Government, trade unions and employers signed a new cross-sector agreement on 31 March that includes a wide range of provisions, among them three key points: adoption of the International Labour Organization Centenary Declaration on the Future of the World of Work; amendments to the Constitution covering the special role of social partnership in the regulation of social and labour relations; and the need to take into account the pandemic when formulating measures to protect workers. The agreement also highlights issues that need to be addressed in relation to public sector pay in order to
After the surge in remote working as a result of the pandemic, trade unions in Ireland, Russia and Spain have welcomed new initiatives, including legislation and collective agreements, that regulate telework. Research by the Eurofound research agency also looks into the negative and positive implications of telework for workers’ autonomy and work-life balance raising again the challenges to ensure that workers have control over their working time and underlining the importance of current discussions at European level on the right to disconnect.
The ambiguous effects of telework In 2017, a joint report from the Eurofound research agency and the International Labour Organization observed that advances in digital technology were making it easier to work anytime and anywhere. The phenomenon of telework and mobile work has been increasing
The government and ministry of health have started to work on drawing up a more unified public sector pay system that will impact on healthcare in particular. Currently, there is considerable scope for variation of pay and allowances across the country. This had led to significant internal migration by health workers which has increased during the pandemic. Allowances for working in rural areas can vary from nothing to 25%, for example, while additional payments for night work range from 20% to 50%. The relationship between basic and total salary can also vary significantly. There is some
A new law covering telework introduces important new rules for those involved in remote or home work as well as including a role for trade unions in ensuring workers’ rights. The protections cover dismissals, employer provision of equipment or requirement on the employer to compensate workers for using their equipment and clear rules to ensure that all worker consultations with the employer are during normal working time.
Latest data indicate that average salaries in healthcare across the country for the first six months of 2020 were 9% higher than for the same period in 2019.The healthworkers' union says that special payments for working with COVID-19 patients has contributed to this bearing in mind that many healthworkers would not be on full pay because of sickness or isolation measures. However, the union has made it clear to the government that there have been problems with ensuring the extra payments apply to all hours worked and that any change to the payments system has to guarantee the COVID bonus for
The health workers' union has raised serious concerns about the failure to ensure that medical workers get the appropriate compensation for the fight against COVID-19. The union has also had many reports from around the country about abuse of health workers' rights and argues that local institutions are failing to properly negotiate and consult with worker representatives. The union wants to see a much broader range of health workers who face risks of COVID-19 infection getting special payments and also appropriate support in terms of sickness insurance and provisions for recovery and
The HWURF health workers' union reports that special COVID-19 tax measures have been extended to doctors with personal income tax incentive payments for those facing special working conditions and additional workloads when working with patients with the virus and people at risk of infection. Meanwhile the FNPR trade union confederation has called for state-wide base salaries to be set across healthcare and other parts of the public service to end the wide variation in salaries between regions. The measure was due to be discussed at the Tripartite Commission for the Regulation of Social and
The HWURF health workers' trade union has raised concerns with the government that some health institutions are pressuring healthcare staff to take leave, in some cases, unpaid leave or are suspending workers on partial pay where there is a need for self-isolation or a lack of work where non-urgent care and procedures have been cancelled. The union argues that this is clearly in contravention of the labour code and urges workers who are faced with this situation to raise it with the relevant authorities and report to the labour inspectorate. The union has also written to the prime minister to
The government has confirmed that around two million employees of federal government and related agencies will get a 4.3% pay rise in October. The increase corresponds to the level of inflation in December 2018, however prices have already edged up in 2019 with the inflation rate at 5.0% in January and 5.2% in February.
At a meeting on 22 October the health workers' union confirmed its opposition to the government's pensions reforms and said it would fight to restore the right to early retirement for health workers. The reforms, including raising the pension age to 65, have met with widespread opposition across the trade union movement not just over the measures themselves but also the way the government introduced them with little or no consultation. The law takes effect from 1 January 2019 and the health workers' union is considering legal action to challenge the changes to early retirement rights.