Estonia -EIRO reviews effects of New Civil Service Act -October 16, 2013

The European industrial relations observatory on-line (EIRO) has published a review of the new civil service act that came into force in April 2013. The act, which limited the definition of ‘civil servants’ to those workers directly employed in the central public administration, has first of all had the effect that all state and local government employees now fall under the Employment Contracts Act, effectively reducing the civil service by 25%. Those employees that are no longer considered civil servants have now gained the right to vote and negotiate their salaries, which civil servants do not. The 75% remaining in the civil service have lost most privileges they had compared to private sector workers, including wage increases for years of service, academic degrees and command of foreign languages.  The civil servants also lost holiday benefits, the disability allowance and increase pension entitlements based on tenure. Civil servants retain their 35 days of holidays, compared to 28 days for private sector employees.



For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Mariya Nikolova For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit You may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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