Estonian minister: No need to change job-creation support measures at present
According to Estonian Minister of Health and Labor Jevgeni Ossinovski, the state is at present not yet planning to ease the requirements of the Ida-Viru County's job creation measure, but the government is ready to do so in the future if necessary.
"At present it is definitely too early to start changing the measure's requirements, because we have seen that we are moving in the right direction with that," Ossinovski said at a government press conference on Thursday.
At the same time, the government continues to keep an eye on the situation in Ida-Viru County, and if the present requirement of hiring 20 employees at once will become too restricting for employers, the government is ready to consider changing the requirements, he added.
Anneki Teelahk, director of Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund's (UIF) Ida-Virumaa Department, told BNS this week that, in her opinion, easing up on the conditions of the Ida-Viru County job creation measure should be considered so that the 50 percent bonus could also be used by companies that hire at least 10 employees per month. Currently the measure includes a requirement of 20 new hires.
"Hiring 20 employees per month is quite a lot of work and needs preparations," said Teelahk. "It has become an obstacle to several companies."
She noted that adding the requirement of 20 employees was included in the law so that serious and trustworthy companies would take part in the program. "At the same time, there has been feedback from decent companies that say the limit should be lower — for instance, one company was able to hire 18 people," added Teelahk.
According to Ossinovski, the measure should not spoil the market, rather its goal is to help create new production volumes and attract investments to the region.
"Therefore we have set the bar high," added the minister. "The support measure is mainly meant for those who are not competing on the local market, but are exporting outside the county."
At the end of April, the Estonian government approved a bill that introduced a job-creation support for Ida-Viru County 50 percent of an employee's gross wages in size.
The aim of the measure is to foster job creation in the region suffering from Estonia's highest unemployment rates from month to month. Support is paid to employers who hire at least 20 previously jobless residents of Ida-Viru County within one month.