Differences of opinion with colleagues led to the resignation of a deputy secretary general at the Ministry of Social Affairs who had become quite prominent during the Covid pandemic.
Heidi Alasepp, who had been deputy secretary general with the responsibility of health care, recently stepped down, investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress reported Tuesday (link in Estonian).
"Yes, it is true, Alasepp has submitted her resignation," Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo (Reform) told Eesti Ekspres .
While Alasepp left the ministry last week, her name was still listed on the ministry's website as of Tuesday afternoon.
Health Minister Riina Sikkut (SDE) also said that while she could not out a figure on Alasepp's severance pay, she could confirm that Alasepp left or her own volition after clashes with some of her colleagues, including the ministry's secretary general, Maarjo Mändmaa.
Eesti Ekspress reported Alasepp received €34,000 in severance pay, which is an exceptionally large sum for a civil servant in Estonia (another former deputy secretary general at the ministry, Maris Jesse, received €8,800 in severance pay when she stepped down in August 2021) – this was put down to effective work this year so far, strong work in responding to the Covid and Ukraine crises, and in respect of unused vacation days.
Ahead of a recent two-day government meeting at the Vihula Manor Spa and Country Club, "undoubtedly one of the most amazing places in Estonia" as the hotel puts it on its website, ministers were tasked with finding areas where cuts might be made from within their own purview.
Editor: Andrew Whyte