Unemployment Benefits Rules Rejigged for Execs, Caregivers ({{commentsTotal}})

The offices of the Unemployment Insurance Fund
The offices of the Unemployment Insurance Fund Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Parliamentary Social Affairs Committee has introduced a draft amendment that it says willl attempt to make unemployment benefits more fair.

Unemployed company board members will soon lose the possibility to be listed as such. Caregivers for the disabled who receive support from municipality or city governments will be able to file, however.

"With these two changes, we will create a more fair situation," said the chairman of the committee, Margus Tsahkna (IRL).

 "The number of registered unemployed will undoubtedly change, but it's hard to say exactly how much," said Tsahkna.

The number of unemployed management members could drop by 3,000 while 2,000 additional people may be added to the ranks of unemployed caregivers for the disabled.

"Managing a company without receiving pay for it is something a person does out of his free will. To register as unemployed in such a case is totally unjustified," said Tsahkna.

"And our other goal is to bring caregivers for the disabled back to the labour market so that their economic situation improves," he said.

The most recent statistics available show that in April there were close to 4,400 unemployed who were the members of some corporate management body - 10.7 percent of all registered unemployment. Sixty percent were from the business sector and 40 percent from non-profit associations and foundations. Unemployment insurance was received by 1,500 of them and unemployment benefit by 750.

The bill will be discussed in Parliament on January 15.