Hiring the employee in Estonia
Legal Requirements As To The Form Of Agreement
There is no legal requirement for a contract to be in writing. If a person doeswork for another person for remuneration, it is presumed to be an employmentcontract and the terms and conditions according to the Employment ContractsAct apply. Employment contracts can therefore be oral. Contracts that do notexceed two weeks are not subject to written form requirements.
Trial Period of employment in Estonia
The probation period set by the law is fourmonths. However, the parties can agree differently e.g. for a shorter period or no probation time at all. In a fixed-term employment contract up to 8 months, the trial period cannot be longer than half of the contract term. If the parties agree that no probation time applies to the contract, it shall be clearly noted.
If, during the probation period, an employerdecides that an employee is not suitable forthe job, the employee can be dismissed beforethe expiry of the trial period by giving theemployee 15 days written notice. The employeewill not be entitled to severance pay.
Hours Of Work in Estonia
A full time employee works 40 hours per week(which is deemed to be seven days), unless theemployer and the employee have agreed thatthe employee will be a part-time worker. It ispresumed that the employee works 8 hoursa day.
The age of the employee affects how manyhours he / she is allowed to work. For example:
- employees who are 7-12 years of agecan work 3 hours per day and 15 hoursper week;
- employees who are 13-14 years of ageor who are required by law to attendschool can work 4 hours per dayand 20 hours per week;
- employees who are 15 years of ageand do not have to attend schoolcan work 6 hours per day and 30 hoursper week;
- employees who are 16 (who do nothave to attend school) and 17 years ofage can work 7 hours per day and 35hours per week.
Minimum wages are reviewed annually,following agreement between the EAKLtrade union confederation and the employers.The rate shall provide a standard of livingthat is close to (or even below) subsistencelevels. The rate is enforced by law and appliesnationwide to the majority of full-timeemployees. Minimum wages are grossamounts, that is, before the deduction ofincome tax and social security contributions.There is a restriction prohibiting employeesfrom earning below a minimum hourly wage. The current monthly minimum wage is 390EUR in the year 2015 and the current minimum hourly rate is EUR 2,34.
The normal minimum age of employeesis 15 (which can be varied in certain cases),below which employees cannot work.The Employment Contracts Act regulateshow and what work can be carried outby children of particular ages. Different rules(e.g. on working time) apply to children oryoung workers. There are no maximum agelimits. Persons who have attained 63 yearsof age and who have completed at leastfifteen years of pensionable service havethe right to receive an old-age pension.
An employee has the right to refuse to workif the employee is temporarily unable to workfor the purposes of the Health Insurance Act.An employer may request an applicant toundergo a medical examination to confirmthe employee’s illness/disability and inabilityto work.
Location Of Work/Mobility
The employee’s normal place of work must bespecified by the employer in writing. Mobilityclauses can be included in the contract ofemployment, but they cannot be operatedunreasonably. Where the job requires travelto other temporary locations, it is normal forthe employer to reimburse all reasonable travelexpenses.