News en-us Latest news virus and work2021-03-24<p>Dear reader&nbsp;</p> <p>We will be using this article to collect important information about the coronavirus, working environment, and employment relationships. The article will be updated as and when we obtain new information.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><a href="">COVID-19 vaccine and work relations</a></li> <li><a href="">COVID-19 ABC at the workplace: what to do if you have been exposed to the coronavirus and suspect infection</a></li> <li><strong><a href="/redirect/4132">Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus</a> (teleworking, business trips abroad, temporary lay-offs, holiday without pay).&nbsp;</strong></li> <li><strong><a href="">Temporary subsidy program</a> (The&nbsp;Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund)</strong></li> </ul> <table border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td><strong>instructions for close contacts</strong>:&nbsp;<br />(<a href="" title="L&auml;hikontaktne EN.pdf (176 KiB)" target="_blank">Download as PDF</a>)&nbsp;</td> <td>&nbsp;<strong>Vaccination infosheet</strong>&nbsp;<br />(<a href="" title="corona t&otilde;&ouml;&ouml;suhted_eng_.pdf (232 KiB)" target="_blank">Download as PDF</a>)</td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p><a href="" rel="_contentGallery" class="thickbox" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="__thumb_-2-L&auml;hikontaktne EN.png" /></a></p> </td> <td> <p><a href="" rel="_contentGallery" class="thickbox" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="__thumb_-2-corona t&otilde;&ouml;&ouml;suhted_eng_.jpg" /></a></p> <div></div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <ul></ul> <ul></ul> <h3><strong>Work relations and safety:</strong></h3> <ul></ul> <ul> <li><a href="">New restrictions and amendments to the employment contract.</a></li> <li><a href="">If teleworking is not possible, does the average wage have to be paid for the period of self-isolation?</a></li> <li><a href="">Can an employer ask me for my signature to confirm that I am healthy?</a></li> <li><a href="">EU-OSHA: COVID-19 pandemic reinforces need to protect workers from exposure to biological agents</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Can the employer ask the employee if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19</a></li> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Guidelines of the Labour Inspectorate for both employers and employees</a>&nbsp;</strong></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Is the risk of the coronavirus a sufficient reason for refusing to go to work?</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Cash as a potential source of infection</a></li> </ul> <ul></ul> <ul></ul> <ul></ul> <div>&nbsp;</div> <h3><strong>Tips and suggestions:</strong></h3> <ul> <li><a href="">Maintaining a healthy workplace and work relations during the coronavirus outbreak</a></li> <li><a href="">Tips for working from home</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">What can I do as an employer to protect my employees and customers in the virus period?&nbsp;</a></li> </ul> <div></div> <div> <h3><b>Decrease of work and reduction of wages according to the Subsection 37 (4) of the Employment Contracts Act:</b></h3> <ul> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Decrease in the work volume and lay-offs</a></strong></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Can an employer reduce wages from the next day due to the emergency situation?</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Announcing the reduction of the wages</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Laying off an employee on a probationary period due to the emergency situation</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Receiving benefits and the calculation of holiday pay</a></li> </ul> </div> <div> <h3><b><span>Occupational health and safety instructions</span></b></h3> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Construction</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Industry</a></li> <li><a href="">Delivery services</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Warehouses</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Stores</a></li> <li></li> </ul> </div> <h3><strong>Announcements:</strong></h3> <ul></ul> <ul> <li><a href="">The Labour Inspectorate is returning to its regular organisation of work</a></li> <li><a href="">The Government approved a measure for supporting employers and employees who are struggling due to the coronavirus</a></li> <li><a href="">To employees working in Finland: FAQ by the Ministry of Social Affairs</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">The Labour Inspectorate gives advice on how to organise work in a safer way</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Work sick leave can be filed online as temporary measure</a></li> </ul> <h3><strong>External links:&nbsp;</strong></h3> <ul> <li> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Official information about coronavirus in Estonia:</a></p> </li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">The Health Board about the coronavirus&nbsp;</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Travel information and high-risk areas from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <div>&nbsp;</div> <h3><strong>Previous Work Inspectorate articles about COVID-19:</strong></h3> <div> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Does an employee have the right to refuse an assignment abroad?</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Can parents stay home with their children if schools are closed?</a>&nbsp;</li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">To the members of the Estonian Defence League</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> </div> to the Occupational Health and Safety Act2021-03-09<p>The year 2021 has already brought and will continue to bring amendments to the <a href="">Occupational Health and Safety Act</a> (hereinafter OHSA) and it is worth keeping in mind the dates of 1 March and 1 September.</p> <p>However, the main keywords are modernity and the reduction of the administrative burden for employers, and we can point this out in the case of the updated OHSA.</p> <p>It should be said, however, that for employers who operate in accordance with the OHSA in their working environment and know what needs to be done to look after the health of their employees and have control over the health and safety at work, not much will change and they will stay on the right side of the law.</p> <p>It is now appropriate to go over the steps taken to modernise the act and how it reduces the administrative burden on employers.</p> <p>1. The first keyword is TEIS (work-life information system) and using it, which labour inspectors and, to a lesser extent, employers have already started doing. From now on, employers will have even better opportunities to operate in the TEIS environment.</p> <p><i>First, some background information: The Labour Inspectorate has already been using information systems in its work for many years, which have been updated and supplemented, if necessary. This information system contains data about what has taken place in the Estonian working environment, what kind of supervision has been exercised, which information has been shared with employers, social partners, etc. A general term for this information system is the working environment database also used by the OHSA. Today, the Labour Inspectorate uses a new information system (TEIS) and the old information system (ITI).</i><br /> <i>&nbsp;Each step is taken closer to the new, leaving aside the old, and the transition will take place gradually as developments are completed to ensure a smooth and unhindered progress. The data composition of the provided systems is established in the statutes of the working environment database. At the OHSA level, the working environment database is therefore used as a common denominator and no new or old information system is distinguished, as there will be no overlap in the systems. However, all legal changes concerning the working environment database are already being made for the development of TEIS.</i></p> <p>Coming back to TEIS, however, the new information system will ensure the availability of information, facilitate the communication of entrepreneurs with the state and create new services for entrepreneurs, enabling each party to ensure occupational safety more effectively than before.</p> <p>As of 1 March, section 13<sup>4</sup> of the OHSA will be added which deals with matters related to the risk assessment of the working environment. The requirement remains in force that an employer prepares a risk analysis of the working environment, plans activities to prevent risks, informs employees about the risk assessment and, if necessary, updates the assessment. However, a requirement is added that an employer uploads the existing risk assessment to TEIS, forwards it to the Labour Inspectorate in a format that can be reproduced in writing, or uses the opportunity to prepare the risk assessment in TEIS, which will be completed in spring.</p> <p>The risk assessment tool to be completed in spring will help the employer to assess the risks of the work environment. The risk assessment tool raises the awareness of companies of the working environment and the risks associated with it, and provides employers with the help, decision-making support and feedback they need to improve the working environment in order to create safe and healthy working conditions.</p> <p>Employers can enter self-service environment via <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>2. Next, changes are made to the OHSA that ensure a safe working environment in a situation where both employees and service providers are working in the company at the same time (e.g. persons working under an authorisation contract or a contract for services) or where only service providers operate in the working environment.</p> <p>The legislation that was valid until 1 March stipulated that only self-employed persons had occupational safety obligations. As an update, a service provider has an obligation to inform its employers of the risks associated with their activities and to ensure that their activities do not endanger employees who work in the same working environment. Similarly, employers must inform the service providers working with their employees about the dangers at the workplace and about the organisation of rescue operations and first aid. Employers also have an obligation to investigate occupational accidents that have occurred with service providers working in the same environment as their employees. As an innovation, the draft obliges two service providers working in the same working environment to exchange information, inform each other of the risks involved in their activities and ensure that their activities do not endanger other employees.</p> <p>Who is defined as a service provider? By a service provider, we mean a chimney sweeper, a working environment surveyor, a repairman, an electrician, a risk analyst, a window cleaner, a device (tool) installer, a tuner, a repairer, etc. invited to the company. He or she is an independent operator in any field who goes to the working environment of another employer.</p> <p>3. Employers also have greater decision-making power over the preparation of the safety instructions because the need for the safety instructions becomes clear from the risk assessment.</p> <p>The mandatory nature/necessity of the safety instructions must be assessed on the basis of the working environment, the hazards/use of the device, the instructions for use, and the general principle remains that there is a health risk. If the use of work equipment or the performance of work involves a risk of an occupational accident or a risk of developing a work-related illness, safety instructions must also be drawn up for the work equipment or the work to be performed too. However, if there is no risk of damage to health, there is no need to draw up safety instructions.</p> <p>Thus, it is not necessary to prepare safety instructions for a glove in a bakery, a pen or a caliper in a design office, a stapler in an office. However, it is absolutely necessary to compile a safety manual for a disc cutter, panel saw, working with a monitor, etc.</p> <p>4. The term of authority of the employees' representatives (the working environment representative and a representative of the employees of the working environment council) also changes and is decided only by the meeting of employees.</p> <p>To clarify, whereas in the past the term of authority of the above-mentioned representatives was four years, this is now much more flexible and is only decided by the meeting of employees. For the purposes of the updated law, it may also be decided that the authority is valid indefinitely. In this case, new elections must be held, for example, when the representative resigns or waives the performance of their duties. Also if the employees are no longer satisfied with the representative and recall them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Cancer Day 2021: preventing cancer risks at work2021-02-04<p>Every 4<span>th</span>&nbsp;of February, World Cancer Day brings worldwide attention to cancer and its prevention, diagnosis and treatment, recognising the commitment of organisations, communities and individuals to reducing the global impact of the disease.</p> <p>The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected cancer patients due to postponed screening, delays and modifications to treatments. Within this context, the Europe&rsquo;s Beating Cancer Plan represents an opportunity to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on cancer care and support, marking another step towards a strong European Health Union and a more secure, better-prepared and more resilient EU.</p> <p>Work-related cancer remains one of the biggest health problems that workplaces across Europe face. According to the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_self">Roadmap on Carcinogens</a>&nbsp;more than half of the work-related deaths in the EU are associated with exposure to cancer-causing agents in the workplace.</p> <p>The partners of the roadmap presented a new&nbsp;<a href="" target="_self">strategy 2020-2024</a>&nbsp;at the German EU Presidency conference &lsquo;STOP cancer in the workplace&rsquo;, which was held in November 2020. The goals of the strategy include the provision of help to businesses and workers in preventing exposure to carcinogens at work and minimising their effects on the workforce.</p> <p>Discover the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_self">Roadmap on Carcinogens and EU-OSHA&rsquo;s action on work-related cancer</a></p> <p>Check out the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_self">Workers&rsquo; exposure survey on cancer risk factors in Europe</a></p> <p>Learn more about the adoption of&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Europe&rsquo;s Beating Cancer Plan<span class="osha_target_external_link">&nbsp;</span></a></p> <p>Join&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">#WorldCancerDay<span class="osha_target_external_link">&nbsp;</span></a>&nbsp;and the #IAmAndIWill campaign&nbsp;</p> <p>Photo: Pixabay</p> teleworking is not possible, does the average wage have to be paid for the period of self-isolation?2020-10-16<p><strong>Question of a reader:&nbsp;An employee informed me that they are spending the school holiday in a country subject to the obligation to remain in self-isolation for two weeks after returning. It is not possible for the employee to perform their occupational duties remotely. Am I required to pay their average wages during the self-isolation?</strong></p> <p>Answer from Labour Inspectorate&nbsp;<span>Deputy Director General Meeli Miidla-Vanatalu</span> : As this is not an obstacle of work caused by the employer, but a conscious decision of the employee, then pursuant to the Employment Contracts Act, the employer is not legally required to pay the wages.</p> <p>Following the good faith principle and considering the interests of both parties in the employment relationship, the employer can:</p> <ol start="1"> <li>inform all employees in advance that if they decide to spend the school holiday travelling abroad, they must familiarise themselves with the requirements for returning to Estonia. Updated information is always available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at <a href=""></a>;</li> <li>ask employees if they are planning to travel abroad during their holiday. The employer has the right to know whether employees have travelled abroad during their holiday to protect the health of other employees and prevent the spreading of the virus, e.g. for the purposes of the Employment Contracts Act and in the context of the current situation, this information is in the legitimate interests of the employer;</li> <li>explain to the employees that as the Health Board has advised to avoid travelling abroad, employees who still decided to go must consider the obligation of remaining in self-isolation and the fact that employers will generally not pay the wages during isolation;</li> <li>always consider additional options and negotiate with employees &ndash; for example, advise employees to use up their unused annual holiday for the self-isolation (remember that neither party has the right to make demands; this is only an option in case of a mutual agreement or an approved holiday schedule). In the case of summarised working time, there is a possibility of not scheduling shifts for employees in self-isolation, but instead, spreading the working hours from these weeks over the following period (remembering to follow the legal requirements for rest time);</li> <li>if an employee returns from abroad with symptoms, they must immediately contact their family physician and request a certificate of incapacity for work. Remember that people who have been informed of being in immediate contact with a person carrying COVID-19 and are unable to engage in work remotely are entitled for temporary incapacity for work. Detailed information is available on the website of the Health Board at <a href=""></a></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;See more from the T&ouml;&ouml;elu website at: <a href=""></a></p> <p>&nbsp;Ph<span>oto: Pixabay</span></p> highlights from the Week of Action2020-10-02<p class="ecl-paragraph"><span>The #EU4FairWork Week of Action was the peak of the first ever campaign for declared work launched by the European Platform tackling undeclared work jointly with the European Labour Authority.</span></p> <p class="ecl-paragraph"><img src=";photoId=11537" alt="" /></p> <p class="ecl-paragraph">From 21-25 September, a wide range of events and activities promoted a culture of fair working conditions. From awareness raising activities to cross-border inspections, the message was clear: undeclared work does not pay &ndash; it's time to make the transition.&nbsp;</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph">Labour inspectorates, social partners and other organisations across Europe created informational videos and brochures, launched dedicated webpages, reached out to the media, organised webinars and collaborated across borders through staff exchanges and concerted inspections.</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph">Most events took place virtually. Despite the challenges brought by the current pandemic, colleagues in the European Platform tackling undeclared work found ways to continue their activities and spread the word about the benefits of declared work.</p> <h2 class="ecl-heading ecl-heading--h2">Outreach to specific groups and sectors</h2> <p class="ecl-paragraph">National awareness raising activities were particularly aimed at young people and students. For instance, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Lithuania, Estonia, Belgium and Cyprus used traditional media (such as radio and TV) but also creative ways to reach out to them, including videos on social media and information sessions at schools or online.</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph">In Belgium, the campaign kicked off already in March with a multimedia truck visiting schools to promote the benefits of declared work through augmented reality games, presentations, and a quiz. &ldquo;Lots of young people have a student job, but often they are underpaid or have not signed a contract for example&rdquo;, says Frederik Scheys from the Belgian work inspectorate, interviewed in a&nbsp;<a href="" class="ecl-link">video reportage</a>.</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph">Many countries focused their communication towards foreign or posted workers. Norway, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania and Romania worked together to inform mobile workers of their rights through a&nbsp;<a href="" class="ecl-link">dedicated multilingual website</a>&nbsp;and, in Finland, a webinar was organised.</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph">As&nbsp;<a href="" class="ecl-link">highlighted</a>&nbsp;by the Finnish Minister of Labour Tuula Haatainen, a fair labour market is everyone&rsquo;s right: &ldquo;the [Finnish] Government has expanded its range of actions to combat the shadow economy, including taking stringent measures to tackle the exploitation of foreign labour.&rdquo;</p> <h2 class="ecl-heading ecl-heading--h2">Joint projects and inspections</h2> <p class="ecl-paragraph">Inspections are an effective way to detect undeclared work and raise awareness about workers&rsquo; rights and the benefits of declared work. During the Week of Action inspections were organised in nine countries, four countries engaged in virtual staff exchanges and 12 countries collaborated in concerted inspections.</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph"><a href="" class="ecl-link">In a historic first</a>, enforcement authorities from Belgium, Lithuania and Portugal conducted a pilot&nbsp;<a href="" class="ecl-link">cross-border concerted inspection</a>&nbsp;supported by the European Labour Authority. The inspection blended video-conferencing with on-the-ground visits to companies suspected of fraudulent activity. Jonas Gricius, Head of the Lithuanian State Labour Inspectorate, described such cross-border actions as "a turning point in inspections throughout Europe".</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph">A similar method was used in the&nbsp;<em>Tackling undeclared work in the Nordic countries</em>&nbsp;project (supported by the&nbsp;<a href=";langId=en" class="ecl-link">EaSI programme</a>), where road transport inspections were conducted before the Week of Action in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia and Norway, aimed at vehicles or companies from another project country.</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph">The findings were presented in a webinar. &ldquo;It is crucial for the survival of the industry to secure competition on equal terms and to ensure safe and decent working conditions for drivers&rdquo;, Magnus Falk, Head of Unit for International Affairs at the Swedish Work Environment Authority,&nbsp;<a href="" class="ecl-link">concluded</a>.</p> <h2 class="ecl-heading ecl-heading--h2">Social partners actively involved</h2> <p class="ecl-paragraph">The European Platform tackling undeclared work is composed of over 50 members and observers including labour inspectorates, tax and social security authorities of the EU Member States, Norway and Iceland as well as trade unions, employers' associations, federations and other social partners.</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph">Social partners supported the campaign on social media and through specific campaign activities. For instance, ETUC launched a&nbsp;<a href="" class="ecl-link">photo action</a>&nbsp;with trade union leaders, WEC-Europe published an&nbsp;<a href="" class="ecl-link">opinion piece</a>&nbsp;on promoting declared work through temporary agency work, and the European Transport workers&rsquo; federation published videos and a&nbsp;<a href="" class="ecl-link">statement</a>&nbsp;to end bogus self-employment.</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph">&rdquo;Social partners, together, must be better involved in fighting undeclared work in construction&rdquo;, said Jo&euml;l Schons, Vice-President of FIEC EU during a joint FIEC EU-EFBWW webinar on undeclared work in the construction sector. SME united shared campaign videos. A&nbsp;<a href="" class="ecl-link">joint statement</a>&nbsp;between the social partners in Cleaning and Private Security was published.</p> <p class="ecl-paragraph"><em>The Week of Action is part of the&nbsp;<a href=";langId=en" class="ecl-link">#EU4FairWork campaign</a>, launched in March 2020 in conjunction with the European Commission and the&nbsp;<a href="" class="ecl-link">European Labour Authority</a>.</em></p> Estonian Employers Confederation invites entrepreneurs to submit their best interns to the competition praktik cum laude2020-08-13<p>Candidates can be nominated for the competition by all employers who want to highlight their outstanding interns. The jury will select the best interns from among higher education, vocational education and foreign students, and will award the title of the best apprentice.</p> <p>Employers are invited to submit interns who have completed an internship with them in the current academic year (1 September 2019 &ndash; 31 August 2020) to the competition. Each employer can nominate up to four candidates to the competition, one in each category.&nbsp;</p> <p>In order to submit a candidate one must complete the&nbsp;<a href="">form</a>&nbsp;located on the&nbsp;<a href="">homepage of the Estonian Employers&rsquo; Confederation&nbsp;</a>&ndash; particularly important is a thorough description of why the intern caught your eye. The winners will be announced as a result of the evaluation committee&rsquo;s decision, and the audience favourite will be chosen via online voting. The deadline for submitting candidates is 30 September 2020. We await the submission of forms to the e-mail address&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"></a>&nbsp;and the winners will be announced in October 2020.</p> <p>Find out more about the competition&rsquo;s terms and conditions<a href="">&nbsp;on the Employers&rsquo; website</a>&nbsp;and follow the competition news on&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a>.</p> <p>The Estonian Employers&rsquo; Confederation is organising the competition already for the fifth consecutive year in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Research and the Education and Youth Board. The project is funded by the European Social Fund.&nbsp;Last year, 45 candidates were submitted to the competition.</p> <p>Source:&nbsp;<span><a href="" target="_blank">Estonian Employers' Confederation</a></span></p> engagement in the spotlight of the International Youth Day 20202020-08-12<p>With COVID-19 outbreak and climate emergency requiring urgent global action, active participation of young people is of paramount importance. This is why the<a href="" target="_blank">&nbsp;International Youth Day<span class="osha_target_external_link">&nbsp;</span></a>, 12 August brings the focus on engaging youth at all levels of society for meaningful initiatives to alleviate the present challenges.</p> <p>EU-OSHA contributes by nurturing a culture of healthy workplaces, indispensable for young workers&rsquo; safety, health competences and sustainable working lives.</p> <p>We want to help the 120 million of young people reaching working age every year by providing them with tailored information about their safety and health at work.</p> <p>Check out&nbsp;<a href="">our section on occupational safety and health and young workers</a>.</p> <p>Read a&nbsp;<a href="">summary of our seminar devoted to musculoskeletal health to children and young workers</a>.</p> <p>Use&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Napo films and &lsquo;Napo in the workplace&rsquo; resources<span class="osha_target_external_link">&nbsp;</span></a>&nbsp;to raise awareness and start discussions with young workers about musculoskeletal disorders.</p> <p>Learn more about this year&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">International Youth Day theme and activities<span class="osha_target_external_link">&nbsp;</span></a>.</p> <p>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">EU-OSHA</a></p> <p>Photo: Pixabay</p> Inspectorate: Amendments to better protect the rights of posted workers enter into force2020-07-30<p><b>On 30 July, amendments that will ensure better protection of the rights of employees posted to Estonia will enter into force. The working conditions of posted workers working in Estonia will be specified more precisely and a regulation for long-term employment will be introduced. Employers are obligated to keep the information provided on posted workers up to date.</b></p> <p>The concept of &lsquo;a posted worker&rsquo; is governed by Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services. A posted worker is an employee with whom a temporary agreement has been concluded to work at the territory of a member state, either to provide a service within the framework of the company&rsquo;s business operations or various subsidiaries within the group, or as a temporary agency worker by an employment undertaking.</p> <p>On 17 June, the Riigikogu amended the Working Conditions of Employees Posted to Estonia Act, which changed the working conditions of posted workers. Clarification of the procedure for the posting of <b>posted temporary agency workers</b>. When concluding a contract for the use of workers, the temporary employment agency and the user undertaking must agree on whether it is permitted to re-post posted workers to another foreign country. If the user undertaking re-posts a posted worker, it must have the consent of the posted worker&rsquo;s primary employer. In the case of re-posting, the employee retains the status of a posted temporary agency worker.</p> <p>The law changes the <b>working conditions </b>that must be ensured for a posted worker during their stay in Estonia. From now on, instead of a minimum wage, wages must be guaranteed and posted workers must be reimbursed for the expenses related to the posting. For example, a posted worker usually works in Tallinn, but in order to perform their duties, they have to travel to Narva or Stockholm to pick up materials. In this case, the employer must pay the posted worker&rsquo;s travel expenses, including daily allowances if the worker is posted abroad.</p> <p><b>Long-term posting</b> is also regulated. Until now, the law did not regulate how long an employee from another Member State could work as a posted worker in Estonia on the basis of minimum requirements. The amendment presupposes that the posted worker stays in Estonia for up to a year. The employer must then take into account that Estonian labour law will apply in its entirety after the worker has worked in Estonia for 12 or 18 months. For example, at the moment, annual leave must be guaranteed to a posted worker in accordance with Estonian labour law from the moment they arrive, then after 12 months, Estonian labour law will also apply to the preparation of the holiday schedule and the expiry of the holiday.</p> <p>However, there are exemptions from this rule. The initial 12-month period can also be extended to 18 months with only the minimum requirements applying. To apply for an extension, a substantiated notice must be submitted to the Labour Inspectorate in a form that can be reproduced in writing (e.g. via e-mail). The notice must state why the posted worker must stay in Estonia for more than 12 months. If the employer knows that the worker&rsquo;s stay in Estonia must only be extended by two months, for example, the period may be extended to 14 months. In the case of long-term posting, the entry into force of the law shall trigger the start of the 12- or 18-month period.</p> <p>For the employer, the retention period for documents related to posted workers will be <b>reduced</b> from seven to three years from the end of the posting.</p> <p>The amendments also add an obligation to the employer to <b>keep the data of workers posted to Estonia up to date</b> and notify the Labour Inspectorate of any changes, i.e. the submitted data must correspond to the actual situation.</p> <p>The new form can be found at <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Additional information on foreign workers is available on the website of the Labour Inspectorate <a href=""></a> in the &lsquo;Foreign worker&rsquo; section.</p> and safety of ageing workers: a priority for all2020-07-23<p>The challenge of an ageing and shrinking workforce is not new to Europe: by 2030, workers aged 55-64 are expected to make up 30 % or more of the workforce. Meanwhile, many workers leave the labour market well before reaching the pension age.</p> <p>Sustainable solutions to ensure safe, healthy and fair conditions from the start of a person&rsquo;s working life are key to halting this negative process and improving productivity in the long run.</p> <p>To support policy development in this important area,&nbsp;a&nbsp;<a href="">project</a>&nbsp;carried out by&nbsp;EU-OSHA some years ago, delivered a wealth of analysis of policies and initiatives addressing the ageing of workers across Europe.</p> <p>Discover the project&nbsp;<a href="">Safer and healthier work at any age &ndash; occupational safety and health in the context of an ageing workforce</a>&nbsp;and access its various publications.</p> <p>Learn more about how European countries deal with the challenges for safety and health at work by exploring our&nbsp;<a href="!/" target="_blank">data visualisation tool on ageing and OSH<span class="osha_target_external_link">&nbsp;</span></a>&nbsp;published in 2017.</p> <p>Help us promote healthy working practices for all ages &ndash; use and share practical resources delivered through the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">2016-17 campaign, Healthy Workplaces for All Ages<span class="osha_target_external_link">&nbsp;</span></a>.</p> <p>Photo: Pixabay</p> Labour Inspectorate is returning to its regular organisation of work2020-05-19<p><b>The Labour Inspectorate has continued to operate in a limited extent throughout the entire emergency situation. From 18 May, the regular organisation of work will resume, with the exception of consultations still not being provided in the offices.</b><b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p class="bodytext"><span>The Labour Inspectorate continued to advise parties of employment relationships throughout the entire emergency situation. The number of calls multiplied and during the first three weeks of the emergency situation, seven times more calls were made to the consultation line than usual. The number of calls has now stabilised, but there are still twice as many calls as there were before the emergency situation. The number of received emails, which also increased for a while, has also normalised. Most questions concern the reduction of wages, unreceived final settlements, and redundancies. In the last week, there were more questions about terminations in connection with employer violations.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p class="bodytext"><span>While it is still not possible to come to the offices of the Labour Inspectorate to meet with a counselling lawyer, you are more than welcome to call us at 640 6000 and write to&nbsp;<a>jurist|&auml;t|</a>.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p class="bodytext"><span>The supervision has been gradually resumed and is returning to regular volumes. During the emergency situation, supervision was mostly performed as surveillance and by responding to tip-offs.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p class="bodytext"><span>The meetings of the Labour Dispute Committees resumed in April. We now provide the option of holding the meetings of the Labour Dispute Committees virtually. The first sessions held via a video bridge have already taken place.</span>&nbsp;</p> <p class="bodytext"><span>The T&ouml;&ouml;elu portal offers advice on creating a good working environment. The portal provides guidelines to follow when returning to work at&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank"></a>. You can also invite a Labour Inspectorate consultant to your company, who can give on-the-spot recommendations on making the working environment safe and protecting the health of your employees. To invite a consultant, please send an email to&nbsp;<a>ti|&auml;t|</a>&nbsp;or call 640 6000. The service is free of charge for employers.</span></p> Back to workplace - Adapting workplaces and protecting workers2020-05-05<p>EU-OSHA has compiled a comprehensive manual about workplace safety and precautions to be taken when working during the pandemic and about going back to work. The guidelines are non-binding, yet should be taken into consideration for the safety of the employees, the employers and customers. It also gives advice on how to minimize exposure, how to cope with absences, arrange teleworking and take care of the psychological issues.</p> <p></p> <p>The manuals are available in a variety of languages.</p> <p>Please visit the EU-OSHA webpage for the manual.</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> Dispute Committe hearings in April2020-03-30<p>The Labour Inspectorate is considering various possibilities on how to arrange the Labour Dispute Committe hearings in a manner that guarantees the safety of all participants. We are also looking for means to conduct the hearings via a video bridge.<br /><br />Only such hearings, which can be conducted safely, will take place in April. The Labour Dispute Committe will contact all involved parties and give further details, whether the hearing will take place or be postponed.</p> <p align="justify"><strong>Read more:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">An overview of the articles about the coronavirus on T&ouml;&ouml;elu.</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Frequently asked questions in connection with the coronavirus</a>&nbsp;(teleworking, business trips abroad, lay-offs, holiday without pay).&nbsp;</li> </ul> ask for your patience when contacting the Labour Inspectorate2020-03-26<p>The number of calls to our counselling service number 640 6000 has grown exponentially. We ask for your patience and understanding as waiting times can be longer than usual and you might need to try again later. We understand the difficulty of the situation and your concerns. Please send your questions via email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible.</p> <p>Legal counseling at the offices of the Labour Inspectorate have also been cancelled.&nbsp;</p> <p>Due to the state of emergency, all hearings of the Labour Dispute Committe between 17.03. and 31.03. have been postponed. The committee will contact all parties involved and give further details on the proceedings.<br />Applications to the committe can still be presented as usual.</p> <p></p> <p>See also:</p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">All articles concerning COVID-19</a></li> <li><a href="/redirect/4132">FAQ about COVID-19</a></li> </ul> <p>Photo: Pixabay</p> parents stay home with their children if schools are closed?2020-03-17<p><strong>Question: I am the owner of a small enterprise; my employees notified me today that they will not be coming to work for the next two weeks in connection with the emergency situation and the fact that schools and nursery schools are closed and they cannot leave their children on their own. Is an employee entitled to do so and am I required to pay their wages for this period and in what extent?</strong></p> <p><br /><strong>Response by Meeli Miidla-Vanatalu, Deputy Director General of the Labour Inspectorate:&nbsp;</strong>The current situation may be approached as the case described in section 38 of the Employment Contracts Act, in the case of which the legislator has prescribed that the employer must pay the employee average wages for a reasonable period when the employee cannot perform work due to a reason arising from the employee, but not caused intentionally or due to severe negligence or if the employee cannot be expected to perform work for another reason not attributable to the employee. However, this situation may not last two weeks, but for a reasonable period of time in which the employee can organise babysitting for their children and make their suggestions to the employer for potential changes in the organisation of work.</p> <p><br />This means that, pursuant to section 38 of the Employment Contracts Act, the employer must pay the employee&rsquo;s average wages for no more than the first two days and then the parties must find mutually acceptable solutions, that is, reach a mutual agreement for teleworking, using part-time employment for a specified period of time, or using the employee&rsquo;s annual holiday, for example, or in another manner. The employee may not, however, pursuant to legislation, demand payment of their average wages by the employer for the entire period in which they remain at home due to closing of a children&rsquo;s institution. The parties of the employment relationship must adequately assess the situation in the country, while also taking into account the other party&rsquo;s interests and thereby find reasonable solutions.</p> <p><br />Further advice regarding children from the Ministry of Social Affairs:</p> <ul> <li>The state has not established specific regulation regarding the minimum age at which a child may be left home alone. Each case is different and depends on the maturity of the child and the circumstances.</li> <li>The parent must decide whether or not to temporarily leave their child home alone. Thereat, the parent must take into consideration the child&rsquo;s best interests, assess the maturity of their child, and consider any potential safety risks. It is important to ensure the welfare and safety of the child.</li> <li>In general, a child&rsquo;s ability to act independently to a certain extent (the child can take responsibility for their actions; knows what may be good or bad for their health and how to behave safely; is able to take care of themselves) is connected to the preparedness to go to school. Leaving pre-school or younger children home alone should be avoided, as well as leaving them home in the care of a schoolchild for the entire day. In the case of leaving smaller children in the care of their older sisters and brothers, it should be made sure that the needs of all of the children are satisfied and that all of the children feel safe and secure.</li> <li>If necessary, it might be a good idea to ask family members (not older people, if possible) to take care of the children or to ask the local municipality government about the opening times of nursery schools or childcare institutions, etc. People should also contact their local municipality governments if their families need any other assistance or aid in connection with the emergency situation.</li> </ul> <p align="justify"><strong>Read more:</strong></p> <p align="justify"><a href="" target="_blank">An overview of the articles about the coronavirus on T&ouml;&ouml;elu.</a></p> <p align="justify"><a href="" target="_blank">Frequently asked questions in connection with the coronavirus</a>&nbsp;(teleworking, business trips abroad, lay-offs, holiday without pay).</p> <p align="justify">Photo: Pixabay</p> <p></p> <ul> <li> <p align="justify"></p> </li> </ul> the risk of the coronavirus a sufficient reason for refusing to go to work?2020-03-17<p align="justify"><strong><i>Hi! I work at the cash register in a store and thus, am at a serious risk of coming in contact with people who carry the virus. If I really feel that I&rsquo;m afraid to go to work because of all this, will the employer have the right to fire me or is there something that applies to going to work in connection with this emergency situation?&nbsp;<strong><i>Can you please try to explain to me what I should do or how I should behave?</i></strong></i></strong></p> <p align="justify"><span><strong>Response by Piret Kaljula, work environment consultant of the Labour Inspectorate</strong>. Pursuant to clause 13 (1) 5) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the employer must organise a new risk assessment of the working environment, taking into consideration the emergency situation declared and the advice issued by the Health Board, and plan measures for prevention and/or alleviation of the risks based on the risk analysis.</span></p> <p align="justify"><span>In this situation, the employer must engage in the prevention activities specified in section 12&sup1; of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Prevention activities of an employer are the planning and implementation of measures for preventing or minimising health risks at all stages of work in the enterprise and for promoting the physical, mental, and social well-being of an employee. This means that the employer must implement measures on the basis of the following general principles of prevention:</span></p> <ol> <li><span>avoidance of risks &ndash; this means that the employer has considered how they can help to prevent the spread of the virus at their company,</span></li> <li><span>assessment of unavoidable risks &ndash; this means that the employer assesses whether and how they can reorganise work in order to ensure the necessary functioning of the company,</span></li> <li><span>elimination of risks at their source or, if this is not possible, reduction thereof to an acceptable level &ndash; this means that the employer observes the guidelines of the Health Board in order to prevent and alleviate the risks.</span></li> </ol> <p align="justify"><span>In other words, the employer must assess the risks and apply measures, especially the ones advised by the Health Board, and make changes in the work or in the organisation of work, if necessary. The employer must also notify the employees of the outcomes of the risk assessment, as well as of any measures applied to eliminate the risks. First, please contact your employer and ask to explain which (additional) measures the employer has taken to ensure the employees&rsquo; safety. Having received this information, you can make your own suggestions if your feel that the measures applied by the employer are not sufficient.</span></p> <p align="justify"><span>We would also like to explain that an employee has the right (clause 14 (5) 4) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act) to refuse to carry out work or to stop work the performance of which endangers his or her health or that of other persons or does not allow to comply with environmental safety requirements.</span></p> <p align="justify"><span>The employee may exercise this right if the employer fails to apply statutory measures as well as any precautions which are relevant and reasonable in a specific situation. In other words, if it has been proven that carrying on with the work would put to risk the employee&rsquo;s life or health. The employee must take into consideration that they must be able to prove this in the event of a dispute at a later date.</span></p> <p align="justify"><span>As the crisis situation is difficult for all and decisions must be made quickly and based on incomplete information, we would advise the parties to negotiate any issues first. If you feel that it is hazardous for you to continue to work, for example, because you are in the risk group of the virus, please contact your employer and ask to reorganise your work so that you would not be required to come in contact with the customers directly, especially if you are included in the risk group of the virus.</span></p> <p align="justify"><span><b>The parties of the employment relationship must assess the situation in the country adequately, take into consideration the interests of the other party as well, and thereby find reasonable solutions.</b></span></p> <p align="justify"><span>Read more:</span></p> <p align="justify"><span><a href="" target="_blank">An overview of the articles about the coronavirus on T&ouml;&ouml;elu.</a></span></p> <p align="justify"><a href="/redirect/4132" target="_blank">Frequently asked questions in connection with the coronavirus</a> (teleworking, business trips abroad, lay-offs, holiday without pay).</p> <p align="justify">Photo: Pixabay</p> release: The Labour Inspectorate invites all employers to participate in the development of a self-service for the working environment2019-09-18<p><b>The Labour Inspectorate is in the process of creating an information system, a part of which is a self-service for entrepreneurs to solve working environment concerns. The Inspectorate invites all interested companies to think along and make their wishes and suggestions at </b><a href=""><b></b></a><b>.</b>&nbsp;</p> <p>The purpose of the working life information system created by the Labour Inspectorate is to simplify the work of the entrepreneur and reduce the administrative burden when dealing with the working environment. The information system is created in close cooperation with companies. The working life information system is being developed by TripleDev and Trinidad Wiseman.&nbsp;</p> <p>&lsquo;The self-service part of the information system will be used by the entrepreneur. We invite companies to participate in the project development. With the help of entrepreneurs, we can create a self-service as convenient as possible to meet their wishes and suggestions,&rsquo; said Rainer Rohtla, Project Manager at the Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre (TEHIK). &lsquo;If an entrepreneur can have a say in the development, it is likely that they will agree to use it later, which is the most important thing,&rsquo; he added.&nbsp;</p> <p>Mait Palts, Director General of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also welcomes the creation of the new information system. &lsquo;It is good to see that entrepreneurs will be involved in the development of the information system at an early stage and that their opinions will be considered. This does not always happen. The Labour Inspectorate&rsquo;s self-service has the potential to make occupational safety-related activities simpler and easier to monitor for all entrepreneurs,&rsquo; he said, urging entrepreneurs to present their ideas and wishes to make the information system a practical tool to make everyday life easier. &lsquo;Whether this happens depends largely on the activity of entrepreneurs and working environment specialists,&rsquo; Palts added.&nbsp;</p> <p>The project page was prepared for the involvement of entrepreneurs. The project page gives an overview of how the digital environment that is being created will help to improve the work environment. However, a notification can be sent if an entrepreneur is interested in contributing to the creation of the self-service.&nbsp;</p> <p>&lsquo;In the future, it will be possible for entrepreneurs to address occupational safety issues step by step in the self-service. Above all, they manage the working environment of their company and in the background, the system notifies the Labour Inspectorate that the working environment as well as occupational health and safety are dealt with in this company,&rsquo; explained Rauno Piirsalu, project manager of the working life information system at the Labour Inspectorate.&nbsp;</p> <p>The new information system has three main user groups: employers, employees, and the Labour Inspectorate. In the first phase, by the end of the first quarter of 2020, the information system base, the primary self-service functionality, and the monitoring module will be developed. The second step is to provide the operator with the necessary tools to make it easier and simpler for them to identify the typical hazards in their field of activity. In the future, self-service can be used to deal with the hazards of the working environment in an informed and proactive manner.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Read more about the new information system and working environment self-service</a>.</p> <p>Photo: Pixabay</p> with the Labour Inspectorate will move to self-service2019-09-18<p><b>The Labour Inspectorate is developing a working life information system which includes a working environment self-service and will be one of the options for managing the working environment that will simplify the work of entrepreneurs and reduce the administrative burden and bureaucracy.</b>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new working environment self-service will provide to the entrepreneur a clear overview of what the state expects from the employer in the field of occupational health and safety, while allowing all the necessary activities to be done more easily. The time-consuming exchange of documents via e-mail and the accompanying additional communication will no longer be necessary. The self-service will provide a user-friendly communication channel between employers and the Labour Inspectorate. The system keeps an eye on the company&rsquo;s basic working environment requirements and informs the employer of any deficiencies that it discovers, along with further guidelines for necessary actions. The company, in turn, can fulfil its obligations to the state via the self-service.</p> <p>The system automatically creates accounts for companies with data already known to the state, so the company does not have to re-enter the data once submitted. In the self-service, for example, the first thing you can do is to appoint your working environment specialist or specify a working environment representative chosen by employees, which so far had to be done in writing or via e-mail. Thereafter, an authorised user, such as a working environment specialist, can already start to engage in the issues of occupational health and safety. &lsquo;It is important for the entrepreneur to understand that preventing hazards in the workplace is not an annoying task, but it also helps to prevent unexpected failures within the company &ndash; for example, if one of the employees is involved in an accident at work or falls ill,&rsquo; says <b>Rauno Piirsalu</b>, the project manager of the working life information system of the Labour Inspectorate. &lsquo;Small businesses are particularly vulnerable, as in such cases, it is difficult to find a replacement. Occupational safety and the prevention of accidents can literally help to reduce the business risks of an entrepreneur, but we have thousands of accidents at work every year.&rsquo;&nbsp;</p> <p><b>A clear overview</b></p> <p>The self-service environment will be simple and convenient. &lsquo;In the future, it will be possible for entrepreneurs to address safety issues step by step in the self-service. Above all, entrepreneurs can manage the working environment of their company, and in the background, the system indicates to the Labour Inspectorate that this company has taken up working environment issues,&rsquo; emphasises Piirsalu. &lsquo;Initially, an employer can specify the necessary roles in the self-service, that is, find or appoint a person among their employees who will deal with working environment issues in the company. They will select a first aid provider and, if necessary, a working environment representative. In the second development phase, enterprise-specific services will be added &ndash; for example, a risk assessment tool will help you to identify workplace hazards associated with your industry and check if risk prevention solutions have already been implemented. Among other things, the self-service also includes the possibility of registering employee coaching.&rsquo;</p> <p>For example, if the worker responsible for occupational health and safety has changed positions, the system reminds the entrepreneur to assign a new person to that role. The self-service will signal when a role is vacant and remind it to the entrepreneur. Similarly, the system will give a reminder when an employee has not been instructed. Compared to current solutions, the future self-service is a big step forward, as each company will get a real-time overview of their situation when entering the self-service.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>No additional costs</b></p> <p>The Labour Inspectorate finds it important that the working environment of companies is safe. When dealing with working environment issues in the self-service, the corresponding indicators change from red to green accordingly. The labour inspector, for their part, can see that the company is concerned with occupational safety, so that in the future labour inspectors will primarily visit companies where the working environment is neglected or for which data are not available.</p> <p>Life has shown that risk assessment of the working environment has proved too difficult for small businesses. It is often not understood why and how to do it, so they let a service provider do it. &lsquo;Such a service can cost from about 500 up to 3,000 euros, but even a net cost of 500 euros is a considerable amount for a small business,&rsquo; says Rainer Rohtla from the Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre, who is responsible for the successful development of the portal, and emphasises that the new system gives an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to conclude the risk assessment process easily by themselves, while also saving money. For example, the following test questions must be answered: Does the company use damaged extension cords (electrical hazard)? Does the company own a tested and operational fire extinguisher (fire hazard)? You will answer &lsquo;yes&rsquo; or &lsquo;no&rsquo; and after that, the system will make a summary of the relevant questions, also giving recommendations for improvement. When answering the questionnaire, the occupational safety worker will also think about their working environment. The more knowledgeable the working environment specialist is, the more likely they are to manage potential risks and the working environment is safer for them and their colleagues.</p> <p>The new self-service should also be suitable for businesses because it reduces paperwork and eliminates existing piles of paper. Much of the data can be stored in the self-service and managing the information will be easier. If a company is supervised and the labour inspector comes to check the working environment on site, they will have access to the data in the system beforehand and they will be able to pre-screen the situation in the company. This will save time for both the entrepreneur and the inspector.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Good to know</b></p> <ol> <li>The new information system has three main user groups: employers, employees, and the Labour Inspectorate. In the first phase (first quarter of 2020), the information system&rsquo;s base, self-service, and supervision module will be developed.</li> <li>In the second phase (first quarter of 2021), self-service tools will be added to help entrepreneurs to more easily identify the most common workplace hazards associated with their business. Due to the solutions offered in the information system, risk mitigation activities can also be planned.</li> <li>Those who feel insecure or experience troubles when using the self-service can count on the Labour Inspectorate to provide guidance and advice when needed.&nbsp;</li> <li>The proceedings become easier and more efficient. Simple questions can be conveniently asked through the self-service without the need for drafting a formal letter to the Labour Inspectorate. The same applies to supervision. If an inspector detects something dangerous (for example, prohibits the use of a dangerous tool), then after eliminating the hazard, the entrepreneur logs into the self-service from a computer or a telephone, adding, for example, a new photo of the situation where the problem is solved, and the issue is settled. It is no longer necessary to send a separate e-mail with supporting evidence for each infringement.&nbsp;</li> <li>It is clear and precise what is expected of the entrepreneur. First, it shows the activities that should be immediately taken care of. It is followed by an overview of the next measures to be taken to make the working environment safe.&nbsp;</li> <li>The goal of the Labour Inspectorate is not to punish, but to draw attention to the occupational safety deficiencies of the company to make the working environment safe. With the help of the self-service, we can better inform, advise, and help companies to create a safe working environment.</li> </ol> <p><b>Find out more:</b></p> <p>You can find the project introduction page on the Work Life Portal: <a href=""></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Test the service</b></p> <p>As an entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to participate and be a tester of the system (please see the link &lsquo;I wish to participate in the self-service testing if possible&rsquo;) and give the developers your feedback. The purpose of this is bringing the new self-service into accordance with needs and making it user-friendly.&nbsp;</p> <p>Small business owner<b> Eva Lepik</b>, hostess of the shop Kiiks ja Knihv:</p> <p>&lsquo;I have a small company with two employees. The volume of tasks that should be handled and sent to the Labour Inspectorate on paper is quite immense. It would be great if all of it could be done online.</p> <p>As a small entrepreneur, I would like a summary of all the information so that I know exactly what I should do. I have made safety videos, for example. It would be good if they could be uploaded to the self-service for our employees. The Labour Inspectorate also sees that I have instructed my employees on how to use the paper-cutting guillotine without damaging their fingers. Right now, the videos are on my computer.</p> <p>I would like to have a compact online environment telling me that I have not done this or that for my employees, but I should do so. As a small entrepreneur, you are in many roles anyway &ndash; from marketer to cleaner &ndash; so it would be good to know what is expected of me.&rsquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>The Labour Inspectorate and the Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre are developing the working life information system in cooperation with Trinidad Wiseman O&Uuml; and TripleDev O&Uuml;. The development is financed by the European Social Fund.</p> Inspectorate: Number of youth under 15 working has increased2019-07-10<div class="lead"> <p>Interest in youth under the age of 15 in gaining work experience and employers' willingness to offer young people work have increased significantly in Estonia since last year, the Labour Inspectorate said.</p> </div> <div class="text flex-row"> <p>As of July 8, the Labour Inspectorate had received 990 notices regarding a total of 3,500 children under 15 years of age working, up from 2,708 on year.</p> <p>Some 550 businesses in Estonia currently offer work to children.</p> <p>According to Labour Inspectorate Deputy Director General Meeli Miidla-Vanatalu, the legislative amendment introduced two years ago had a significant impact on the activeness of children and young people on the labor market.</p> <p>"For two years already, the permission of the Labour Inspectorate has not been required to hire a person under 15 years of age," Miidla-Vanatalu said. "One just has to submit information regarding a young person to the employment register ten days prior to their start date."</p> <p>Youth aged 13-14 may work no more than seven hours per day, she added.</p> <p>"Last year, this increased young people's interest in employment as well as employers' interest in hiring them," the official continued. "This year, the number of young people in employment has increased further."</p> <p>She stressed that even when a child is hired, a parent remains responsible for ensuring their child's well-being.</p> <p>"A parent's consent is required for allowing a minor, including a person of 16 or 17 years of age, to work," Miidla-Vanatalu said. "The parent must familiarize themselves with the child's future work conditions, including how many hours the youth will work, their work hours, their duties at work, and so on."</p> <p>An employment contract entered into without a parent's consent is considered void.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Labour Inspectorate will check on the basis of the employment registry data whether the work in question is suitable for a young person. If suspicions arise to the contrary, a lawyer will contact the employer in question, seeking opportunities to adjust the workplace or work conditions to make them more suitable for a young person. If the employer hasn't been contacted within ten days, it means that the inspector has given their consent and the child may be allowed to work.</p> <p>According to Estonian law, an employer may enter into an employment contract with a minor of 13-14 years of age or a minor of 15-16 years of age subject to the obligation to attend school and allow them to work if the duties are simple and do not require any major physical or mental effort. Minors of 7-12 years of age are allowed to do light work in the field of culture, art, sports or advertising.</p> <p>Photo: Pixabay</p> </div> conference: good working environment on an innovative labour market2018-11-14<p><b>On Tuesday, 6 November, the international conference &lsquo;Good working environment on an innovative labour market&rsquo; was held in Tallinn. Specialists from all over the world as well as representatives of employees, employers, and the state engaged in a debate over the changes. Winners of the competition &lsquo;Good Working Environment 2018&rsquo; were also announced at the conference.</b></p> <p>According to Maret Maripuu, Director General of the Labour Inspectorate, an innovative working environment is the reality in a number of Estonian businesses. &lsquo;The fast development of technology has influenced our lives greatly, provided us with many new opportunities, and made our work easier. At the same time, we are also facing a number of fresh problems. We are constantly available and engaging in work activities even when we should be resting. This has made occupational stress one of the main issues of occupational health,&rsquo; she said. &lsquo;We must adapt to all these changes and learn to cope in this new labour market while also maintaining a good work environment. We gathered several specialists, employees, employers, and state officials to discuss relevant possibilities,&rsquo; Maripuu added.</p> <p>The conference was opened by Maret Maripuu, Director General of the Labour Inspectorate, J&uuml;ri Ratas, the Prime Minister of Estonia, and Sven Sester, Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee. Professor Raul Eamets from the University of Tartu made a presentation on the ever-changing labour market. Professor Dr Sacha Garben from the College of Europe spoke of his experience with the current innovative labour market and future challenges. Dr Kai Seiler from the Institute for Work Design of North Rhine-Westphalia spoke of adapting a work place to the expectations of workers. Meeli Miidla-Vanatalu, the Deputy Director General of the Labour Inspectorate, focused on organising work time and using remote work as a motivator. Britt-Kathleen Mere and Mona Lii Konnapere, media interns from Postimees, gave an overview on young people&rsquo;s expectations on working and work conditions.</p> <p>Personal experiences were shared on innovative labour market, occupational stress, and making choices. The issue of various requirements that an innovative work environment puts on all parties was debated by Peep Peterson, Chairman of the Estonian Trade Union Confederation, Mait Palts, director general of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Eiki Nestor, Chairman of Riigikogu, and Kaja Kallas, Chairwoman of the Reform Party. At the end of the conference, Riina Sikkut, the Minister of Health and Labour, awarded the winners of the &lsquo;Good Working Environment 2018&rsquo; competition.</p> <p>The international conference was held in honour of the 100<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the Labour Inspectorate. The conference was held at the Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn.</p> <p>Conference presentations are available at the website of the Labour Inspectorate.</p> <p>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">Labour Inspectorate of Estonia</a></p> Inspectorate: the number of accidents at work is still high2018-07-10<p><strong>2674 occupational accidents were registered in the first half-year. 2019 of them were minor and 550 serious. Three people lost their lives at work. The circumstances of 102 cases are still being clarified.</strong></p> <p>Compared to previous year, the number of occupational accidents has remained at the same level. In 2017, in the same period 2692 accidents were registered, of which 2063 were minor and 628 serious. Compared to last year when one employee died, already three have lost their lives this year.</p> <p>According to Director General of Labour Inspectorate Maret Maripuu, the number of occupational accidents has slightly declined but there&rsquo;s no reason to rejoice. &bdquo;With every accident at work somebody has suffered. Accident causes loss to the employee, to its family, to the employer, to the state and to the society,&ldquo; she said. &bdquo;All accidents at work cannot be avoided but the majority of them could be prevented if safety precautions are being followed and enough time is dedicated to instruct and train the employees,&ldquo; added Maripuu.</p> <p>The most occupational accidents continuingly occur in the metal industry with 285 accidents. Followed by trade (258), national defence (251) and timber industry (211). Compared to last year, the number of accidents in the trade sector has increased the most. The number of accidents in art and entertainment sector has decreased the most. Majority of occupational accidents occur in Tallinn, Harju county and V&otilde;ru county, the least accidents take place in Hiiumaa. Compared to last year the number of occupational accidents has decreased the most in Tallinn and L&auml;&auml;ne-Viru county. The highest number of accidents involving Estonian employees abroad occurred in Finland and Sweden.</p> <p>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">Labour Inspectorate</a></p> European Union Affairs Committee supported more transparent working conditions2018-04-09<p class="lead"><strong>The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) supported the positions of the Government regarding the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union, which, among other things, would define the notions of &ldquo;worker&rdquo; and &ldquo;employer&rdquo;.</strong></p> <p>The objective of the proposed Directive is to promote more secure and predictable employment while ensuring labour market adaptability and improving living and working conditions.</p> <p>Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee&nbsp;<strong>Toomas Vitsut</strong>&nbsp;said that as regards the notion of worker, Estonia had no dissenting opinions, but the notion of employer created contradictions with the national legislation currently in force, which would have to be amended when the Directive entered into force. &ldquo;In Estonia, the employment relationship is always a bilateral relationship between a worker and an employer, and our legislation does not recognise several employers,&rdquo; Vitsut added.</p> <p>The notion of worker is based on the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, and corresponds to the Estonian law. As regards the defining of the notion of employer, Estonia finds that the proposed definition may cause unclarity for both employers and workers in dividing responsibilities and obligations.</p> <p>According to the proposal, &ldquo;worker&rdquo; is a natural person who for a certain period of time performs services for and under the direction of another person in return for remuneration. &ldquo;Employer&rdquo; means one or more natural or legal person(s) who is or are directly or indirectly party to an employment relationship with a worker.</p> <p>In the opinion of member of the Committee&nbsp;<strong>Marianne Mikko</strong>, Estonia is at present noticeably biased in favour of employers. &ldquo;Europe wants to support the worker more,&rdquo; Mikko said. &ldquo;Therefore I support the planned changes that will give more security to the worker.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p> <p>For example, with the Directive the persons working under fixed-term contracts would be given the right to request and to receive a response from the employer by a specified deadline on whether transition to open-ended labour contract would be possible for them, and a justification if there is no such possibility. Estonia does not support the proposal of the Commission, because it would hinder the regulation of employment relationships at national level. Besides that, Estonia plans to submit a legislative intent to protect the workers in non-standard employment relationships this spring.</p> <p>Estonia supports the amendment according to which workers should be informed about their rights on the first day of the employment, and this may also be done electronically. Under the current law, the time limit is two months.</p> <p>Pursuant to the proposed Directive, the employer has to inform the worker of the probationary period, which may last for up to six months. Estonia is of the opinion that the duration of probationary period should remain for a Member State to decide.</p> <p>It is planned to amend European Union law so that an employer will not have the right to prohibit workers from taking up employment with other employers, if there is no risk of conflict of interests or disclosure of business secrets. Estonia does not support such regulation at the union level, because there is a risk that in such cases the Court of Justice would have to define the concepts of business secret and conflict of interests in each individual case.</p> <p>Source: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> year 14 workplace accidents occurred per day2018-03-06<p class="bodytext">Of the 5,184 workplace accidents registered last year, 4,058 accidents resulted in employees sustaining only minor injuries. 1,117 employees were severely injured and nine people died. The primary workplace accident risk group comprises men aged 23-34. Most of the accidents happened in the metal industry, national defence and trade. A total of 7,464 certificates of incapacity for work were issued last year due to workplace accidents. The compensation totalled 4.4 million euros. The most accident-prone locations were Tallinn, Harju County and Tartu County. Most accidents abroad involving employees from Estonia occurred in Finland.</p> <p class="bodytext">According to Maret Maripuu, Director-General of the Labour Inspectorate, the growing numbers of severe workplace accidents indicate that our safety culture is still in a rudimentary state. &ldquo;The analysis results show that the proportion of severe workplace accidents increased substantially over the year: after such accidents the injured employees are unable to continue working. This means that the employer, the state and society on the whole incur certain expenses. That is in addition to the damage suffered by the injured persons and their loved ones,&rdquo; said she. &ldquo;A study of the workplace accidents has confirmed that almost all these accidents could have been prevented. Accident prevention is simple: the employer must enforce safety rules and the employees must adhere to them. Last year we noticed that more and more employers are assessing and reducing working environment risks. We hope to see this trend continuing this year,&rdquo; Maret Maripuu added.</p> <p class="bodytext">In 2017 there were approximately 699,000 people active in the labour market in Estonia. The Labour Inspectorate conducts supervision of those enterprises that have at least one employee with a contract of employment or where management board members are also employees. Last year there were 54,652 such enterprises. Trade, construction and real estate spheres had the highest numbers of active enterprises.</p> <p class="bodytext">The Labour Inspectorate will present its overview of the labour environment to the Riigikogu at the joint session of the social and economic affairs committees at the conference hall of the Riigikogu on 6 March at 14:00. This is a public session and you can follow it live on the Riigikogu website: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. The labour environment overview is available&nbsp;<a title="Opens external link in new window" href="">here</a>.</p> <p>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">Labour Inspectorate of Estonia</a></p> <p>Photo: pixabay</p> workforce 2018-02-09<p><strong>Europe's ageing population raises many challenges for policymakers in relation to employment, working conditions, living standards and welfare. It has led to concerns over the sustainability of pension systems and the supply of labour. Promoting employment opportunities for an ageing workforce requires new thinking at company, national and EU level.</strong></p> <p>Despite substantial growth in the employment rates of older workers over the past decade in many EU countries, the European Commission&rsquo;s Joint Employment Report 2017 highlights the potential to increase these rates further. In 2016, the employment rate for older workers aged 55&ndash;64 in the EU stood at 55.3%, compared with 66.6% for those aged 15&ndash;64 as a whole. The increase has been largest among older women.</p> <p>The European Pillar of Social Rights provides a framework for helping labour markets adapt to new challenges while promoting fairness and solidarity between the generations. It emphasises the right to a working environment adapted to a worker&rsquo;s professional needs to enable them to prolong their participation in the labour market. Moreover, the recent European social partners&rsquo; autonomous agreement on active ageing and inter-generational approach commits to making it easier for older workers to actively participate and stay longer in the labour market.</p> <ul> <li>European Commission: <a href=";catId=1196&amp;furtherNews=yes&amp;langId=en&amp;newsId=2757" target="_blank">Joint Employment Report 2017</a></li> <li>European Commission: <a href="" target="_blank">European Pillar of Social Rights</a></li> <li>European social partners: <a href="" target="_blank">Autonomous framework agreement on active ageing and an inter-generational approach</a></li> <li>Eurostat: <a href="" target="_blank">Employment statistics</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Eurofound&rsquo;s work</strong></p> <p>Eurofound has a long history of expertise in issues facing the ageing workforce. Research since the 1990s has focused on labour market participation, job performance, working conditions and work preferences of older workers in the policy context of Europe's changing demographic profile. Work has also centred on public support and company-level initiatives fostering older workers&rsquo; employment. It has looked at older women workers, highlighting the increasing employment rates for this group and their increasing proportion of the workforce, especially in the 55&ndash;64 age group.</p> <p><strong>Survey data</strong></p> <p>Eurofound&rsquo;s major surveys provide a range of data on the situation of older workers. The sixth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) looks at how older workers compare across different dimensions of job quality. Although older workers are less likely to become unemployed than younger ones, data show that older workers feel that if they became unemployed, they would not find a similarly paid new job and would even find it difficult to re-enter the labour market.</p> <p>A study based on Eurofound&rsquo;s fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) looks at the characteristics of the older workforce and of work at different ages, as well as the factors that make work sustainable for an ageing workforce: good working conditions, physical and mental well-being, and work&ndash;life balance.</p> <p>Eurofound&rsquo;s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) offers age-related findings in relation to various dimensions of quality of life in Europe. An analysis of work preferences after 50 draws on findings from the third EQLS and shows that many older workers prefer to work fewer hours even after taking into account their financial needs. Facilitating this closer alignment of working hours with preferences can enable and motivate people to work longer.</p> <p><strong>Longer working lives</strong></p> <p>Recently, Eurofound joined three other EU agencies in looking at age-friendly work in Europe, the policy challenges associated with the ageing workforce and innovative solutions.</p> <p>Many workers are unable or not motivated to work until the statutory retirement age. However, there is also a group which is able and willing to work beyond it. Eurofound has investigated this increasing phenomenon of taking up work after retirement.</p> <p>Recent research has focused on extending working lives through flexible retirement schemes, looking in particular at partial retirement schemes that can facilitate this. Mid-career reviews can also contribute to longer working lives. Research has examined how they can help to clarify workers&rsquo; options for remaining in work until a later retirement age. It highlights different instruments developed by companies to retain ageing workers.</p> <p>Other research documents national and sectoral initiatives by governments and social partners to retain older workers in the labour market, including financial inducements and enhanced conditions. In an earlier project, age management initiatives introduced before and after the recession were analysed to highlight good practice in companies in Europe.</p> <p><strong>Resources</strong></p> <ul> <li>Data visualisation: <a href="" target="_blank">Sixth European Working Conditions Survey</a></li> <li>Data visualisation: <a href="" target="_blank">Third European Quality of Life Survey</a></li> <li>EurWORK: <a href=";field_ef_topic_tid[0]=12698&amp;published_at" target="_blank">Regular updates on ageing and work at national level</a></li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Ageing workforce case study database</a>: Good practice examples in relation to such issues as recruitment, training and development, flexible working, health, ergonomics, etc.</li> <li>Info sheets on &lsquo;Living longer, working better&rsquo; from 2011 on: <a href="" target="_blank">Older people and volunteering</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Work after retirement</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Older workers in the recession </a>and <a href="" target="_blank">Promoting good working conditions</a></li> <li>Impact of the recession on age management policies - <a href="" target="_blank">Case studies and country reports</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Ongoing work</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Fourth European Quality of Life Survey</a>: Featuring new data on older people and older workers (2017)</li> <li><a href="" target="_blank">Sixth European Working Conditions Survey</a>: Working conditions of workers of different ages (2017)</li> <li>Study on support measures in the case of redundancies, with a focus on older workers (2018)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Source:</strong> European <a href="" target="_blank">Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> is coming soon… and it brings a new Healthy Workplaces campaign2017-12-17<p><strong>2018 is coming and with the New Year, the &ldquo;Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances&rdquo; campaign is knocking on the door.</strong> <br /><br />The campaign is devoted to raising awareness of dangerous substances and promoting a prevention culture in workplaces across Europe.<br /><br />EU-OSHA will launch this 2018-2019 campaign in spring. We hope that all our campaign partners and stakeholders will support it as powerfully as they advocated the latest one, &ldquo;Healthy Workplaces for All Ages&rdquo;.<br /><br />Stay updated about the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2018-19 <br /><br />We wish you a beautiful holiday season and a Happy New Year full of peace and safety and health at work!</p> <p>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">EU-OSHA</a></p> Inspectorate Relocates to Mustamägi2017-08-16<p><b>Starting from September 1<sup>st</sup>, the Tallinn offices of Labour Inspectorate and Tallinn labour dispute committees will welcome all visitors at M&auml;ealuse 2/2, on the territory of science park Tehnopol. The first reception of the counselling lawyer, and the first meeting of the labour dispute committee, shall take place at the new office on September 5<sup>th</sup>. </b></p> <p>Starting from August 16th until the end of the month, there will be no lawyer&rsquo;s counselling in Tallinn due to moving. The relocation does not affect the work of the lawyer&rsquo;s infoline, and you are welcome to consult via phone 640 6000 on each workday during 9:00 &ndash; 16:30. You can also email your questions to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Starting from August 28<sup>th</sup> until the end of the month, the Tallinn labour dispute committee will not accept any applications in the Endla Street office, but you are welcome to leave the applications in the Endla 10A mailbox, or send them via email.</p> <p>In September, the Tallinn labour dispute committees and counselling lawyers shall continue their work on the III floor of M&auml;ealuse 2/2. Starting from September, the counselling lawyers shall be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00 &ndash; 12:00 and 13:00 &ndash; 16:00. Applications to the labour dispute committee can be dropped off on paper on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 9:00 &ndash; 12:00 and 13:00 &ndash; 16:00. At other times, applications can be left in the designated mailbox, or emailed instead.</p> <p>The new office of the Labour Inspectorate is located on the territory of science park Tehnopol in Mustam&auml;gi. The nearest bus stop is Raja (for line number 23), but you can also reach us with a trolleybus (line number 3 and stop Keemia). Parking at the Labour Inspectorate is free of charge.</p> Inspectorate: Chemicals Should be Handled More Safely at Car Washes 2017-07-05<p><strong>Labour Inspectorate checked the situation of occupational health care and safety at car washes. 12 car washes were visited during the targeted checks. Altogether, 73 violations were detected, 51 of which resulted in a misdemeanour procedure.</strong></p> <p>The Labour Inspectorate checked the compliance with health care and safety requirements in car washes. The main risks at car washes are related to hazardous chemicals, their handling, and guaranteeing the safety of employees. During the targeted checks it was reviewed what have the employers done to avoid different hazard factors, or to decrease their influence. Main attention was paid to the safety of handling chemicals in regard to required ventilation, safety hazard sheets, manuals, and instructing. The organization of employees&rsquo; health checks and the provision of first aid on spot was also checked.</p> <p>Apo Oja, the Deputy Director General of the Labour Inspectorate in the field of inspection of work environment and development, comments that the attitude towards safe working at car washes was found wanting. &ldquo;Employers had not assessed the work-related risks adequately and, thus, these remain intact,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We discovered serious shortcomings in the organization of employees&rsquo; health checks in almost all checked companies. Employees are not sent to have their health checked, even though they come into contact with hazardous chemicals at work. We also detected shortcomings in the instruction of employees,&rdquo; Oja adds. Inspectors were quite satisfied with the solutions developed for lifting weights manually, resting breaks, and the restrooms for employees. The organization of first aid has also been thought through in car washes.</p> <p>Before the targeted checks, the Labour Inspectorate sent out a memo to 56 companies. Targeted checks took place in 12 randomly chosen companies in Tallinn, Tartu County, and L&auml;&auml;ne-Viru County. The companies checked were small companies, employing 2.6 persons on the average.</p> <p>The Labour Inspectorate offers working environment consultant&rsquo;s services to employers free of charge. The consultant advises the companies on creating a working environment management system. The consultant can be invited over for a general consultation, which includes the entire working environment and documentation, or to advise on a certain working environment part (such as the use of personal protective equipment). The Labour Inspectorate&rsquo;s consultant can be invited over to companies by sending a corresponding email to <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">Estonian Labour Inspection</a></p> <p>Photo: pixabay/sasint</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Inspectorate: Last year had the biggest incidence of accidents at work in the past decade2017-02-26<p><strong>According to preliminary data, there were 4919 accidents at work. The facts of 160 cases are being clarified. Twenty-four accidents were fatal (two cases are still being investigated). A year ago, there were 17 on-the-job fatalities.</strong></p> <p>Last year there were 300 more accidents than the year before. Minor accidents at work occurred in 3916 and 975 cases, respectively. In terms of areas of activity, the highest number of accidents were related to the manufacture of metal products, trade, national defence, transport, and storage.</p> <p>According to the Director General of the Labour Inspectorate, Maret Maripuu, a thorough analysis of the working environment will be completed in March; however, based on the initial data it can be said already now that the incidence of accidents at work was much higher. &ldquo;On the one hand, it is good that accidents at work are not attempted to be covered up and that they are reported more than before. However, what needs to be taken very seriously is that 24 persons lost life on the job. Two fatalities are still being investigated. We can say that it was the worst year of the decade,&rdquo; said Maripuu. Maripuu assured that the Labour Inspectorate would increase supervision in this year in the most problematic sectors such as electricity, transport, storage, and construction where there were more serious accidents last year. &ldquo;Obviously, our inspectors cannot be at each construction site or production workshop on a day-to-day basis. Safe working so as to maintain the health of oneself and colleagues should be the priority in every workplace. In the 21st century, working must not be a life-threatening exercise,&rdquo; Maripuu stressed.</p> <p>The Labour Inspectorate offers employers an opportunity to invite consultants to their company who would advise on how to minimise risks of the working environment. The service is free of charge for employers.</p> <p>In 2015, there were 4774 accidents at work, of them 3800 minor, 958 serious and 17 fatal for the employee involved.</p> <p>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">Labour Inspectorate of Estonia</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> and reducing inequalities in Europe2017-02-23<p><strong>A new report by the ILO in cooperation with the European Commission looks at the key factors leading to rising inequalities in fourteen EU Member States.</strong></p> <p>The report &ldquo;<a href="" target="_blank">Inequalities and the World of Work: What role for industrial relations and social dialogue?</a>&rdquo; looks beyond wage inequalities and also analyses other forms of inequality, such as inequality in working time, as well as access to jobs, training, career opportunities and social protection. It examines overall trends in Europe and includes specific chapters on Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the Baltic States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.</p> <p>In several European countries, the erosion of collective bargaining has led to an increased number of low-paid jobs and rising inequality among the workforce. Conversely, countries with more centralized or highly coordinated collective bargaining systems such as Sweden or Belgium have been successful at preventing the rise of low-paid or employment insecurity and the growth of inequalities.</p> <p>&ldquo;Countries with low income inequality tend to have strong social dialogue institutions, leading to a reduction of the gender pay gap and better working conditions for employees in non-standard forms of employment,&rdquo; explains Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, ILO Senior Economist, who edited the volume.</p> <p>&nbsp;The minimum wage can also contribute to limiting wage inequality, but only if it is combined with effective collective bargaining, the report finds. In the United Kingdom and the Baltic States, for instance, the minimum wage helped to raise wages at the very bottom of the pay scale. However, the industrial relations systems have not allowed to generate positive spill-over effects on wages and working conditions overall. By contrast, even if in different ways, in Belgium and Ireland but also France and the Netherlands, the combination of a floor-setting minimum wage and a strong social dialogue framework has limited fragmentation in terms of pay and working conditions.</p> <p>&nbsp;Compared to other European countries, Belgium stands out as one of the few that have been able to prevent the development of low-paid jobs and the growth of inequalities. It has a higher minimum wage than most EU Member States, which helps to reduce the lower tail while multi-level collective bargaining contributes to limit overall wage dispersion.</p> <p>&ldquo;The erosion of social dialogue in some countries is worrying and calls for a strong policy agenda. If we want to preserve economic growth and social cohesion, we must strengthen collective bargaining to curb inequalities,&rdquo; concludes Heinz Koller, ILO Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.</p> <p>&nbsp;The full report will be presented at a two-day conference on 23 and 24 February, attended by the Ministers of Labour of Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal, and the European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs.</p> <p>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">International Labour Organization</a></p> <p></p> Ossinovski at a meeting with the French Minister of Labour: the labour market must keep up with the digital economy2017-01-17<p><strong>As the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Estonia will focus on the future of labour, said Jevgeni Ossinovski, Estonian Minister of Health and Labour, at today&rsquo;s meeting with Myriam El Khomri, French Minister of Labour.</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;One of Estonia&rsquo;s priorities is labour reforms related to the future of labour; to be more specific, how to make the labour market correspond to the development of technology,&rdquo; introduced Ossinovski Estonia&rsquo;s EU Council presidency programme to the French Minister of Labour. &ldquo;The development of digital technologies will completely change our societies and the labour market, therefore, we must invest more into people&rsquo;s skills and updating legislation,&rdquo; he added.</p> <p>Khomri, French Minister of Labour, asserted the need to prepare a clear and fair regulation on the free movement of labour force; an important milestone in that field would be bringing the directive about the posting of workers up to date. &ldquo;France has never been against the posting of workers, we merely wish for a better control of misuse,&rdquo; said Myriam El Khomri.</p> <p>It was an important meeting for Estonia and Minister Ossinovski discussed the topic of a single labour market with the Minister of Labour of one of the founding members of the European Union. In addition, Ossinovski presented his French colleague with an invitation to take part in conference on the future of labour, which will be held on 13&ndash;14 September during the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council.</p> <p>Minister Ossinovski is on a two-day visit to Paris, with a delegation from the Ministry of Social Affairs. There, he will meet with the French Minister of Labour and Minister of Health and take part in the Ministerial Meeting of the Health Committee of the OECD. The Minister is accompanied by Maris Jesse, Deputy Secretary General on Health, Kaija Lukka, Health System Development Department Adviser, and T&otilde;nis Jaagus, Digital Development Department Programme Manager, from the Ministry of Social Affairs, as well as Natalja Eigo, Head of Department of Health Statistics, from the National Institute for Health Development.</p> <p>Source: <a href="" target="_blank">Ministry of Social Affairs</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>