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Due to the end of the working hours of the plenary meeting, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Gender Equality Act, the Equal Treatment Act, the Republic of Estonia Employment Contracts Act, the Local Government Organisation Act and the Local Government Council Election Act (317 SE), initiated by the Government, was adjourned. The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Act such that it would adhere to the requirements provided by the European Community. Among other amendments, the definition of harassment on grounds of sex will be added to the Estonian law and, with a view to ensuring better legal protection of persons, it will be prohibited to request data relating to the issues connected with gender identity from applicants for a job. According to the Bill, harassment on grounds of sex occurs where an unwanted conduct or activity related to the sex of a person occurs with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

The Constitutional Committee of the Riigikogu added a motion to amend the Bill, initiated by the same Committee, which amends the title of the Bill and regulates the Local Government Organisation Act and the Local Government Council Election Act. The motion to amend specifies the procedure for giving compensation mandates in local governments with several electoral districts which will help avoid confusion in the ascertaining of persons who are elected.

The Local Government Council Election Act will provide the election procedure in a town with a population of more than 300 000 in the case when city districts will be dissolved in Tallinn. According to the Act which is currently in force, electoral districts are to be formed by city districts, with the consideration that each city district is an electoral district. The amendment creates the possibility to dissolve city districts in the future, but the procedure for the formation of electoral districts in such case is established. The Bill also takes into account the potential merger of local governments in the future.

The deliberation of the Bill will be resumed tomorrow, on Wednesday, at the sitting beginning at 2 p.m.

The Riigikogu Press Service