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On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code (140 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The Bill changes the definition of enslaving in the Penal Code and amends the Code with newly stipulated criminal offences relating to human trafficking, pandering, prostitution and illegal donorship. The terms of punishment for these criminal offences is also specified and made more severe. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Employment Contracts Act (180 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was concluded. The Bill will repeal the amendments to the Act that were to enter into force on 1 January 2013 and concerned paying unemployment insurance to individuals who terminate their employment at their own initiative or on mutual agreement. The unemployment insurance payments scheme was directed at insured individuals whose last employment or service contract ended by mutual agreement or by termination of the employment contract at the initiative of the employee or by termination of the service contract at the initiative of the public servant. The planned substitution amount of the unemployment insurance in the case of termination or conclusion of such employment or service contract was 40 % of the previous work related income of the employee that had been subject to unemployment tax. The Estonian Centre Party Faction and the Social Democratic Party Faction moved to reject this Bill at the first reading. 49 members of the Riigikogu voted against the motion and 38 in favour. Thus, the motion was not supported and the Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to § 222 of the Social Welfare Act (169 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was concluded. The Bill stipulates that the child benefit paid out under the State Family Benefits Act will not be construed as part of the income of an individual living alone or of a family when calculating their subsistence benefit. In the words of the initiator, the Bill aims to keep the child benefit paid under the State Family Benefits Act separate from the subsistence benefit. At present, child benefit is considered part of the income of the person needing assistance, which means that they consequently receive a smaller subsistence benefit. The first member of a family receiving subsistence benefit must manage on EUR 76.70 a month, and every subsequent member on EUR 61.36 a month. The Bill aims to alleviate growing inequality and put an end to the situation where one category of people have to all intents and purposes been left without child support – in effect, the people who need it the most: applicants for subsistence benefit. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to § 32 of the Citizenship Act (164 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was concluded. The Bill intends to give Estonian citizenship to individuals who have received the Estonian passport or any other citizenship document as a result of a clerical error after 1 July 1995 but who cannot be given the Estonian citizenship under the existing legislation. Under the current legislation, clerical errors made before the year 1995 can be resolved to the advantage of the individual, as opposed to the cases where the Estonian citizenship documents have been erroneously issued after 1 July 1995. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

The Riigikogu Press Service

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