The most capable employer in Estonia is Svarmil AS in Ida-Viru County
The Estonian Employers’ Confederation declared the sewing company Svarmil AS, Subsidiary of Elis Group, operating in Kiviõli, as Estonia's Most Capable Employer; the company receives recognition for its consistent contribution in the field of inclusion of people with reduced working capacity. Almost a fifth of the company's 250 employees have reduced working capacity.
According to Toomas Tamsar, the Head of the Estonian Employers' Confederation, Svarmil is a good example of how corporate responsibility and employer needs come together. “Labour shortage is a problem that an increasing number of companies have to face. By thoughtfully and consistently helping people with reduced work capacity to enter the labour market, both parties benefit – the company gains loyal employees and people can achieve personal fulfilment,” said Tamsar. “For many years, Svarmil has excelled with recruitment policies that are unprejudiced and inclusive of people with reduced working capacity and employers have a lot to learn from their experiences.”
According to Merle Roste, Manager of the Svarmil AS factory, recruiting people with reduced working capacity has not been a conscious strategy for the company, rather, the company has been adapting to the new conditions at the labour landscape. “We have been trying to keep up with the law changes and participate at training to make the right decisions on how to keep people healthy,” Roste said. “We have also done a great deal of awareness-raising work in the company and today it is for us a regular part of the organizational culture that each other's differences are taken into account. As for the recruitment policy, we find that if during the first meeting, all the health risks accompanying the job, and the special needs of the employee are discussed, the result is a good working relationship.”
Anneli Habicht, CEO of the Estonian Chamber for People with Disabilities, said that the inclusion of people with reduced working capacity means an effort for the employer, but results in a long-lasting employment relationship and increases tolerance and adaptability in the whole organization. “I am very grateful to all the employers who include our people. As to Svarmil, it is particularly gratifying that the company involves people with reduced working capacity in the Ida-Viru County, where the unemployment levels are traditionally high,” added Habicht.
The Estonian Employers' Confederations’ award is to recognize and also take it as exemplarity for employers who have taken it to their heart to support the processes with employees and with reduced working capacity as valuable staff members.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and the European Social Fund support the recognition of the Most Capable Employer.