Union density is low in Estonia at around 7%. It fell sharply in the 1990s, and it has continued to decline. Most union members are organised in two major confederations, one, EAKL, primarily manual, and the other, TALO, primarily non-manual.
There are around 40,000 trade union members in Estonia. The latest figures from the official body Statistics Estonia found that there were 38,100 union members in 2015. This means the proportion of employees belonging to a union is 7.2% (in organisations with five or more employees).
Estonia has two trade union confederations, EAKL, which was founded in 1990 as the country was breaking away from the Soviet Union (it became independent in 1991) and TALO, made up of unions which left EAKL in 1992.
EAKL is primarily a manual workers’ confederation, while TALO is primarily a confederation of non-manual workers, but this division is not absolute, particularly in the case of EAKL which includes several non-manual unions.
EAKL is the bigger of the two with more than 21,211 members in 2016, while TALO has only around 3,000 members (2012). There are also several thousand members in other unions, which are not part of either of the larger confederations, including the teachers’ and education union EHL with around 10,000 members, a union for university staff UNIVERSITAS, the nurses’ union EÕL, the doctors’ union Eesti Arstide Liit, and a union for financial employees EFL. A union only requires five employees to found it.
The individual union affiliates of both EAKL and TALO are organised on either an industrial or an occupational basis. EAKL has 17 affiliates, and they include: ETTA, the road transport workers’ union, which has around 2,500 members; ETK, the health workers’ union; Energeetik, the energy union; IMTAL, the industry and metalworkers’ union; and ROTAL, the state and local government employees’ union. TALO’s seven affiliates are primarily in the cultural sector, including the broadcasting union RTAL and theatre union Eesti Teatriliit, but it also has the customs officials’ union and a radiologists’ union. EAL, the journalists’ union, which was previously in TALO, has transferred its affiliation to EAKL.
EAKL is politically independent but in October 2018 it signed a cooperation agreement with the Estonian Centre Party (Keskerakond), which despite its name is, in its employment policies at least, on the left of the political spectrum in Estonia. TALO is more clearly politically independent.
Both confederations have experienced a loss of members in recent years. The loss was particularly sharp in the 1990s, when the reasons suggested for the decline included the perceived links between the unions and the Communist Party during the period when Estonia was part of the Soviet Union and the fact that unions no longer provided the benefits and services whose distribution had been a key function in the past. The loss of employment and restructuring that accompanied the economic changes in the 1990s made the situation even more difficult.
Since that period losses have slowed but they still continue. The Statistics Estonia figures show that between 2009 and 2015 union membership fell from 51,700 to 38,100, a decline of a quarter (26%).
Currently, unions have lower levels of membership in the private than in the public and voluntary sectors. The 2015 figures show that just 5.2% of those working in companies are union members, compared with 11.6% of employees of central and local government, and 17.2% of those working in non-profit associations and foundations.This means that significant parts of the economy are effectively union free.
The statistics also show that women have higher levels of union membership than men: 6.9% of male employees are union members, compared with 7.5% of female employees.
Unions are now very aware of the need to increase union membership, and the EAKL website states that increasing the union influence implies first of all “a significant increase in the number of members”.
 Statistics Estonia, database Table WQU96: Employees by group of employees and membership of trade union, 2015 http://pub.stat.ee/px-web.2001/Dialog/varval.asp?ma=WQU96&ti=EMPLOYEES+BY+GROUP+OF+EMPLOYEES+AND+MEMBERSHIP+OF+TRADE+UNION&path=../I_Databas/Social_life/19Worklife_quality/10Work_organisation/&lang=1
 Living and Working in Estonia: Working life in Estonia by Ingel Kadarik and Märt Masso, Eurofound, July 2018, https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/country/estonia (Accessed 25.07.2019)
 Financial sector creates its first trade union, by Liina Osila and Ingel Kardarik, Eurofound, January 2014 http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/2013/11/articles/ee1311019i.htm
 The evolving structure of Collective Bargaining in Europe 1990-2004: National Report Estonia, Margarita Tuch, Florence 2004
 Statistics Estonia, database Table WQU96: Employees by group of employees and membership of trade union, 2009 http://pub.stat.ee/px-web.2001/I_Databas/Social_life/19Worklife_quality/10Work_organisation/10Work_organisation.asp
 https://uus.eakl.ee/meist (Accessed 14.12.2018)
Around a third of employees are covered by collective bargaining in Estonia and by far the most important level for collective bargaining is the company or organisation, with unions negotiating with individual employers. However, the minimum wage is set after negotiations between the union confederations and the employers at national level.
Legislation provides for collective agreements at three levels – national, industry and company/organisation. In practice the most important level is company or organisational level bargaining, although there have also been a number of important national agreements. The minimum wage is also set through national negotiations.
The 2015 Statistics Estonia survey shows that 18.6% of employees in organisations employing five or more are covered by collective agreements. Coverage is much higher in the public and voluntary sectors than in the private sector. Just 16.3% of those working in companies are covered by a collective agreement, compared with 20.7% of employees of central and local government, and 38.1% of those working in non-profit associations and foundations. For the majority of employees in Estonia, working conditions, and in particular pay, are fixed in direct discussions between the employer and the individual worker.
Collective agreements are required to be registered in a national database, although not all are, as some companies are reluctant to provide the information. As of December 2018, there were 631 current agreements on the database of the social ministry, with 19 signed in 2017. However, this number should be treated with caution, as it is not clear how far the database is kept up to date.
The key level of collective bargaining is at the level of the company or organisation, both in the private sector – in as far as bargaining takes place at all – and in the public sector. For example, the terms and conditions of employees in local government are set through negotiation between each individual municipality and the unions. Where an employer signs a collective agreement, it applies to all employees, irrespective as to whether or not they are union members.
Unusually in Estonia, employee representatives can sign collective agreements when there is no union present (see next section).
The number of industry level agreements and their coverage has fallen in recent years, and in 2019 only two such agreements remained current – covering transport and health care. The health care agreement which runs until the end of 2020 was signed on 30 November 2018 and the transport agreement, which runs until the end of 2019, was signed on 19 September 2016. By law, industry level agreements can easily be extended to other employers in the industry. All that is necessary is the agreement of the two parties. In practice transport and health care are the only industries where agreements have ever been extended to non-signatory employers in this way.
In January 2018, the main union confederation EAKL and the main employers’ association ETTK reached agreement on good practice in relation to the extension of collective agreements. This stated, among other things, that only agreements between affiliates of these two main bodies and only agreements reached by the largest organisations in the industry concerned should be extended.
The figures from Statistics Estonia show the decline in collective bargaining coverage in recent years. Between 2009 and 2015, overall coverage fell from 32.5% to 18.6%. A separate study from the University of Tartu, looking at industrial relations in Estonia over the period 2007 to 2016, found that at company level “the number of collective agreements has gradually decreased since 2007, except in 2012 and 2014”.
At national level there are a number of tripartite bodies bringing together the unions, employers and government such as the bodies covering unemployment and health insurance. Tripartite negotiations have in the past been important in developing Estonia’s system of industrial relations but agreements have also been concluded on labour market policy. In recent years high-level tripartite meetings have not taken place, but in 2018 the government agreed to reinstate the practice of regular meetings of the three parties, holding the first meeting with EAKL for the unions and ETTK for the employers on 22 May 2018. The government was represented by the prime minister, the minister of labour and the minister of the interior. Subsequent meetings have followed.
Who negotiates and when?
At industry level negotiations take place between the unions and employers’ associations, although as stated these are rare, and have essentially been limited to the transport industry and health care.
At company level negotiations take place between the union in the organisation and the employer. The law also allows elected employee representatives to undertake collective bargaining, where there is no union present and where there are no union members at the workplace (see section on workplace representation). The database of collective agreements maintained by the Social Ministry shows that this option has been taken up in a number of companies.
Agreements normally last for one or two years.
The subject of the negotiations
Collective agreements cover pay, working conditions, including working time, health and safety, arrangements for lay-offs and guaranteed pay and the arrangements in case of redundancies.
There is a minimum wage in Estonia, which is set by law following negotiations between the union confederation EAKL and the main employers’ association, ETTK. Once settled, the agreement is extended by the government to all employers and employees in Estonia.
 Kollektiivlepingute andmekogu Sotsiaalministeerium (Database of collective agreements Social Ministry) http://klak.sm.ee/leping?pageSize=10 (Accessed 23.07.14)
 Industrial relations in Estonia: recent developments and future challenges by Uku Varblane Olena Nedozhogina Kerly Espenberg, CASS, November 2016 https://skytte.ut.ee/sites/default/files/skytte/industrial_relations_in_estonia.pdf
Employee representation at the workplace was primarily through unions, or did not take place at all. However, legislation, which came into effect in 2007, allows for the election of employee representatives both where there is a union and where there is not. These representatives, who can also conduct collective bargaining if there is no union, are now more common than union representatives.
The main form of workplace representation in Estonia in the past was through the unions at the workplace. Until recently the only alternative was the possibility of an “authorised representative” having a role where trade unionists were not present. In practice this possibility was only taken up rarely. However, new legislation (Employees’ Trustee Act), which came into force in February 2007, provides for employees’ representatives with significant powers.
In general terms, under this legislation, employees’ representatives can be elected, if either the union or 10% of the employees want this. These employee representatives have a range of rights, particularly in the area of information and consultation. They can also be involved in collective bargaining if there is no union. If union representatives are present, they too enjoy a number of the same information and consultation rights as the elected employee representatives.
Figures from Statistics Estonia show somewhat contradictory development in terms of the importance of elected employee representatives. There is a clear growth in the number of organisations with elected employee representatives, with the proportion of organisations with such representation increasing from 13.1% in 2009 to 18.0% in 2015. At the same time, the proportion of employees in organisation with elected employee representatives has fallen, from 27.4% of the total in 2009 to 20.1% in 2015. This suggests that fewer larger companies have this form of representation.
In contrast the proportion of organisations with a trade union has fallen over the same period, from 6.4% in 2009 to 5.8% in 2015. There are no figures on the proportion of employees working in organisations with a trade union presence, but it also seems likely to have fallen.
These national figures can be compared with the results of Eurofound’s 2013 European Company Survey. These show that 37% of establishments with at least 10 employees had some form of official employee representation, which may be either a union or employee representatives. This is above the EU28 average of 32%. As elsewhere in Europe, larger organisations are more likely to have such a structure than smaller ones. Among establishments with more than 250 employees, 61% had some form of employee representation.
Numbers and structure
The numbers and structure of union representation at the workplace depend on the rules of the union.
The 2007 legislation does not lay down the number of employee representatives to be elected. It states that the employees “may elect several representatives” but this depends on “agreement with the employer”.
There is no employment threshold for the election of employee representatives, although the time-off arrangements only apply when there are at least five employees, and some information and consultation provisions only apply if the employer has at least 30 employees (see section on tasks and rights).
The calculation of the number of employees is based on the six month’s average of the number of employees at the date when the obligation to inform and consult arises.
If there are several employee representatives they can decide to elect a “chief representative” from among themselves, who then organises the activities of the representatives.
The legislation does not say how frequently the employee representatives should meet.
Tasks and rights
The key task of workplace trade unions is negotiation of collective agreements, and the union also has a role in ensuring that labour legislation is complied with at the workplace.
Workplace unions also have information and consultation rights, and these have been clarified as a result of the legislation which came into force in 2007, which gives unions the same rights to information and consultation as other employee representatives (see below).
Where there are at least 30 employees, the employer should inform and consult employee representatives on possible significant staff changes, including those affecting agency staff and decisions likely to produce major changes in work organisation or contracts of employment. (This obligation does not apply to organisations in the public service.) Employee representatives should also be given details of the organisation’s annual reports.
Where there is a union representative, he or she should also be informed and consulted in the same way, and where there is no employee representative, the information and consultation should be with the whole workforce.
The law also requires employers to consult with employee representatives, either union representatives or elected representatives, in cases of collective redundancy, business transfer or the reduction of pay because of a lack of work.
Election and term of office
The election and term of office of union representatives depend on the union’s rules.
The decision to elect employee representatives must be taken by a general meeting of all employees, and this meeting can be called, either by the trade union, if one has been set up in the organisation, or by a majority of union members, if there is no union body in the organisation, or by 10% of all employees. The general meeting is only quorate – that is, it can only take valid decisions – if at least half of all employees participate. The legislation states that the election must be by secret ballot and all employees and the union can present candidates, but other detailed rules for the election are decided by the general meeting. There are no specific conditions to stand as employee representative (trustee) or vote in the general meeting. The legislation (Employees’ Trustee Act - § 2) states only that “a trustee is an employee of an employer who is elected by a general meeting of the employees of the employer”.
Employee representatives are elected for three years unless the general meeting has decided otherwise.
Protection against dismissal
Employee representatives, whether trade union representatives or employee representatives elected at the general meeting, have some limited protection against dismissal, which lasts during the individual’s period of office and for one year afterwards.
Before dismissing an employee representative the employer is obliged to seek the views of the employees or the union who chose the representative. The employees or the union should respond within ten working days, and the employer must take their opinions into account and provide a justification if they are disregarded (Employment Contracts Act: § 94). Employee representatives also have greater protection in cases of redundancy for economic reasons (§ 89) or unfair dismissal, where the legislation states that they may not be dismissed unless this is “reasonably impossible when considering mutual interests” (§ 107).
In addition, there is a general obligation on employers not to discriminate against employees on the basis of their representation of the interests of employees or their membership of a union.
Time off and other resources
Both trade union and employee representatives are entitled to paid time off to carry out their duties. In the case of union representatives, “at least one” should be allowed this time off. In the case of employee representatives, all of those elected at the general meeting would have this right, but the general meeting may only elect more than one employee representative with the agreement of the employer. The relationship between the amount of time off and the number of individuals involved is the same for both union and employee representatives. However, there is an important difference: in the case of union representatives, the numbers relate to union members, whereas for employee representatives they relate to all employees. The figures on the number of union members are provided by the union.
The figures on time-off rights are as follows:
Number of employees (for employee representatives)
Number of union members (for union representatives)
Hours per week
The employer should also give the trade union representatives a room, if possible, and space to hold a trade union event once a month.
The Employees’ Trustee Act also gives employee representatives the use of premises and other resources necessary for their duties, but only “upon agreement with the employer”. They also have the right to involve experts in the consultation process, although it does not state whether their costs are borne by the employer.
Trade union representatives are entitled to five days off from work a year to participate in training or other trade union activities. Two days of this are paid.
Employee representatives are entitled to necessary training “to a reasonable extent”. This training is in paid time and employers “may agree” to pay the expenses involved.
Representation at group level
Union structures may produce representation at group level but the legislation does not provide for this.
 Statistics Estonia, database Table WQU93: Enterprises by group of enterprises and existence of confidential person, http://pub.stat.ee/px-web.2001/I_Databas/Social_life/19Worklife_quality/10Work_organisation/10Work_organisation.asp (Accessed 18.12.2018)
 Statistics Estonia, database Table WQU94: Employees by group of employees and existence of confidential person in the enterprise http://pub.stat.ee/px-web.2001/I_Databas/Social_life/19Worklife_quality/10Work_organisation/10Work_organisation.asp (Accessed 18.12.2018)
 Statistics Estonia, database Table WQU95: Enterprises by group of enterprises and existence of trade union http://pub.stat.ee/px-web.2001/I_Databas/Social_life/19Worklife_quality/10Work_organisation/10Work_organisation.asp (Accessed 18.12.2018)
 Eurofound (2015), Third European Company Survey – Overview report: Workplace practices – Patterns, performance and well-being, Figures for Table 44
There is no legal provision for employee representatives to participate at board level in Estonia.
Employees do not have a right to be represented at board level. (Estonia has a two-tier board system in public limited companies - AS.) Occasionally trade union representatives may participate in board meetings when problems concerning employees are discussed. But this is entirely up to management.
Estonian members of European bodies linked with European Works Councils and the European Company are normally elected by the general meeting of employees. The arrangements are slightly different when there are several Estonian companies involved.
European Works Councils
If there is only one company in Estonia, Estonian members of the special negotiating body (SNB) for an EWC are elected at the general meeting of employees, with the meeting itself setting the rules for election. If there are several Estonian companies involved, the employee representatives – who can be both trade union representatives and elected employee representatives – come together with three representatives from each company elected by the general meeting. They then choose the members of the SNB, with the votes from the representatives of the different companies proportionate to the number of people employed. The legislation does not state whether or not SNB members must be employees.
The same procedure applies for Estonian members of an EWC set up under the fallback procedures in the annex to the directive.
If there is only one company in Estonia, Estonian members of the special negotiating body (SNB) for a European Company are elected at the general meeting of employees, with the meeting itself setting the rules for election. If there are several Estonian companies involved, if possible all companies should be represented, but if this is not possible, the company with the largest number of employees is first to be taken into account. The legislation does not state whether or not SNB members must be employees.
The same procedure applies both for Estonian members of the SE representative body set up under the fallback procedures in the annex to the directive, and for Estonian representatives at board level, if they are being chosen under the fallback procedures.
Further information on the national SE legislation can be found here.
Employee representation on health and safety is provided through separately elected representatives, who in smaller companies act individually and in larger companies are part of a joint employer/employee committee. These representatives have the power to halt work if there is a direct threat to employees’ safety.
Basic approach at workplace level
The employer is responsible for compliance with all health and safety requirements at the workplace, although employers should consult with workers or their representatives in advance on all issues relating to the working environment.
Employee health and safety bodies
At least one working environment representative (Töökeskkonnavolinik) should be elected by the employees in smaller workplaces, provided they have at least 10 employees. In larger workplaces (50 or more employees) there is also a working environment council (Töökeskkonnanõukogu), made up of representatives of the employees and management.
Trade union representatives in the workplace have a duty to cooperate with the working environment representatives and the working environment council in the area of health and safety, as do “employee representatives” where they exist.
Numbers and structure
There should be a working environment representative in all companies with at least 10 employees and, where the company is spread over several sites or work is done in shifts, each site or shift should have its own working environment representative, provided that each site or shift has at least 10 employees. In companies with fewer than 10 employees, the employer should inform and consult the employees directly on health and safety issues.
In companies with 50 or more employees or where the labour inspectorate thinks the workplace is particularly hazardous, a working environment council should be set up. This is a joint employee/management body with equal numbers from both sides and it must have at least four members (in other words, two employee representatives). The working environment council chooses its own chair and deputy chair from its own members and the legislation states that it should reach decisions through consensus.
In practice, figures from the national statistics office show that, in 2015, just 10.4% of all companies and organisations had a working environment council, although this apparently low figure is not surprising, as the statistics included all companies with five or more employees, and a working environment council is normally only obligatory in companies with 50 or more. In any case, the figure of 10.4% was an increase on the 7.5% recorded in 2009. There was a considerable difference between private companies, where only 9.1% had a working environment council, and state and local government agencies, where 21.3% had one. Large organisations – those with 250 or more employees – were also much more likely to have a working environment council, 89.2% of operations of this size had one.
It is also noticeable that these national figures are much lower than those resulting from research carried out by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU OSHA) in 2014. This found that 19% of workplaces in Estonia had a working environment council and 17% had working environment representatives. These are both below the EU-28 averages, which are 21% for health and safety committees and 58% for health and safety representatives. (The EU OSHA figures, like the national figures, are for workplaces with five or more employees.)
Tasks and rights
The keys tasks of the working environment representative are to:
- monitor whether health and safety measures are being properly implemented and that employees are provided with working personal protective equipment;
- participate in the investigation of accidents or the occurrence of occupational illnesses;
- notify both employees and management promptly of hazards or health and safety failings at the workplace and call for these to be remedied;
- be aware of health and safety instructions and legislation; and
- monitor whether employees are receiving the necessary health and safety instructions and training.
The main rights of the working environment representative, which include the right to halt work if there is a direct threat to employees’ life or health, are to:
- demand that the employer implements the appropriate health and safety measures and provides the required personal protective equipment;
- make proposals for the removal of hazards and the improvement of the working environment;
- be given access to all areas in the company necessary for the performance of his or her duties;
- receive from the employer details of the risk assessment and the written plan of action to cope with these risks, as well as material on the health of employees and any instructions to the employer from the labour inspectorate;
- contact the labour inspectorate if necessary and make comments to the labour inspector during any inspection visits; and
- suspend work temporarily or prohibit the use of specific work equipment if there is a direct risk of harm to the life or health of an employee and if it is not possible to eliminate the risk in any other way. Work should not be resumed until the hazard has been eliminated. (Where this occurs the working environment representative must inform management of the hazard promptly.)
The main tasks of the working environment council, as set out in the legislation, are to:
- analyse regularly the working conditions in the company, document developing problems, make proposals to the employer for their resolution and monitor how these proposals are being implemented;
- participate in the preparation of the company’s health and safety development plan and in the preparation of other plans, such as those involving technological innovations;
- examine any results arising from the monitoring of the working environment, making remedial proposals where necessary;
- analyse accidents, occupational diseases and other work-related illnesses, and monitor the implementation of preventative measures; and
- help with the creation of suitable working conditions and work organisation for female employees, minors and disabled employees.
The council should make its proposals to the employer in writing and, if the employer is not able to take account of these proposals, the reasons for not doing so should be set out in writing within three weeks.
The employer must notify the labour inspectorate of the formation of a working environment council, including the names of the members, and the council should provide a written report of its activities to the labour inspectorate every year.
Frequency of meetings
The frequency of meetings of the working environment council is not specified in the legislation.
Election and term of office
Both working environment representatives and employee representatives on the working environment council are elected by a general meeting of all employees. At least 50% of employees must participate in this election for it to be valid.
The period of office in both cases is up to four years.
Resources, time off and training
Paid time-off rights for working environment representatives are as specified in collective agreements or any other agreement with the employer. They should take account of the size and working conditions in the company, but should be at least two hours per week. Members of the working environment council have time-off rights of at least one hour per week. These time-off rights are added together if the same individual does both jobs.
Both working environment representatives and members of the working environment council have the right to the training needed for the performance of their duties. This is at the employers’ expense and the employee should continue to be paid as normal during the training. The precise amount of paid training provided is not specified in the legislation.
Protection against dismissal
Working environment representatives should not be disadvantaged because of the performance of their duties.
Other elements of workplace health and safety
All companies should either employ a working environment specialist – someone knowledgeable in the area of health and safety – or use an external body to provide this specialist service. However, the appointment of such a specialist does not remove the ultimate responsibility from the employer. Where an employer has completed training on the working environment, he or she take on the duties of a working environment specialist
The ministry responsible for health and safety at work is the Ministry of Social Affairs (Sotsiaalministeerium). The body responsible for monitoring compliance with health and safety laws and regulations is the Labour Inspectorate (Tööinspektsioon). There is also a Health Board (Terviseamet), which is the main executive body for health and safety issues.
Trade unions and employers are able to influence health and safety policy through their participation in the 15-member National Working Environment Council (Töökeskkonnanõukogu), which also includes government representatives.
Estonian legislation has for some time taken account of psychosocial risks. The Occupational Health and Safety Act (1999) states that, “physical, chemical, biological, physiological and psychological factors present in the working environment shall not endanger the life or health of employees or that of other persons in the working environment”, and it defines psychological factors as “monotonous work or work not suitable to the abilities of an employee, poor work organisation, working alone for an extended period of time, or other similar factors that may gradually cause changes in the mental state of an employee”.
Occupational Health and Safety Act, passed on 16 June 1999, as amended
Töötervishoiu ja tööohutuse seadus, vastu võetud 16.06.1999
 Statistics Estonia, Table WQU55
 Second European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2016
 For more information on the national context see OSH system at national level – Estonia by Kirsi Koskela, Riitta Sauniand Kristel Plangi, OSH Wiki https://oshwiki.eu/wiki/OSH_system_at_national_level_%E2%80%93_Estonia
Employee financial participation in Estonia is present mainly in the form of employee ownership and the activities of cooperatives. The importance of employee ownership has been in decline since the beginning of the 1990s, when for a short time employee ownership played an important role in the privatization process. Profit-sharing schemes are now relatively widespread (above the European average).
The roots of employee ownership in Estonia go back to the last reform attempt by the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, which included the possibility to found privately-owned enterprises.1 var obj = document.getElementById('note_hidden'); obj.value = obj.value + '1
1. Kalmi, P. (2003): The Rise and Fall of Employee Ownership in Estland, 1987-2001.
In Estonia profit-sharing is relatively widespread by European comparison. At the beginning of the privatisation process many workers became shareholders in their company. Today the incidence of employee share ownership schemes is below average in Estonia.
According to recent data evaluated by the fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), the incidence of profit-sharing in Estonia is about 11% and of employee share ownership schemes about 0.8%.1 var obj = document.getElementById('note_hidden'); obj.value = obj.value + '1
1. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (2012): Fifth European Working Conditions Survey, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
At the moment, there are no special legal regulations regarding employee ownership or profit-sharing in Estonian companies. The existing employee ownership structures are mainly a result of the privatization process in the 1990s.
The principal laws regulating privatization in Estonia are still in effect, though with important amendments. They are the 17 June 1993 Privatization Law (PL), the 13 June 1991 Law on Ownership Reform (LOR) and the 17 October 1991 Law on Land Reform (LLR).1 var obj = document.getElementById('note_hidden'); obj.value = obj.value + '1
1. Eamets, R. (2006): Financial Participation of Employees in Estonia, Extended Country Report Estonia; Lowitzsch, J., Hashi, I. & Woodward, R. (2009.): The PEPPER IV Report: Benchmarking of Employee Participation in Profits and Enterprise Results in the Member and Candidate Countries of the European Union. Country Profile “Estonia”.
Employee financial participation is currently not on trade union agendas. Employers’ organisations reject any extension of workers’ financial participation in Estonia.1 var obj = document.getElementById('note_hidden'); obj.value = obj.value + '1
1. Lowitzsch, J. et al. (2012): Employee Financial Participation in Companies` Proceeds. Study requested by the European Parliament`s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.
- Estonian Legislation (translated)
- Lowitzsch, J., Hashi, I. & Woodward, R. (2009): The PEPPER IV Report: Benchmarking of Employee Participation in Profits and Enterprise Results in the Member and Candidate Countries of the European Union. Country Profile “Estonia”.
- European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (2010): European Company Survey 2009. Overview. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
- European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (2007): Financial participation of employees in the European Union: Much ado about nothing? Background Paper.
- Kalmi, P. (2003): The Rise and Fall of Employee Ownership in Estonia 1987-2001.
- Eamets, R. (2006): Financial Participation of Employees in Estonia, Extended Country Report Estonia.
- Mathieu, M. (2012): Annual Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in European Countries 2012. European Federation of Employee Share Ownership.
- Lowitzsch, J. et al. (2012): Employee Financial Participation in Companies` Proceeds. Study requested by the European Parliament`s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.
- Mygind, N. (2012): Trends in employee ownership in Eastern Europe, in: The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23:8, 1611-1642.
- Eamets, R., Mygiend, N., Spitsa, N. (2008): The development of employee participation in Estonia, in: Baltic Journal of Management Vol. 3 No. 2, 2008.
- European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (2012): Fifth European Working Conditions Survey, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
- Poutsma, E., Lighard, P. (2011): Compensation and Benefits, in: Cranet Survey on Comparative Human Resource Management – International Executive Report.
General trade union organisations
- EAKL - Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions (En)
- TALO – Estonian Employees’ Unions’ Confederation (En)
Sectoral trade union organisations
- APLA - Estonian Air Line Pilots Association (En)
- EAL - Estonian Union of Journalists
- EAL - Estonian Medical Association
- EMSA – Estonian Seafarers’ Independent Union (Rus)
- EÕL - Estonian Nurses Union
- ESTAL - Estonian Communication and Service Workers’ Trade Union (En)
- Estonian Theatre Union
- ETTA – Estonian Transport and Road Workers’ Trade Union (Rus)
- ETTAL - Federation of Estonian Healthcare Professionals Unions (En)
- Trade Union of Estonian Railway Workers
General employer organisations
- Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (En)
- Estonian Employers’ Confederation (En)
- EVEA - Estonian Association of SME's (En)
Sectoral employer organisations
- Association of Construction Material Producers of Estonia (En)
- Association of Estonian Food Industry (En)
- Association of Estonian International Road Carriers (En)
- Association of International Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in Estonia (En)
- Estonian Association of Architectural and Consulting Engineering Companies (En)
- Estonian Association of Construction Entrepreneurs (En)
- Estonian Association of Electrical Enterprises (En)
- Estonian Association of Gambling Operators (En)
- Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (En)
- Estonian Association of Performing Arts Institutions (En)
- Estonian Association of Travel Agents (En)
- Estonian Clothing and Textile Association (En)
- Estonian Forest and Wood Industries Association (EFIA) (En)
- Estonian Fur Association (En)
- Estonian Hospitals Association (En)
- Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association (En)
- Estonian Insurance Association (En)
- Estonian Peat Association (En)
- Estonian Security Association (En)
- Estonian Telework Association
- Estonian Traders' Association
- Estonian Woodworking Federation (En)
- Union of Estonian Automobile Enterprises (En)