News en-us Latest news 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>