Self-employed workers (Directive 2010/41/EU and some relevant provisions of the Recast Directive)

AuthorAnu Laas
8 Self-employed workers (Directive 2010/41/EU and some relevant
provisions of the Recast Directive)
8.1 General (legal) context
8.1.1 Surveys and reports on the specific difficulties o f self-employed workers
Surveys on entrepreneurship and micro enterprises from a gender perspective a re rare.
The Estonian Institute of Economic Research has studied creative industries.172 Artists,
musicians and other creative industry entrepreneurs are combining sole proprietorship
with other business forms, e.g . acting as a limited company, while actually being a one-
person company. This person can be both owner and board member.
Rugina (2018)173 states that while the formal entrepreneurship environment is considered
to be very developed in the Baltic countries, women are underrepresented among the
population of entrepreneurs, and there is gender -based sectoral segregation of female
entrepreneurs in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Unfortunately, Rugina’s analysis is very
general and lacks a gender sensitive approach.
Meronen (2015)174 found that the main factors th at motivate women to start a business
are greater independence and freedom, work related challenges, car eer opportunities,
implementation of innovative ideas and difficulties or discrimination in a previous
workplace. The main factors that hamper women’s entrepreneurship are related with
willingness to have a small business in se rvice, care or education sect or (least profitabl e
businesses) fear of asking for help, the lack of the necessary knowledge or skills, low self-
esteem, fear of taking risks, an d family-related responsibilities. Wom en often have to
choose whether to focus on the success of their business or t o fulfill their family-related
responsibilities. Meronen pointed out that female business owners in Estonia see the
business environment much more positively than female entrepreneurs in Finland. The
positive side of the Estonian business environment is the access to necessary information.
8.1.2 Other issues
Estonian entrepreneurship and industry policy does not mention women and female
entrepreneurship. Policy makers do not accept the idea that an entrepreneur’s gender has
any relevance in business. There are no other relevant issues.
8.1.3 Overview of national acts
In Estonia, the largest group of self-employed persons are sole proprietors. The definition
of self-employed persons includes people working under non-standard contracts who offer
goods or services for a fee in their own name, an d members of companies’ management
On 14 June 2012, Parliament adopted the Act on Amendments to the Social Tax Act and
Other Acts, which entered into force on 1 August 2012.176 This Act ensures equal treatment
172 Eesti Konjunktuuriinstituut (2018), Eesti loomemajanduse uuring ja kaardistus (Mapping Estonian creative
industries). Available in Estonian at:
173 Rugina, S. (2018), ‘Female entrepreneurship in the Baltics: formal and informal context’, International
Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship,
174 Meronen, K. (2015), Naiste ettevõtlus ning töö- ja eraelu tasakaalustamine (Women’s Entrepreneurship and
Work-Llife Balance), thesis, University of Tartu,
175 Commercial Code (Äriseadustik), RT I, 17.11.2017, 22,
176 Amendments to the Social Tax Act and related legal texts, 14 June 2012 (passed in Parliament on 14 June

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