Ministry Hopeful on Occupational Disability Reform ({{commentsTotal}})

Minister of Social Welfare  Urmas Kruuse
Minister of Social Welfare Urmas Kruuse Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

The Occupational Disability Reform continues to cause tensions, but the Ministry of Social Affairs hopes it passes the first reading despite a planned demonstration by the representatives of people with physical disabilities.

The first reading of the bill takes place in the parliament today, and the health and labor minister Urmas Kruuse and Minister of Social Welfare Helmen Kütt met with representatives of the Estonian Union of Persons with Mobility Impairment on Monday, ETV reported.

The head of the union, Tiia Sihver, told ETV that this was the first time officials took an interest in what the disabled have to say and they have many issues with the bill.

“We are not happy about the work benefit, which will be cut according to income, also ensuring social services evenly across Estonia, and there is also the issue of motivating and educating employers,” Sihver said.

The Union hopes the reading will fail and is willing to hold a protest at the Parliament building.

Kruuse said the discussions have highlighted problem areas and the ministry has earmarked 50 million euros for various services like transport and sign language translators.

The minister said he hopes the bill passes the first reading today and says both parties are willing to do additional work to make the bill complete.