At today’s sitting, the Bill on Amendments to the Seafarers Employment Act and the Community-scale Involvement of Employees Act (329 SE), initiated by the Government, passed the first reading in the Riigikogu.
The Bill transposes two European Union directives. One of them concerns the organisation of working time in inland waterway transport, and the other concerns the employment rights of seafarers to obtain information from the employer and to be involved in the resolution of issues that concern their interests.
An amendment to the latter directive creates the possibility to form a European Works Council for crew members of ships carrying goods by sea who work for community-scale undertakings.
‘Community-scale undertaking’ means any undertaking with at least 1 000 employees within the Member States and at least 150 employees in each of at least two Member States. In Estonia, AS Tallink Group satisfies these criteria.
‘European Works Council’ means an employee representative body composed of employees from each Member State where the undertaking operates. The aim of Works Council is to ensure that employees are informed of what is going on in the undertaking, and to give them the possibility to express their opinion in issues affecting the employees’ interests. At present, this possibility is ensured in all other sectors in which a Community-scale undertaking operates.
The representative of the initiator of the Bill, Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski presented the Bill initiated by the Government, and the aims of the Bill. He pointed out individual changes that the transposition of the Directive would involve.
Uno Kaskpeit, who took the floor on behalf of the lead committee, gave an overview of the discussion that had been held in the Legal Affairs Committee.
Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/et/201701101000
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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