of pay movement in ailing Irish economy
According to the Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO) average hourly earnings in the Irish Republic were virtually unchanged over the year to Q1 2012. More recently unions have rejected a proposed pay freeze at Allied Irish Bank and a staged 3.5% deal at the utility company Bord na Móna. However, A new deal for the Tesco retail chain in Ireland will give employees a 2% pay increase from January 1st 2013 - the first increase for five years.
Belgium: New system for time-credits
The new Belgian national agreement 103 (replacing the existing collective agreement 77bis) on time-credits will come into force in September 2012. Employees will be entitled to three calendar years time credit for the care of young children, assistance with sick relatives or for training. In the case of care for a sick or disabled child, the limit will be raised to four calendar years. Employees will also be entitled to a total period of 12 months time credit for other purposes. This may either be taken on a full time basis or two years part-time, or five years on a 1/5th time credit (or a combination of these periods). Employees who have reached the age of 55 with 25 years working experience will have the right to take partial early retirement - either on a four-day week or through an individually negotiated part-time arrangement.
France: Rise in SMIC
The French government has announced an increase in the national minimum wage (SMIC). The 2% increase effective on July 1st represents a 0.6% rise above inflation and takes the hourly rate to 9.40 euros and monthly rate to 1425.67 euros. No further rise is likely for a further year.
Germany opens labour market to highl-skilled professionals
The German parliament has passed a bill to implement the EU Directive for Highly Skilled Migrants. This means that from August 1st 2012, Citizens of non-EU states will be able to enter and reside in Germany in order to carry out a highly skilled occupation.
The new legislation introduces the EU Blue Card scheme which requires potential applicants to have a university degree and a gross annual salary of at least 44,800 euros. In occupations where there are particular skill shortages (currently engineers, ICT specialists and medical practitioners) this salary threshold drops to 34,944 euros. Priority reviews are no longer necessary in either case
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