Additional restriction on activities imposed on Estonian ministers after leaving office

  • 2022-07-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Estonian parliament on Tuesday passed a bill prepared by the Ministry of Justice that will enshrine in law the current recommendatory restriction concerning jobs that members of the government can accept after leaving their Cabinet post.  

The restriction on activity means that within six months after working as a minister, it is prohibited for a former government member to take up employment as a member of a management or controlling body in a legal person in private law which operates in the area of government of the ministry administered by him or her as a minister. This is if the minister has made decisions with a significant impact concerning its activities during his or her term of office or if they have contractual relations with the ministry in question.

Previously, the prohibition for a minister to take up a post as a member of the management or controlling body of a company or foundation in his or her area of government for a certain period of time after leaving office had been agreed at the level of good practice.

The legislative amendment also clarifies the wording of the law so that the constitutional restriction according to which a member of the government may not be a member of the management board or supervisory board of a public limited company, private limited company or commercial association would be clearly understood. In this context, the Constitution does not differentiate between state, local government and privately owned companies. 

In addition, legislative provisions that are no longer relevant or are outdated were amended. In this way, it is no longer relevant to provide the employer's living space to members of the government. The bill replaces the provision of housing by the employer with the possibility to reimburse monthly housing costs to the extent of up to 15 percent of the official salary of a government member.

Only a member of the government who, according to his or her residence data entered in the population register, lives outside the municipality of the seat of the respective ministry, as well as the adjacent municipalities, is entitled to the reimbursement of the costs of renting a dwelling.

The amendment makes the reimbursement of housing expenses to members of the government more similar to the reimbursement of housing expenses to members of the Riigikogu.