Guardian names Estonia one of the best countries for unemployed and disabled ({{commentsTotal}})

British daily The Guardian has put together a list of countries where the unemployed and the disabled enjoy greatest benefits. Estonia is singled out for it's user-friendly e-services, health insurance premiums and generous parental leave policy.

Although Estonia does not have a large welfare budget, it is largely administered online, keeping down costs and freeing people from having to fill in lots of similar forms over and over, The Guardian writes.

Those of the unemployed who have made sufficient contributions to the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and are out of work involuntarily, receive 50 percent of their salary for the first 100 days and 40 percent thereafter. The flat-rate unemployment allowance, on the other hand, is only four euros a day.

The Guardian also points out that Estonia has a generous parental leave policy: for 435 days, parents are paid 100 percent of their average monthly income for the previous calendar year, and they don't have to return to work until the child turns three, if they so wish. The government also increase child benefits for the second time in two years and implemented a new benefit system for low-income families.

Moreover, the planned work ability reform too, which received a lot of criticism from Estonian special needs groups, is used as an example of positive development.

The paper also introduces the welfare systems of France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Nordic countries, Russia, San Marino, South Africa, and the US, although not all of them receive praise.

Editor: M. Oll

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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