European Labour Law

15 Things Only People Who Work Overseas Can Understand

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1. We do not automatically become fluent in another language
A lot of people assume that changing your geographic location serves as a super-booster to your language learning skills. The truth is, it doesn’t. You don’t wake up on the next day after your arrival, go to the grocery store, and start casual chit-chatting with a cashier. Even if you have spent months studying the language back at home, you won’t magically become fluent from day one. Language adoption takes time and has a number of factors that play into a person’s level of fluency. In fact, asking us why we are fluent already most likely will make us feel embarrassed, as we haven’t yet reached our desired level of proficiency.

2. We are not “lucky” or “blessed”
It may seem that we are now living in a better country with amazing job prospects and sun 365 days per year judging by our Instagram or Facebook feed, but that’s not 100% true. In fact, finding a job and sorting out all the moving stuff and paperwork requires anything but luck. It’s more like hard work, persistence, and tremendous dedication to making things work that plays a major part.

Anyone can choose to work and play where we are now. For some reason, most people decide not to make the leap of faith and put effort into the potential prospects elsewhere (and there are always opportunities available for those who seek them).

It’s not that we were “lucky” or “blessed” to get that opportunity and you didn’t. It’s just the fact that we played hard to get it and you’ve chosen not to.

3. We do miss our friends and lose contacts
The friendships you establish abroad as an adult cannot be compared to those nurtured for years at home. When you first move, you are likely to miss all the little things — like being part of the annoying gossip at the water cooler in your old office, not to mention more strong bonds like you had with your college mates and childhood friends.

While working aboard, you will inevitably miss friends’ weddings, will have to decline invitations to college anniversary meetups, and miss out on other social gatherings you would have gladly attended.

While scrolling my Facebook feed, I still feel really sad when I see yet another close friend getting married, or my old gang having great times together on a night out, without me. Sadly, the price you have to pay for your decision is losing some important social ties and missing out on important events like your nephew’s graduation or your BFF’s son’s christening.
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Proposed changes to Dutch naturalisation laws in 2016

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The Dutch Parliament is in the process of passing a legislative bill that seeks changes to the Dutch Citizenship Act. The proposed amendments include extending the terms for naturalisation from five to seven years.

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The Dutch Parliament is in the process of passing a legislative bill that seeks changes to the Dutch Citizenship Act. The proposed amendments include extending the terms for naturalisation from five to seven years.

Parliamentary debate on the bill, originally scheduled for December 2015, has been postponed until the sixth week of 2016.

Proposed changes to the Citizenship Act

The Secretary of Safety and Justice recently answered questions from the Lower House about the legislative bill. We list the main proposed changes below:

Extension of naturalisation period

The term for naturalisation will be extended from five to seven years. There will be no transitional law.

This means that if you have been in the Netherlands for five years at the time of introduction of the new act, and have not yet applied for naturalisation, you will have to wait another two years until the seven-year term has been reached.

Naturalisation of spouses

Spouses of Dutch nationals cannot apply for naturalisation until they have been married for three years and are legal residents of the Netherlands. At present, married partners may sometimes include years lived abroad.

Applications from abroad no longer allowed

It will no longer be possible to file applications for naturalisation from abroad.

Currently, spouses of Dutch nationals abroad may apply from any country other than the country of their nationality. Of course all criteria for naturalisation must be satisfied.

No criminal record

All applicants aged 12 and over (currently 16 and over) must be able to show that they have no criminal record.

Extending dual nationality

In a separate memorandum of amendment the State Secretary proposes extending the term for losing Dutch citizenship, in the event of dual nationality and long-term residency outside the European Union, Aruba, Curacao or St Maarten, from 10 to 15 years.

Timing of the amendments

Consideration by the parliament of the legislative bill will take place in the week of February 8, 2016. Once passed, the amendments are expected to take effect on June 1, 2016.

Understand your situation

If you plan to apply for Dutch citizenship and you are in the “waiting period” for naturalisation then it is wise to investigate how the amendments might affect your situation. You may need to take early action to avoid extra waiting time in the future.
Need legal assistance with migration-related issues? Hermie de Voer is a partner at Everaert Advocaten and has worked with the firm in immigration and Dutch citizenship law since 2005.

Amanda van Mulligen:4 Invisible Expat Challenges

Amanda van Mulligen

When you choose to move abroad there are some changes and challenges that are blatantly obvious – right there ‘in your face’ obvious. Such as the natives speak a different language than you. Like the predominant religion is not yours. Like the food is different to what you are used to eating in your passport country. Like the weather is constantly hot and you are used to four distinct seasons. That kind of obvious.

But there are other challenges of a life overseas that you don’t necessarily think about before you make the leap. Like these four things.1. Living Life in a Second Language.

Yes, you got that you’d need to learn a new language when you moved abroad but did you consider that you don’t just speak a second language everywhere you go, but that you actually have to live your life in a second language? If you have moved for the long term, or have a local partner then you’ll soon get that speaking in a tongue not your own is very different to living life in a tongue not your own.

My husband’s first language is Dutch and I obviously knew that before I moved to the Netherlands. But now I realise just what it means when I say my husband speaks and is Dutch. It means my in-laws are Dutch. It means my children are Dutch and they go to a Dutch school – so their teachers speak Dutch. My children’s friends communicate in Dutch, as do my children’s friends’ parents. I do my shopping in Dutch. My neighbours speak Dutch. People who knock on my door speak Dutch (mostly – but those are stories for other posts I think) and when the telephone rings there is a good chance there is a Dutch speaker on the line. Dutch, Dutch, Dutch. One the one hand that’s great – you can’t beat that kind of immersion when it comes to learning a language. Eventually you actually start thinking partly in Dutch too but are you really ever so fluent that you can be your true self in a second language?

No matter how many books I read in English, how often I speak to my kids in English, how many calls I make back to England to speak to family and friends or how many programmes I watch on the BBC there is no escaping that I live my life in Dutch. Even after 15 years in the Netherlands that is sometimes tiring and frustrating. The words I need to express myself properly are sometimes not on the tip of my tongue. Sometimes I come across as an idiot who can’t string a proper sentence together. It can sometimes be a little bit lonely living as a minority of one…….

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Where will it leave EU workers if UK leaves the EU?

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How would the free movement of people change if the UK left the EU?

Of great significance to many employers is the current right of EU citizens to freely live and work across the EU, thereby supporting employee mobility, labour supply and flexible recruitment practices. In theory, if the UK were to leave the EU then citizens of other Member States would no longer enjoy an automatic right to travel to and work in the UK (and by the same token UK citizens would no longer enjoy EU citizenship rights of freedom of movement in the EU). In reality, it would form part of the negotiations for a new relationship with the EU, following a vote to leave, with the EU expected to demand some form of free movement of people in return for the UK enjoying free movement of goods.

A UK government will also be aware of the potential adverse impact on trade competitiveness and the availability of labour caused by severely restricting the free movement of people between the UK and the EU. However, it is possible that UK/EU negotiations might fail following a Brexit vote and the free movement of people might end, possibly to be replaced by the points-based type system currently applied to non-EU nationals but simplified for EU citizens and/or a patchwork of separate border controls agreed with different countries.  Whatever the UK were to do, EU countries would, in the absence of an agreement to allow free movement, be free to impose their own restrictions on UK citizens.

Would EU nationals already working in the UK have to return home following a Brexit?

Transitional arrangements would no doubt form part of any negotiation and some EU nationals may have acquired rights under UK legislation but it would seem likely that EU nationals already working in the UK would be permitted to stay in return for similar arrangements for UK citizens working in other EU countries.

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Debt is not the problem in Greece but unemployment

Proud part of StartupDelta

Proudly part of StartupDelta

Via startupdelta

Kry nou 'n kantoor vir jou besigheid in Europa!

Kry nou ‘n kantoor vir jou besigheid in Europa!

 

StartupJuncture visited Greece this week to learn from Greek entrepreneurs about their current situation. We came to a surprisingly simple conclusion: Greece’s main problem is not debt but unemployment, especially youth unemployment. Stimulating Greek entrepreneurship is therefore the action Europe should take to help solve the crisis.

Greece as a country is at a crossroads. One of it’s main problem, perhaps even the fundamental problem in the crisis, is massive unemployment. There are are no new jobs for people who graduate or loose their old job. Greece has to either create now jobs quickly or suffer from mass emigration. This is true for Greece as a whole but is even more apparent outside the capital. Cities like Patras have a good university but have even fewer jobs to offer. Graduates are forced to leave, leading to an unwanted brain drain.

Based on our interviews with Greek graduates, professors and entrepreneurs and visiting Athens and Patras, we would like to make a bold statement: Most politicians, especially the ones arguing over debt and financial issues are doing the wrong thing. They focus on debt, financial issues and austerity. These measures hurt rather than help Greece. The political discussion should be focused on solving the unemployment problem. To clarify this point a simple analogy is useful. Suppose a house is on fire. The fire is the real problem. It is life threatening and deserves everyone’s full and immediate attention. It does not matter how the fire started, whether the building passed its last inspection and who stored the gasoline in the basement. The Greek unemployment is as bad as a house being on fire: people cannot live without jobs. Until the unemployment problem is fixed, it does not matter whether EU, IMF or the Greek government caused the problem. A huge amount of jobs in both the public and private sector have disappeared and new jobs are needed.

Like Neelie Kroes said in a previous interview, jobs are not created by politicians, but by entrepreneurs. Greece needs a new generation of business minded graduates that know how to create their own jobs and build businesses that employ others. The only useful thing politicians can do is to enable and encourage entrepreneurship. A small group of entrepreneurs can make a big impact, even if they do not start the next Facebook. If 100 Greek new business bring in new revenue into the country, employ 10 people or more after two years and after two years each founder becomes mentor of another startup, more than 50.000 jobs would be created in the next 8 years and the crisis would be over soon after that. (for the econometrists, the numbers are based on a Fibonacci sequence).

Unfortunately, entrepreneurship does not seem to be embedded in Greek culture. The universities are not training people for entrepreneurship, the startup ecosystems of Greece are underdeveloped and there are not yet enough visible role models yet to act as mentors. A change is however happening in Greece. The university of Patras is trying to change the culture by educating people about entrepreneurship, through an International Summer Seminar on entrepreneurship. Three speakers (including the author) and around 200 students and university professors came together in the Patras Science and Technology Museum. Topic of the seminar was changing Greek society to encourage entrepreneurship. Three speakers were invited to start the discussion:

  • Tolis Aivalis, Greek innovation, Strategy and Marketing technologist. He shared his experience on the changes and job losses he has seen, and recommended people the read the business classic: “Who moved my Cheese”. Society is changing and Greek people and companies should stop fighting the change, but change as well and seize new opportunities. Practically this requires new skills: a focus on execution unstead of ides, understanding business models models and new marketing skills.
  • Dimis Michailides, keynote speaker and author of theartofinnovation (you can see him speak and perform magic in this TED talk). He emphasized the fundamental need for organisations to become more creative. He illustrated his point by looking at the increasing speed of change in art history. In response to the high rate of change, organisations need to put in place sources of creativity, but also processes and culture. They should for instance enable people to take moderate risks without fear of career setbacks.
  • The author was invited to teach entrepreneurial skills. Based on the experience of many Dutch startup founders, the emphasis was on Lean Startup methodology.

Can one seminar on entrepreneurship save Greece? Probably not. Greek entrepreneurs however can, if they are supported by a local ecosystem. All Greek entrepreneurs and graduates interviewed are extremely motivated to get to work. They deserve an ecosystem like The Netherlands has to help them get started. European politicians but also journalists would do well to look beyond the financial debt discussions and focus on entrepreneurship.

One Dutch institute that is making progress is The Dutch embassy, led by Dutch ambassador Jan Versteeg. The embassy started Orange Grove, an incubator that hosts a community of new Greek entrepreneurs. Other success stories can also be found: There are Greek startups that is doing well despite their challenging circumstances.Transifex has just received € 2.5 million in funding. Another example of a successful but relatively unknown Greek startup is the high tech sound processing expert group Accusonus: this company makes software that is used to for getting the percussion to sound just right for many US artists.

Challenges of course remain. Some of the challenges are of course relate to the current crisis and the way it is handled by EU, IMF and the Greek government

  • The capital controls make life harder than it should be. People are standing in line for ATMs to have access to their own money. Apparently, the best time to do this is around midnight, so one can get two day’s worth of money in one trip.
  • The possibility of a Greek exit from the euro (‘Grexit’) is forcing innovative companies to keep extra bank accounts and increases the administrative burden. A final decision on the currency to use would bring clarity and help recovery. Most entrepreneurs would prefer to stay in the Eurozone as makes obtaining external funding easier.

Other challenges are more fundamental, but are worth repeating. A burning house needs a lot of water and Greece can only overcome the crisis with a real focus on making entrepreneurship happen. The following steps are needed:

  • Startup facilities are now mostly present in Athens, forcing graduates to move from other cities to Athens. It would be of great help if startup institutions like Orange Grove would branch out to other cities.
  • Startups need customers. Greek corporates and international companies present in Greece could do themselves a huge favour by supporting startup facilities and act as pilot customers and launching customers for Greek startups. Some companies are already doing this.
  • Greece’s traditional institutions also need to support new business opportunities. Museums and tourist attractions should do their part in facilitation startups by trying out new technology and making their facilities and information available
  • European and international investors, accelerators and events must take an active interest in the activities and funding needs of Greek startups and participate in the Greek startup scene. Without a functioning European startup ecosystem, all truly ambitious Greek entrepreneurs will be driven to Silicon Valley: a loss not just for Greece but also for the rest of Europe.

We hope this article inspires everyone to take the right actions. With StartupJuncture we are trying to do our part by making Greek startups internationally visible. Let’s hope this will lead to more entrepreneurial activity and eventually to more jobs in Greece.

Sharing this article via linkedin, Facebook and twitter is appreciated. Republishing of this article is also appreciated and permitted. If you have additional comments or suggestions, let us know via comments. Finally, we would like to thank the University of Patras for organizing the international seminar, Yiannis Kanellopoulos for helping us connect with local entrepreneurs and all participants of the seminar and the entrepreneurs interviewed for their contributions.

Read the original article here.

Voordele om ‘n onderneming uit te brei na die Europese Unie

Office in Europe

Office in Europe

Enige toekomsgefokusde onderneming sal deurlopend nuwe markte en geleenthede ondersoek.

 

Wat is die voordele wat ‘n uitbreiding na Europa kan inhou?

 

Die Europese Unie (EU) is die grootste enkele mark in die wêreld.

Dit beteken:

  • Dat daar groter kompetisie in die lewering van produkte en dienste. Wat goeie nuus is vir gebruikers en besighede,
  • Handelsbeperking is opgehef in die EU,
  • Die bedryfskoste van die besighede het verlaag,
  • Besighede het meer produktief en effektief geword,
  • Anti- kompetitiewe praktyke soos kartelle en monopolie is beëindig.

 

Die Europese Unie het die volgende stappe geneem om dit vir lande makliker te maak om handel te dryf:

 

  • Die papierwerk wat van besighede vereis word is verminder,
  • Standaarde soos tegniese en veiligheidstandaarde is geharmoniseer,
  • Die gebruik met ‘n enkele geldeenheid om handel mee te dryf.

 

Die Europese Unie het verskeie beleidsraamwerke ontwikkel om klein en medium grootte  onderneming te ondersteun naamlik:

 

  • Eenvoudiger toegang tot finansiering,
  • Duideliker, eenvoudiger en duideliker wetgewing,
  • Beskerming vir aandeelhouers, krediteure en werknemers,
  • Die verlaging van die administratiewe las op ondernemings.

 

Vind hier meer uit.

My First Job: From Pizza Delivery Boy to CEO | LinkedIn

Looking back, I see that my modus operandus from pizza delivery boy to CEO has remained unchanged and can be summarized in three simple rules:

1. Don’t just do what you’re told.

No, I’m not recommending insubordination here. Rather, I’m suggesting that employees of all levels take initiative and step up to the plate. At my first job, this translated into me answering the phones at the pizza shop and placing orders in addition to delivering pizzas. Currently, as CEO of Ovation Travel Group, out-of-the-box thinking has resulted in my travel management company cornering law and finance markets and expanding into leisure travel with a new travel venture on its way. Rather than maintaining the status quo, we expanded where we saw opportunities to do so and it’s paying off.

2 Dress the part.

When I first started delivering pizzas, I reported to work straight from tennis practice. Since there was no uniform for the job, I wore my tennis clothes on my deliveries. After a short time, I found that by accidentally positioning myself as a student athlete, I had gotten an \”in\” with my customers, some of whom were former athletes or had children on sports teams. These like-minded customers appreciated my effort and it scored me some nice sized tips. The same is true today. I wear a suit to business meetings because it makes me an equal in a professional setting, and I mention my former law career, so that prospects get a sense that I truly understand their business.

3 Become vested in your workplace.

By taking an interest in your workplace, and seeing the larger picture of how your job affects the bottom line, you can motivate yourself to achieve greatness. In the case of my first job, I strongly believe that my vested interest in the pizza shop, along with my willingness to pitch in where there were holes in responsibilities, helped grow the business into the successful restaurant that it is today. Now, I pride myself in being a CEO that comes into the office every day, answers the phone, and has a firm handle on how my business is running. I genuinely care about my employees, and in turn, they make it their goal to help Ovation Travel Group be the best it can be.

via My First Job: From Pizza Delivery Boy to CEO | LinkedIn.

How Impressive Body Language at the Interview can Improve your Chances of Getting Hired | CAREERBRIGHT

According to Albert Mehrabian (Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA), the three elements account differently for our liking for the person who puts forward a message concerning their feelings: words account for 7%, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and body language accounts for 55% of the liking. They are often abbreviated as the “3 Vs” for Verbal, Vocal & Visual.

(Source: Wikipedia)

via How Impressive Body Language at the Interview can Improve your Chances of Getting Hired | CAREERBRIGHT.

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