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European Labour Law Network

Recent National Labour Law Highlights

(Updated 25 February 2016)

In Austria, a comprehensive set of labour law reforms passed both Parliament and the Federal Assembly, and entered into force on 1 January 2016. In Belgium, the Royal Decree of 26 December 2015 provided detailed regulations for determining and disclosing an implicit sectoral agreement or the sectoral use of cash payments of salaries. In addition, the Act of 26 December 2015 adopting measures to enhance job creation and purchasing power, increased and strengthened the ‘target’ to reduce the employer’s amount of social security contributions for the first recruitments from 1 January 2016. With amendments and supplements to the Bulgarian Labour Code, a new grounds for dismissal was introduced, namely the eligibility to reduced pension. In Croatia, the Minister of Labour has extended the application of the Collective Agreement for Construction Sector as well as the application of the Annex of Collective Agreement for Hospitality Sector. The Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs has prepared a draft of law on the working condition of workers posted to Estonia. The draft broadens the possibility for the labour inspectorate to guarantee the protection of posted workers’ rights, introduces higher fines and special rules for the construction sector. In France, the Decree No. 2015-1638 specified the conditions under which an employee is informed of the possibility to request a reassignment abroad and how the employer is required to transmit them. On 17 December 2015, the German Parliament adopted an amendment to the Temporary Science Employment Act (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz). The bill, which must still pass the Federal Council (Bundesrat), will enter into force in March 2016. Its main objective is to limit the use of fixed-term contracts of short duration in higher education. In Iceland, the Association of Academics (BHM) sent an application to the European Court of Human Rights in December concerning the Act No. 31/2015 of 13 June 2015, which prohibited the strike action as well as further work stoppages or other actions meant to achieve a change in the arrangement of terms of work than established by the legislation. In Ireland, the Labour Court has ruled that successive fixed-term contracts, separated by periods of lay-off, are continuous for the purposes of the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003, but that such periods do not form part of the aggregate duration of those contracts of employment. In Luxembourg, a law amending certain aspects of labour market policy has been passed. On 18 December 2015, new legislation on non-competition and non-solicitation clauses in employment relationships was adopted in Norway. In Portugal, the Decree Law No. 254-A/2015 of 31 December, which entered into force on 1 January 2016, revised the Minimum Monthly Guaranteed Wage for 2016, increasing the total amount to EUR 530. In Romania, the Constitutional Court held that Article 60, para. (1) g) of the Labour Code, providing that an employee could not be dismissed for any reason if he or she held an eligible position in a trade union body, except on disciplinary grounds, affects the employer's property rights enshrined in the Constitution. Consequently, Decision No. 814/2015 was introduced, which asserts that prohibition of dismissal is unconstitutional. In Slovenia, The Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities prepared a draft of the Posting of Workers Act. The new Act intends to cover the position of workers posted by their foreign employer to perform temporary work in Slovenia and that of Slovenian workers posted to work abroad. In a court case on trade union liability for damages in relation to industrial action, the Swedish Supreme Court concluded that industrial action which violates human rights derived from the European Convention of Human Rights can, under certain circumstances, create trade union liability for damages to be paid to the employers/owners for economic losses resulting from industrial action.