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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure EE-2023-1/3106 – measures in Estonia

Psycho social impacts of work conditions categorised as occupational diseases

Töökeskkonnast alguse saanud vaimse tervise probleeme hakatakse käsitlema kutsehaigustena

Country Estonia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 January 2023
Context COVID-19, Digital Transformation
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Ingel Kadarik (Praxis Center for Policy Studies) and Eurofound
Measure added 21 February 2023 (updated 13 June 2023)

Background information

An increasing number of employees are working demanding jobs while practising new ways of working, such as remote work. In order to maintain workers mental health, it is important to mitigate health risks in the workplace.

The Regulation No. 66 "List of Occupational Diseases" was amended to include post-traumatic stress disorder and other diseases caused by psycho social risk factors. According to the amendment, it is now possible to consider diseases caused by psycho social risk factors as occupational diseases, and with this, an employee has the opportunity to claim compensation from the employer if the health problem is caused by an unmitigated psycho social risk factor present in the work environment.

Content of measure

The amendment is an addition to an existing legal regulation, "List of Occupational Diseases" of the Minister of Social Affairs of 9 May 2005. This regulation was established on the basis of § 23 (1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Therefore it covers all employees in standard employment. Employees now have the opportunity to claim compensation from the employer in case of mental illnesses originating from the workplace. Occupational diseases are diagnosed by occupational health physicians. The employer is released from the obligation to pay compensation if they can prove that the employee harmed themselves intentionally or there is no connection between the working environment and the occupational disease. Exact scale of compensation is not specified in the measure as it is treated case by case.

Use of measure

No information available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Workers in non-standard forms of employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A



Views and reactions

The Estonian Trade Union Confederation published a brief article on the amendment signalling their support. The article explained the significance of the amendment for workers and conditions for the compensation in case of occupational mental illnesses. A statement by the head of the Trade Union Confederation encourages workers suffering from work-related stress to advocate for their needs and contact their occupational health physician. There are no sources that reflect the views of Estonian Employers Confederation on the topic.


  • 04 December 2022: Töökeskkonnast alguse saanud vaimse tervise probleeme hakatakse käsitlema kutsehaigustena (
  • 09 December 2022: Sotsiaalministri 9. mai 2005. a määruse nr 66 „Kutsehaiguste loetelu” muutmine (
  • 05 January 2023: Ametiühingud: ka stress võib olla kutsehaigus (


Eurofound (2023), Psycho social impacts of work conditions categorised as occupational diseases, measure EE-2023-1/3106 (measures in Estonia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.