Economic trends present both possibilities and challenges for collective labour relations in Estonia

The University of Tartu's Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS) prepared an overview for the European Commission of the current situation and future trends of collective labour relations in Estonia.

The report compiled by the analysts of the UT Centre for Applied Social Sciences Uku Varblane, Kerly Espenberg and Olena Nedozhogina "Industrial Relations in Estonia: Recent Developments and Future Challenges" aimed to study post-crisis industrial relations and changes in economic development, and to give recommendations for dealing with future challenges.

One of the authors of the report Olga Nedozhogina explained that rapid economic growth has brought about labour shortage. The positive aspect of this phenomenon is the rise in salaries and standard of living, while its negative sides are low productivity and the rise in cost level, which are strategic risks for the competitiveness of Estonia's economy.

Kerly Espenberg, another author of the survey, added, "If we look ahead, it is clear that the decreasing and ageing population, new forms of employment and the changing job structure open up new possibilities for the development of collective labour relations. The question is, to what extent the parties to our collective labour relations are ready to take such an initiative and to what extent the state is willing to give them such a role. This remains to be seen."

This project is a follow-up to the 2012 project, also financed by the European Commission, "Impact of the Economic Crisis on the National System of Industrial Relations: Policies as a Key Instrument for Recovery".

Additional information: Kerly Espenberg, UT project manager-analyst, 5330 7476, kerly.espenberg@ut.ee

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