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Work restrictions on foreign specialists to ease

  • 2013-04-24
  • From wire reports

WEALTH EFFECT: Janek Maggi wants to see Estonians focus on wealth creation.

TALLINN - The government approved on April 18 amendments to the Aliens Law and sent it to the Riigikogu; when the amendments come to force, it will be possible to hire a foreign specialist to work in Estonia after just a couple of days instead of the current regulations that make the wait last several months, reports Postimees. According to the agreement, a foreigner could stay in Estonia to permanently work in the country, and apply for a residence permit to do so while already being in Estonia.

To the proposal by the Foreign Ministry, an amendment to the Business Code was added, to enable foreign companies to open in Estonia branch offices that considerably facilitate the development of the Estonian economy. Currently it isn’t possible to register in the Business Registry a branch office that has one employee (manager) who doesn’t have a residence permit in Estonia.

Also, when a foreigner gets a short-term Estonian work visa, a visa with the same conditions is granted to his/her spouse and minor child and adult child if the latter isn’t capable coping independently due to health conditions or disability.

The easing concerns top level specialists who, according to the bill, are foreigners who have a professional preparation in any sphere. The bill also aims to change the part concerning foreign students to simplify starting doctoral, master’s degree or bachelor’s degrees studies in Estonia.
The draft law is supposed to come in force Sept. 1 next year if approved by parliament.

Workers need to demand more
Estonian public relations expert Janek Maggi wrote in an opinion column in Aripaev that Estonians still in the country need to ask for better pay for their work, because this is the only way to increase people’s wealth, reports BBN.
The simple truth is that if you are paid very good wages, even unpleasant jobs become tolerable, says Maggi.
Average wages in Estonia are too low, and that keeps purchasing power down and causes social tension. Salaries are so low because the work is too cheap. Wages and prices are directly linked.

“I hope that the next general elections will be won by the party who can create jobs so that the wealth of Estonians continues to grow,” said the expert.
Estonia’s average per capita wealth is 21,000 euros, while the average for Finns is 113,000 euros. In Luxembourg, the average is 215,000 euros, or ten times the Estonian level.
The specialist recommended residents of Estonia to ask for maximum wages, and trigger export growth, to start saving and accumulate wealth.

A poll carried out by KPMG showed that 76 percent of entrepreneurs in Estonia are planning to raise their employees’ wages this year.
In the year-on-year comparison, this indicator has risen significantly, as in 2012 the same poll indicated that 57 percent of entrepreneurs had similar plans. In 2011, this number was 43 percent.

At the same time, most enterprises are planning a rather modest pay rise: that of up to 4.9 percent.