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Posting Workers to Estonia

A brief memorandum on all the requirements and obligations you must comply with when posting workers to Estonia.

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The working conditions of workers posted to Estonia are regulated by the Working Conditions of Employees Posted to Estonia Act.

According to this Act, an employee posted to Estonia is a natural person who usually works in a foreign State under an employment contract, and whom the employer posts to work in Estonia for a specified period of time, for the provision of a service. 

For more information on the legal framework provided for posted workers at EU-level, read our guide on EU Posted Workers Directives.

Preliminary obligations when posting workers to Estonia

Pursuant to section 5 of the Working Conditions of Employees Posted to Estonia Act, employees posted to Estonia must be registered with the Labour Inspectorate. The posting company must register the employees being posted to Estonia prior to the beginning of the work in Estonia. 

Posting declaration and appointment of a contact person

By providing accurate and timely information through the declaration, companies help ensure transparency and regulatory compliance in the posting of workers to Estonia. 

Key aspects of the posted worker declaration in Estonia typically include

  • Details of the posting company. The declaration includes information about the company posting the workers, such as its name, address, contact information, and registration details
  • Information about posted workers. Companies must provide details about the workers being posted to Estonia, including their names, dates of birth, nationalities, positions, and the duration of their posting. 
  • Nature of work. The declaration specifies the nature of the work to be performed by the posted workers in Estonia. This may include details about the type of services or activities they will be engaged in during their posting. 
  • Duration of posting. Companies are required to indicate the start and end dates of the posting period for each worker included in the declaration. This helps the authorities track the duration of the posting and ensure compliance with regulations regarding temporary work assignments. 

The foreign employer must also appoint a contact person, who manages contact with the labour authorities in case of need. The appointed representative is not necessarily domiciled in Estonia but must be available for the period of the posting. 

Storage of the posting documents

The Labour Inspectorate has the right to request documents for a period of three years after the end of the employee’s posting period.

At the request of the Labour Inspectorate, the posting company is required to submit to the Inspectorate the documents necessary for the performance of State or administrative supervision. 

The list of the documents which may be requested includes: 

  • Employment contract;
  • A1 certificate;
  • Time-sheets;
  • Bank statement regarding the payment of wages; or 
  • Any other document that can be used to prove compliance with the terms and conditions of employment applicable to posted workers. 

The documents are accepted in Estonian, English and Russian.  

Working and salary conditions in Estonia

When it comes to the posting of workers to Estonia, there are specific regulations and requirements that govern the working conditions of such posted workers in the country of destination.  

The working conditions established in Estonia that are applicable to posted employees are the following: 

  • Working time
  • Rest time; 
  • Wages and compensation for overtime work
  • Duration of annual leave
  • Equal treatment and equal opportunities
  • Health, safety, and hygiene standards: employers must provide a safe and healthy working environment for posted workers in Estonia. This includes adhering to health and safety regulations, providing necessary safety equipment, and implementing measures to prevent workplace accidents and injuries. 

Breaks, working hours and annual leave are also regulated on a EU basis, under the EU Working Time Directive.

If the provisions of the law of a foreign State that apply to an employment contract are more favourable to a posted worker than the Estonian provisions, such more favourable provisions shall be applied instead. 

Posting of non-EU workers to Estonia 

The entry of foreigners (except citizens of a member State of EU/EEA or the Swiss Confederation) into Estonia, and their rights and obligations while living, staying, or working in Estonia, are regulated by the Aliens Act

Workers who are posted to Estonia to work for another company for a limited period must be registred by the Police and Border Guard Board in order to work.

In this case, the company, which is registered in Estonia, must apply for the short-term employment registration for these people. The short-term employment registration must be done before the work starts and it allows to work up 365 days within 455 days in Estonia.    

In addition to the application of short-term employment, the posting employer must send a posting declaration to the Estonian Labour Inspectorate. 

In the case of a company posting workers to Estonia to perform subcontracting work, the third-country national employees must have a stay/work permit, issued by the EU country where the company is based.

The registration with the Police and Border Guard Board must be done by the posting company. 

Social security for workers posted to Estonia 

Pursuant to European Regulation n. 883/2004, posted workers to Estonia may continue to be covered by the social security of the Member State where the employer is based

The posting company must apply for an A1 Certificate. The competent social institution will issue it once received all the necessary information. 

Penalties in the case of non-compliance  

In case of non-compliance with the obligation to register employees posted to Estonia, the Labour Inspectorate reserves the authority to impose penalties.

These penalties may amount up to €32,000 for legal entities. Moreover, the Labour Inspectorate is authorized to disclose personal data provided to them to facilitate the execution of duties assigned to the Tax and Customs Board by tax legislation. 

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Regulatory Framework

Working Conditions of Employees Posted to Estonia Act

Reference

Directive 96/71/CE

Reference

Directive 2014/67/EU

Reference

Directive 2018/957/UE

Reference

Reg. 883/2004

Reference

Learn more about Posting of Workers to Europe

Have a look at our in-depth guides about Posting of Workers to EU Countries. If you don’t know where to start, you can have a first look at our introduction on Posting of Workers to Europe.

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