Committee Announces Time Out on Transformation of Unemployment Fund
Head of the Parliamentary Social Affairs Committee Margus Tsahkna said he has decided to slow down the push to amend the Unemployment Insurance Act to see if cooperation can be restored with unions and employers.
"The current status is that I decided to slow down the pace of the draft legislation for two weeks," Tsahkna, who represents IRL, told uudised.err.ee.
"But it's clear that if no progress is made during that time, we have to continue."
The cabinet is seeking expanded powers for managing the Unemployment Insurance Fund, citing the current impasse in the body.
The unions and employers, which represent four of the six seats on the board, walked out in protest over the government's refusal to lower the premium late in 2011. The term of the members of the management board of the Fund expires on April 14.
"Considering this, we can permit ourselves a two-week negotiating time," he said.
The employers say they will return to the supervisory board on two conditions - that there is a model set forth for agreeing on the premium level. Currently it is at 4.2 percent - employers pay 1.4 percent and the employees pay 2.8 percent. Both unions and employers feel it should be lowered to pre-recession levels before 2013.
The other condition for employers is to specify how the reserves to be administered by the state would be given back to the fund.
Tsahkna said the conditions from the employers were a positive step but warned against ultimatums.