In Finland, the tax office must make the income of an individual known to another if such a request is made. Estonian employers and trade unions say this type of full public disclosure of salaries would only complicate things in Estonia.
The head of the Estonian Trade Union Confederation, Peep Peterson, said that he is in favor of greater transparency, but Estonia is not quite ready for the type of full disclosure that Finland has chosen, where anyone can enquire about another resident's income, reported ERR's radio news.
"We have sensed some doubt on behalf of the workers in regard to whether all income information should be made public," he said, the reason being that people do not want to admit that they earn considerably more or less than their peers.
In Peterson's opinion, the transparency could be increased on group level. Average salaries could, for example, be made public in reference to departments or gender.
Toomas Tamsar, chairman of the Estonian Employer's Confederation, is also against full disclosure. He said that international studies show how full disclosure of salaries paid to high level managers will inevitably lead to a wage race.
This applies especially to the public sector and state companies and market enterprises, as the public feels that these people are overpaid. However, the disclosure would lead to an even greater wage gap.
Tamsar said full disclosure of salaries offer any addition motivation to the workers, as many feel that they are underpaid.