The government discussed measures of economic recovery with trade unions and employer representatives

Tallinn, Stenbock House, 12 May 2020 – At the meeting of representatives of the government, trade unions, and employers, measures of economic recovery and the organisation of working time in the trade sector were discussed.

According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, the involvement of social partners in the discussion of economic recovery measures is crucial. “I also thank all the partners for their cooperation in implementing the necessary measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus,” said the prime minister.
The social partners recognised the government for implementing the wage compensation measure. All parties also agreed that investing in research and development has become particularly important in the current context. Among other things, the social partners have proposed allowing temporary employment, or “workbites”, for people who are unemployed and who could thereby continue working to a certain extent.

The Estonian Employers’ Confederation has also began negotiations with the Estonian Trade Union Confederation to agree on changes in the regulation of employment contracts for the trade sector. The proposal would allow concluding a contract with part-time workers in the trade sector, agreeing upon the range of workload, provided that it only applies to a certain percentage of the company’s workforce.

Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik said that if the parties agree, the ministry is ready to start drafting the necessary amendments to the Employment Contracts Act. “The change could initially be tested as a temporary measure in the trade and services sector, and should it justify itself, it is possible to discuss whether it can also be used in other sectors,” said Kiik.

The next meeting between the government, trade unions, and employers will take place in September.