At Wednesday's sitting of the Riigikogu, the Bill on Amendments to the Collective Labour Dispute Resolution Act (52 SE), initiated by the Government, passed the second reading. The Bill extends the term for giving advance notice of a sympathy strike from three working days to five working days, changes the process of electing the Public Conciliator to office and regulates the substitution of the Public Conciliator during his or her temporary absence by the Deputy Public Conciliator-Adviser.
According to the Bill, the term for giving advance notice of a sympathy strike will be extended from three working days to five working days. According to the judgement of the Supreme Court that entered into force on 5 July 2015, the three-day term for giving advance notice of a sympathy strike, which is provided in the Collective Labour Dispute Resolution Act, is in conflict with the Constitution insofar as such a short term for giving advance notice unreasonably restricts the freedom of enterprise.
The Bill changes the process of the election and appointment to office of the Public Conciliator. Similarly to the current procedure, the employers’ and trade union confederations will have to agree on a candidate for the Public Conciliator. As a new requirement, it is provided that an agreement must be reached not later than three months before the termination of the term of office of the Public Conciliator who is in office. In the case the confederations fail to reach an agreement in time, the Ministry of Social Affairs will organise a public competition to find a candidate for the Public Conciliator. If the public competition fails, the the minister responsible for the field will nominate a candidate for the Public Conciliator to the Government. In connection with the unregulated situation where the Public Conciliator is temporarily unable to perform the duties of his or her office, the institution of the Deputy Public Conciliator-Adviser will be established for conducting the conciliation procedure. For expediency reasons, the institution of local conciliator will be eliminated.
The requirements for the Public Conciliator as well as the provisions concerning the termination of the term of office of the Public Conciliator and the Office of the Public Conciliator will also be included in the Act. The Bill also specifies the definition of the office of the Public Conciliator. The term of office of the Public Conciliator will be extended from three to five years.
Member of the Social Affairs Committee Vilja Savisaar-Toomast, who presented the Bill, said that the Social Affairs Committee had made an amendment to the Bill between the first and the second reading, according to which an employment contract will be entered into with the Deputy Public Conciliator-Adviser for an unspecified term, and not for a specified term. This is more in accordance with the system of the Employment Contracts Act where employment contracts are generally entered into for an unspecified term.
Substitute members Marianne Mikko and Kalev Kotkas took the oath of office and assumed the office of member of the Riigikogu as of today.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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