No. 17




Employment and law

The biggest flaw with the draft new Employment Contracts Act which was introduced in January lies in that the employer and the employee were treated as equal, even though the employee is the weaker side of the relationship.

The second significant flaw was the denial of social partnership in the preparation of the draft. In the end, this produced an unrealistic draft, harmful to the employee. The saddest thing about it is that a majority of employees in Estonia are incapable of claiming a remuneration which complies with their skills and knowledge on the Estonian labour market. The number of collective employment contracts (collective agreements) is extremely small. There are trade unions which are proficient in such agreements, and others who would like to be, but are incapable of forcing or convincing the employees. There are also certain branches of production with no unions of employers or employees. The result is that, at best, we are currently able to modernise the labour regulations, but improvement of the flexibility will not prove possible until the employees and employers learn to reach agreements within their employment relationship.

Full article in Estonian