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 does work for another person for remuneration, it is presumed to be an employment contract and the terms and conditions according to the Employment Contracts Act 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 four months. 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 employer decides that an employee is not suitable for the job, the employee can be dismissed before the expiry of the trial period by giving the employee 15 days written notice. The employee will 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 the employer and the employee have agreed thatthe employee will be a part-time worker. It is presumed that the employee works 8 hours a day.
The age of the employee affects how many hours he / she is allowed to work. For example:
- employees who are 7-12 years of age can work 3 hours per day and 15 hours per week;
- employees who are 13-14 years of age or who are required by law to attends school can work 4 hours per dayand 20 hours per week;
- employees who are 15 years of age and do not have to attend school can work 6 hours per day and 30 hoursper week;
- employees who are 16 (who do nothave to attend school) and 17 years of age can work 7 hours per day and 35 hours per week.
Minimum wages are reviewed annually,following agreement between the EAKL trade union confederation and the employers.The rate shall provide a standard of living that is close to (or even below) subsistence levels. The rate is enforced by law and applies nationwide to the majority of full-time employees. Minimum wages are gross amounts, that is, before the deduction of income tax and social security contributions.There is a restriction prohibiting employees from 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 employees is 15 (which can be varied in certain cases),below which employees cannot work.The Employment Contracts Act regulates how and what work can be carried out by children of particular ages. Different rules (e.g. on working time) apply to children or young workers. There are no maximum age limits. Persons who have attained 63 years of age and who have completed at least fifteen years of pensionable service have the right to receive an old-age pension.
An employee has the right to refuse to work if the employee is temporarily unable to work for the purposes of the Health Insurance Act. An employer may request an applicant to undergo a medical examination to confirm the employee’s illness/disability and inability to work.
Location Of Work/Mobility
The employee’s normal place of work must be specified by the employer in writing. Mobility clauses can be included in the contract ofemployment, but they cannot be operated unreasonably. Where the job requires travel to other temporary locations, it is normal for the employer to reimburse all reasonable travel expenses.