No. 38




Risks of Social Protection Related to Work in the Context of the Changes on the Estonian Labour Market

05 December 2018


RiTo No. 38, 2018

Throughout the ages, working has undergone great changes that have depended on the overall development of population and technology, as well as the economy and society. In modern welfare societies, the social protection system has taken shape alongside with the transformation of working.

In the same way as the social protection models in Europe and in the world take after the earlier disruptions in the economy and working, the development trends in working may shape social protection systems in the future. Therefore it is important to prepare for potential changes, so that, as necessary, it would be possible to

  • adapt social protection to the changing work and
  • reorganise social protection in such a way as to facilitate or hinder changes related to work.

Thus, a long-term vision of the future, which allows for agility where necessary in order to develop a social protection network corresponding to the needs and expectations of the people, is of help in organising social protection and being ready for changes.

The analysis of the scenarios of working and the social protection models refers to four major challenges of social protection:

  • diversification of forms of employment and work which affects the regularity and stability of employment and income from work,
  • polarisation of skills which affects employment opportunities and the quality of working life,
  • increase in the inequality of incomes which affects poverty and subsistence,
  • immigration and emigration of population which affects the labour demand and supply.

The Estonian social protection system is the most similar to the liberal social protection system which is characterised by low redistribution and social insurance schemes, and aims to stimulate working. On the grand scheme of things, the toolbox of the social protection of future work includes the conventional social protection measures, but along with the changes in working, it is necessary to change the policy rules related to funding, covering, compensation and administration in order to facilitate the development of welfare and economy.