International news in brief

Belgium curbs executive pay

Belgium’s government plans to introduce legislation that will restrict payments to departing executives of listed companies. On termination they will be entitled to a maximum payment of 18 months’ salary. The plan is controversial as it aims to override existing contractual rights. The legislation, if enacted, will also require listed companies to set up committees to fix the remuneration packages of directors.

Portugal’s labour code gets red card

Planned amendments to the Portuguese Labour Code are unconstitutional according to the country’s Constitutional Court. A key proposal rejected by the court was a move to double the probationary period for unskilled workers from 90 to 180 days.

Euro zone hit

The recession in the Euro zone deepened at a record pace in the final three months of 2008. Output across the single currency zone fell by 1.5%, worse than economists had expected. It was the third successive quarter of contraction and the fastest decline since the zone was created in 1999.

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