Estonian Employment Regulations Need to be Renewed
A new draft Employment Contracts Act has been prepared in Estonia.
In the opinion of the author of this article, its biggest advantage lies in a comprehensive approach to regulation of individual employment relationships, as well as the aim of making employment relations flexible. The concept of the draft is built around the safe flexibility principle which is gaining popularity in the European Union. This means that the regulation of employment relationships must allow the parties to shape their employment relationship, considering the needs and interests of the contractual parties in the best possible way, making it easier for the employer to hire and dismiss employees while providing the necessary guarantees to the employee. A task of such magnitude is a true challenge for any EU member state. Finding a compromise where the employer would be able to flexibly amend the employment conditions in accordance with the economic and competitive situation is beyond complicated, if not completely impossible. Therefore, the objective established with the draft could be considered quite ambitious, making Estonia a pioneer in the field, if achieved. So far, European countries have failed to implement the safe flexibility principle for the entire employment relationship system, except for Denmark and the Netherlands where this approach was initiated in the first place. Reforms only affect certain single concerns, and the discussion of the concept of safe flexibility and its positive and negative consequences continues.