The aim of the study is to describe flexicurity in different countries to exchange experiences in the field. The Estonian case report gives an overview of six topics in the field:
- Flexibility and security in the labour market in the years 2000-2007
- Job management and contract flexibility
- Active labour market policies
- Lifelong learning in the labour market
- Social security system and labour supply
- Social dialogue and collective action
In terms of legal aspects, the Estonian labour market is relatively rigid and regulated rather strictly. At the same time, the business statistics shows that every year new jobs are created and lost at the same time and people move relatively easily through different jobs, although this tendency has decreased. Therefore, the Estonian labour market is relatively flexible despite of rigid legislation.
At the same time, Estonia spends ten times less on active labour market measures than the rest of the European Union. Although, most of the productivity of the programs is questionable and large quantity of people find work without assistance.
In addition, Estonia belongs to the less developed countries regarding the social security expenditure context. The public sector expenditures to the unemployed are one of the lowest and the unemployment insurance system is too rigid to motivate people to work.
There are other disadvantages in Estonia, for example the participation in lifelong learning and the education of adults. There are more opportunities for complementary studies for already highly skilled employees, although whether the trainings meet the needs of the labour market has been studied scarcely.
„There is a rapid increase in obtaining higher education with young people. Although, at the same time many new institutions have been created that provide higher education which makes it harder to provide high quality education“ – Reelika Leetmaa
Therefore, flexicurity has been granted in the Estonian labour market at a certain extent but not in all areas. The authors of the study recommend that the situation could be improved by new Employment act. Simplifying the process of discharging employees makes the work relations more flexible. Moreover, the new law increases the support given to the unemployed and broadens the circle of people who have a right for unemployment insurance. In addition to the new law, the providing of adult occupational trainings are on the rise. At the same time, the law does not change the effectiveness of active labor market policies and help to avoid the problems.