Labor authority investigating nonprofit employing people with disabilities ({{commentsTotal}})

Woodwork items.
Woodwork items. Source: (Renee Suurkaev/ERR)

A woodworking center in Ida-Viru County has received nearly €300,000 in aid from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF) for the employment of people with disabilities, however the Labour Inspectorate is investigating allegations of working conditions and work contracts allegedly not meeting standards.

Sotsiaalse Kohanemise Tugikeskus MTÜ (the Social Adjustment Support Centre) was established last year, when, in the framework of the nationwide work ability reform, businesses became eligible for new support in hiring people with disabilities. Since then, the nonprofit has received a total of €289,969 in aid from the EUIF, reported daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian).

The greatest amount of support, totaling €232,775, has been granted for the EUIF's supervised trainees. The nonprofit currently employs 98 such trainees for whom the unemployment fund pays the nonprofit remuneration for supervision at a daily rate of €22.24 during the first month, €16.68 during the second month and €11.12 during the third and fourth month.

The EUIF also pays nonprofit director Aleksandr Sikut support meant for employers in Ida-Viru County, i.e. job-creation support, which has thus far been paid in the total amount of €24,216 for 116 people. An additional €11,197 has been paid in wage support for the employment of people with disabilities and the EUIF has likewise paid an additional €21,780 in support for people with reduced capacity for work working together with a support person.

According to Ida-Viru County Chamber of Disabled People director Kaia Kaldvee, she is frequently contacted by county associations for people with disabilities regarding complaints from people who have been employed by the nonprofit.

"We have come to understand that work conditions there do not meet required standards and that employment contracts are harmful to people," she said. "They practically don't get paid there. This nonprofit cannot be regarded as a serious employer to whom to send people with special needs as either trainees or employees."

Editor: Aili Vahtla



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