Politics & Policies

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UK – More than six out of 10 employers are opposed to paid volunteering leave

More than six out of 10 (61%) employers are opposed to the Conservative pledge of paid volunteering leave, according to research from Jelf Employee Benefits. The policy, pledged in the Conservative party’s election manifesto, would oblige all public sector employers, and private companies with more than 250 employees, to give workers up to three days … Continue reading

The Dutch ‘Basic Income’ Experiment

Free cash is in the works for a growing number of Dutch urbanites. After the city of Utrecht announced that it would give no-strings-attached money to some of its residents, other Dutch cities are getting on board for social experiments with “basic income,” a regular and unconditional stipend to cover living costs. Tilburg, a city … Continue reading

Minimum Wage Around the World – A Chart for OECD’s 34 member countries

Supporting low-wage earners is one of the keys to promoting inclusive growth, and minimum wages are a common if sometimes controversial way of doing it. Of the 34 countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 26 have a minimum wage – 9 of which have been introduced since 1990. … Continue reading

Europe – Which reforms should be implemented?

In many parts of Europe, labour market reforms during the last eight years were misguided and backfired. Theory and evidence tell us that: It is always better to have institutions allowing adjustment along several margins, not only employment. When implementing labour market reforms, it is important to take into consideration cyclical conditions. A very tough … Continue reading

Canada – Is the job recovery the best ? That depends on what you measure

History is clear: The Harper government’s record on job creation is the weakest of Canada’s past nine prime ministers. But is it the best job creation record we could have right now, given how so many nations are struggling with the enduring impact of the 2008 global economic crisis? When it comes to recovery, are … Continue reading

EU – To act on unemployment

Over seven years since the onset of the financial crisis, the unemployment situation in the Eurozone remains a big concern. As of June this year the unemployment rate across the euro area was 11.1%, compared with 5.3% in the United States: Even allowing for the fact that US unemployment has been considerably lower since 2000, the … Continue reading

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage – The negative employment effects

Recall, we’re not insisting that a rise in the minimum wage will reduce the number of jobs in the economy, nor even in a sector of it. We’re saying that once we isolate out only the effect of the minimum wage rise then we will see that there are fewer jobs as a result of … Continue reading

Minimum Wage in US – The Tracker

There are 14 states that have changed their minimum-wage law since January 2014. Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia The effective minimum wage has increased in 26 states and D.C. since January 2014. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, … Continue reading

Fast-Food Workers in New-York – The $15 Minimum Wage is coming

There aren’t a lot of obscure government board meetings that warrant a watch party, let alone one with a marching band. But that’s how fast-food restaurant workers and their supporters celebrated Wednesday on a blocked-off street in Manhattan, as they watched a state panel recommended a $6.25 increase in their hourly wage, to $15. “It’s … Continue reading

Growing Inequalities – Linked to the decline in unionization and the erosion of minimum wages IMF finds

The rise of inequality in advanced economies, and in particular the growing concentration of incomes at the top of the distribution, has become a greater focus of attention for economists and policymakers. Understanding the factors behind this phenomenon is essential to determine whether policy action is needed to reduce income inequality, taking into account other … Continue reading

Canada – Punitive penalties for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) offenders

Employers who break the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program will pay the piper as stiff penalties for offenders were announced last week. On July 6, Pierre Poilievre, minister of Employment and Social Development, said new consequences for businesses found non-compliant with the rules would come into effect … Continue reading

South Africa – Needs more investment, jobs and a public employment service as a one-stop shop OECD says

Labour market reforms can raise employment and incomes. Establishing a public employment service as a one-stop shop for job seekers would make it easier for people to find jobs, and for employers to find the right workers. Costly industrial actions have held back the economy without delivering major gains to workers. To reduce conflict and … Continue reading

Unemployment benefits has a positive effect on the quality of jobs that recipients find research says

The generosity of unemployment insurance is often cited as a reason for long spells of joblessness. But this view neglects other important, and potentially positive, economic aspects of such programmes. Using Austrian data, this column presents evidence that unemployment insurance has a positive effect on the quality of jobs that recipients find. This can in … Continue reading

Greece – The government’s full proposal to the Eurogroup

The full proposal submitted by the Greek government to the Eurogroup earlier on Thursday is the following:   “Greece: Prior Actions Policy Commitments and Actions to be taken in consultation with EC/ECB/IMF staff: 1. 2015 supplementary budget and 2016-19 MTFS Adopt effective as of July 1, 2015 a supplementary 2015 budget and a 2016–19 medium-term … Continue reading

Labor Standards in US – National Retail Federation (NRF) is opposed to the proposal on overtime for managers and professionals

Following President Obama’s order to “modernize and streamline” federal overtime rules, the Labor Department has proposed regulations that would greatly expand the number of workers covered by overtime. Under current rules, employees making up to $455 a week ($23,660 a year) are automatically entitled to overtime pay when working more than 40 hours a week. … Continue reading

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