WageIndicator Gazette 20 - January 2009

2009 sees effective increase to 45 countries * Decent Work Report: unpaid overtime and physical stress rule * Multinational enterprises in EU pay larger premiums than local firms * In the applied sciences Dutchmen are better off * Christmas bonus still popular * ABANGAFRICA and Go In Africa offer trips for winners

2009 sees effective increase to 45 countries
The ambitious goal to attain WageIndicator operations in 75 countries in the foreseeable future, is brought closer in 2009. The so called Decisions for Life –project brings in 12 new countries: 7 in southern Africa, 4 in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, plus Indonesia. Thus the number of countries with a WageIndicator operation is brought up to 45. 'Decisions for Life' means to make young working women more aware. It is they who face decisions regarding partner choice, family planning and the work/life balance. All of these decisions have long term consequences. The project is carried out together with the international trade union confederations UNI in Switserland and ITUC in Brussels and the University of Amsterdam/AIAS. ITUC in Brussels is leading. WageIndicator offers  infrastructure to reach out to young women workers.

Decent Work Report: unpaid overtime and physical stress rule
An average 4 out of 10 employees work more hours than agreed in their contracts. On top, half of those working overtime are not compensated at all for the extra hours put in. This is the major outcome of an international study Decent Work and WageIndicator, based on WageIndicator data. It compares Decent Work standards as perceived by almost 350,000 employees in 11 countries ranging from Europe, to Latin America and Africa. The findings were presented at the occasion of October 7th, World Day for Decent Work. Moreover, employees in equal measure report their work to be physically exhausting and mentally even more so - regardless of the state of development of their economy. A third lacking Decent Work standard relates to job insecurity. Especially employees without a permanent contract suffer more from feelings that they may lose their job anytime than their permanently employed colleagues. As in the case of stress, this pattern occurs in each of the 11 countries compared, whatever their state of development.

Multinational enterprises in EU pay larger premiums than local firms
WageIndicator data confirm the existence of substantial (hourly) wage premiums in multinational enterprises in Belgium, Finland, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. These premiums are largest in the higher-paying industries, i.e. metal and electronics, finance and IT. Except for Poland and Germany, in the countries generally showing the largest differences between multinationals and non-multinationals wages, the low-wage sectors transport and retail pay smaller premiums. In all these industries the wage premium is highest in the smallest and largest companies. Medium-sized firms (100-500 employees) pay substantially lower premiums. Researchers Prof. Kea Tijdens and Maarten van Klaveren assume that higher multinational wage premiums are not only due to their usually large size, but that superior multinational technology and specific HRM practices are contributing factors as well. More about the WIBAR 2 project.

In the applied sciences Dutchmen are better off
Dutch academics with a job in mining, pubic utilities and electronic industries are top earners. In addition they more often drive lease cars, have their cell phones for free and follow some kind of post academic training paid for by their employers. Their freedom of choosing a professional career is also relatively high. They are welcome outside the typically science-related occupations, whereas the other way around is much less likely to occur. When they choose a career outside the sciences they seem to be as satisfied with their position as their differently educated colleagues. Those who opted for a teaching job in the sciences are paid worst within this educational category. More about Beta career 2009.

Christmas bonus still popular
Christmas bonuses or some equivalent form of annual premiums are the most fashionable form of bonuses in northwestern Europe, with the notable exception of the UK. This results from an analysis of the WageIndicator data for five European countries based on 176,178 questionnaires, completed from 2006 till the summer of 2008. In sum over 84 percent of workers got some kind of yearly allowance. Over 16 percent of the employees report that they did not get any form of yearly allowance, i.e. not even a holiday bonus, again particularly in the UK where only one in four got a holiday bonus. Download Christmas bonus and other yearly allowances in the WageIndicator data base.

ABANGAFRICA and Go In Africa OFFER TRIPS FOR PRIZE WINNERS
Win a trip to Africa! An exciting opportunity offered by all WageIndicator-countries. A smart offer. Good for the WageIndicator project, great for the winners and a nice opportunity for AbangAfrica and GoInAfrica.com to offer their environmentally responsible tours and packages. Africa looks forwards to welcoming you!


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