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The Riigikogu passed with 53 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Collective Agreements Act (153 SE), initiated by the Legal Affairs Committee. The aim of the amendments is to bring the regulation of the Collective Agreements Act into conformity with the Constitution and to provide the rules of procedure under which parties to a collective agreement which has become invalid due to expiry of the term have the possibility to cancel the collective agreement and to terminate it. According to the amendment, upon expiry of the term of a collective agreement, the collective agreement is deemed to become a collective agreement for an unspecified term if neither party to the collective agreement notifies the other party in writing at least three months before the expiry of the term of the collective agreement that it does not wish to extend the agreement. In the event that a collective agreement becomes a collective agreement for an unspecified term, the parties are required to comply with the terms and conditions of the collective agreement until a new agreement is entered into or the agreement expires due to cancellation thereof. Either party may cancel a collective agreement for an unspecified term by giving at least six months’ notice to the other party. As of the notification of the cancellation of a collective agreement, the obligation to refrain from calling a strike or lock-out arising from the collective agreement terminates. The Act enters into force on 1 May 2012. The provisions of this Act also apply to the collective agreements entered into before 1 May 2012. 40 members of the Riigikogu voted against the Act.

The Act on Amendments to the National Audit Office Act and the Chancellor of Justice Act (151 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 59 votes in favour. The amendments provide elimination of the occupational pension of the Auditor General, the Director of Audit of the National Audit Office, the Chancellor of Justice and the Deputy Chancellor of Justice-Adviser during a transition period. The rights to special pension is retained for those who, by the time of the entry into force of the Act, will have completed the required pension qualifying period, and for persons working at positions which grant the right to the pension who by that time will have completed at least 50% of the pensionable service required for receiving such pension. The Act also provides indexing of these special pensions with the pension index, instead of the current procedure of recalculation on the basis of the salary. The Act enters into force on 1 January 2013. 20 members of the Riigikogu voted against the Act.

On the motion of the Environmental Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Waste Act and the Packaging Act (155 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The purpose of the amendments is to amend domestic regulation of waste handling and to transfer the plastic used in agriculture from the scope of application of the Packaging Act to the scope of application of the Waste Act. The first part of the Bill includes amendments to the Waste Act which extend the range of producers by adding producers of agricultural plastic, and give a content to the concept of “agricultural plastic”. Also, a provision is added to the Waste Act the application of which would enable to improve the control of transboundary movements of the packaging subject to the deposit established in Estonia. The second part of the Bill includes amendments to the Waste Act which are related to the taking back of the packaging subject to deposit. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the National Defence Committee, the first reading of the Defence Forces Service Act (172 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to organise and update the regulation of Defence Forces service and to bring it into conformity with the changes in the society bearing in mind that service in the Defence Forces is one of the specific types of public service. The Bill has been drafted in consistent observance of the principle according to which the Defence Forces is led by the Commander of the Defence Forces, while the Minister of Defence who establishes the rules organising the service arising from this Bill by Regulations does not immediately interfere with the day-to-day leading of the Defence Forces. The Defence Forces Service Act provides for the subjects of the duty to serve in the Defence Forces, Defence Forces service and alternative service, their legal status, the organisation of the performance of the duty to serve in the Defence Forces, and the encouragement applied to the members of the Defence Forces, bases for their disciplinary liability, disciplinary punishments imposed on them and the procedure for the conduct of corresponding disciplinary proceedings. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the National Defence Committee, the first reading of the Defence Forces Service Act Implementation Bill (173 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The purpose of the Bill is to establish the conditions and procedure for the implementation of the Defence Forces Service Act. Besides providing the procedure for transition from the current regulation to the new regulation, this Act provides amendments to other Acts which have a contact with the Defence Forces Service Act which was in force so far or which need to be amended due to the passage of the new Defence Forces Service Act. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the National Defence Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to Acts passed with Majority Vote of Riigikogu related to the Defence Forces Service Act (174 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to bring the European Parliament Election Act, the Citizenship Act, the Local Government Council Election Act, the Peace-Time National Defence Act, the Riigikogu Election Act, the War-Time National Defence Act and the President of the Republic Election Act into conformity with the amendments made to the Defence Forces Service Act. The amendments made to these Acts mostly concern terminology, for example, the concept “regular member of the Defence Forces” is replaced by the concept “member in active service of the Defence Forces”. At the same time, the establishing of the mobilisation register is transferred from the Defence Forces Service Act to the Peace-Time National Defence Act because it is not a service-related register in its essence (like the register of persons liable to service in the Defence Forces) which should be regulated by the Defence Forces Service Act. Also, the provisions concerning the increasing of military readiness and mobilisation which so far were in the Defence Forces Service Act will now be regulated by the Peace-Time National Defence Act and the War-Time National Defence Act because the Defence Forces Service Act regulates only peace-time service. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

 

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

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