Minister: Foreign farm workers can stay in Estonia for now

  • 2020-04-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The council of the ruling three-party coalition decided on Tuesday morning that foreign workers working in agriculture can stay in Estonia for a period of two months after the end of the emergency situation, Interior Minister Mart Helme said. 

Helme said the coalition council made the decision looking at forecasts concerning the labor market, the duration of the impact of the financial measures and their impact on the whole society in the longer term. In accordance with the decision adopted by the ruling parties, the right of foreign workers employed in agriculture to work in Estonia will be extended until two months after the end of the emergency situation, but not beyond July 31.  

The relevant bill says that when a foreign workers loses work in Estonia, that will be counted as basis for directing them to leave Estonia. 

Helme observed that farmers don't tend to understand that the global crisis will hit them too and they will not be needing as many workers soon.

The Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) minister said that an immense drop in demand for agricultural produce can already be seen in several countries.

"My forecast is that agricultural producers will soon stand face to face with a very serious need to reduce their production volumes," he added.