Online Employment Contract by pgu20395

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									ENTERING INTO
     AN
 EMPLOYMENT
  CONTRACT




 More information is
 available online at
    www.sm.ee
Work is normally done on the basis of an
employment contract, but it can also be based
on an authorisation agreement, a contract for
services or other similar agreements.

Compared to other contracts, an employment
contract guarantees the employee greater
rights and better protection, which is why
you should favour an employment contract
wherever possible.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN
EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT
The following aspects are all characteristic of
employment contracts and distinguish them
from other kinds of agreements:

• the employee is instructed and checked in
  the work they do by the employer, i.e. the
  employer dictates the place, time and manner
  of work;
• the employer pays the employee a periodic
  fee for the work they do;
• the employer and employee enter into
  a mutual agreement in the form of the
  employment contract, generating the
  expectation that work will be available for a
  longer period;
• the employee generally does the work
  personally;
• in order to do the work the employee uses the
  resources, materials and equipment provided
  by the employer; and
• the employee is introduced into the
  employer’s company (working on the
  employer’s premises, following their rules and
  taking part in events with colleagues).

In the event of a dispute as to whether
the agreement in question constitutes an
employment contract, it is always assumed that
the parties have entered into an employment
contract.
WHAT SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO
ACCOUNT WHEN ENTERING INTO
AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT?
• To enter into an employment contract
   you need the agreement of both parties.
   The contract is considered to have been
   entered into once the employer and the
   employee have agreed on its key terms
   and conditions.
• The Employment Contracts Act does not
   provide a list of key terms and conditions.
   It is up to the employer and employee to
   decide what they consider to be important
   and what should be included in the
   contract.
• In negotiations with the employer to
   enter into the employment contract, the
   employee must set out the terms and
   conditions that they feel are important and
   in which they hope to reach agreement
   with the employer. Such key points are
   wages, work place, working hours and
   duties.
• The employee has the right to examine
   the draft version(s) of the employment
   contract. Before signing the contract
   you should review the points pertaining
   to duties, wages, work place and other
   conditions and make sure that all of the
   key terms and conditions have been
   included.
 • In preparing to enter into an employment
   contract (for example during interviews
    or in job advertisements) the employer
    does not have the right to request
    personal information in which they
    can have no justified interest. As a rule,
    employers have no right to ask about
    family planning, religious or political views,
    sexual orientation, personal beliefs, etc. If
    the employer requests such information,
    they must explain why they need to know
    it and how it is connected to the job in
    question.
•   Before entering into an employment
    contract and starting work, the employee
    should review the employer’s rules in
    terms of the organisation of work, and any
    collective agreements entered into in the
    company.
•   An employment contract should be
    entered into in writing (signed by hand or
    digitally). Two copies of the contract are
    signed by both parties – one copy is given
    to the employee and the other is retained
    by the employer.
•   Entering into an employment contract
    in a form other than writing does not
    invalidate the agreement between the
    parties, but can lead to later complications
    in terms of providing evidence of the
    agreement (should disputes arise in terms
    of wages, working and rest time, duties
    and other conditions). The clearer the
    agreement between the parties, the easier
    it will later be to resolve any disputes.
•   Employment contracts can be amended
    with the agreement of both parties.
WHAT INFORMATION DOES AN
EMPLOYER NEED TO GIVE AN
EMPLOYEE BEFORE THEY START
WORK?

AN EMPLOYER NEEDS TO PROVIDE AN
EMPLOYEE WITH INFORMATION OF THE
FOLLOWING (IN WRITING):

 • the name, registry code and location of
   the employer;
 • the date of entry into the employment
   contract and the date on which the
   employee will start work;
 • the employee’s duties;
 • the wages;
 • the date on which the employee will be
   paid;
 • the working hours;
 • the place in which the employee will
   work;
 • the duration of holidays;
 • the advance notice required for
   termination of the employment contract;
 • the rules governing the organisation of
   work in the company; and
 • any valid collective agreements.
• The employer must provide this
  information to the employee in good faith
  and in a clear and comprehensible way.
  For example, the text of the employment
  contract must not be illegible or printed in
  too small a font size.
• If the aspects of the employment contract
  explained by the employer remain
  confusing, the employee should seek
  clarification from the employer.

WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYEES
KNOW ABOUT THE
PROBATIONARY PERIOD?

• Every working relationship is subject to a
  4-month probationary period.
• The employer and employee can agree to
  shorten this period or skip it altogether.
  Such an agreement must be entered into
  in writing. If no such agreement exists,
  the 4-month probationary period is
  automatically implemented.
• In the case of an employment contract
  entered into for a specified period of up to
  8 months, the probationary period cannot
  be longer than half of the duration of the
  contract. For example, in the case of a
  6-month contract the probationary period
  cannot exceed 3 months.
 • During the probationary period the
   employer assesses whether the employee’s
   health, knowledge, skills, abilities and
   personal qualities are appropriate to the
   job in question.
• Employment contracts may be cancelled
   during the probationary period by
   providing 15 calendar days’ notice. The
   employer must justify their cancellation of
   the contract.

WHAT SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO
ACCOUNT WHEN ENTERING INTO
AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT
FOR A SPECIFIED PERIOD?

• The law presumes that employment
  contracts are entered into for an
  unspecified period. However, with the
  agreement of both parties, such contracts
  can be entered into for a specified period.
• In order to enter into an employment
  contract for a specified period, the
  employer must be able to justify
  the temporary nature of the work.
  (Justification in such a case could be
  a short-term increase in workload or
  seasonal work.)
 • When entering into such an employment
   contract, the employer must inform the
   employee in writing of the duration of the
   contract and the reason for entering into
   the contract for a specified term. If the
   employer does not do this, the working
   relationship is deemed to have been
   entered into for an unspecified term.
• Employment contracts with specified
   terms may be entered into for up to 5
   years. Such a contract may be entered into
   in order to replace an employee for the
   duration of their absence. For example, an
   employment contract may be entered into
   to replace an employee who is on parental
   leave until that employee returns to work.
• The term of any working relationship
   automatically becomes unspecified if the
   employment contract is entered into for a
   specified term to do the same work three
   or more times in succession or is extended
   more than once in 5 years. Employment
   contracts with specified terms are
   considered to have been entered into in
   succession when the period between the
   end of one contract and the start of the
   next is less than 2 months.
 • An employee can only cancel an
   employment contract entered into for a
   specified term if they have a good reason
   for doing so.
• In making an employee working on the
   basis of an employment contract with a
   specified term redundant, the employer
   must pay the employee compensation
   equivalent to the remaining wages that
   would otherwise have been paid up to the
   end date of the contract.
LEGAL ACTS RELEVANT TO
ENTERING INTO EMPLOYMENT
CONTRACTS
www.riigiteataja.ee:
•	 Employment Contracts Act
           Further information:
         Ministry of Social Affairs
            Gonsiori 29, 15027 Tallinn
E-mail: info@sm.ee / Telephone: +372 626 9301
                www.sm.ee
           Labour Inspectorate
           Gonsiori 29, 15027 Tallinn
 E-mail: ti@ti.ee / Telephone: +372 626 9400
  Legal information hotline: +372 640 6000
         (Mon–Fri 10:00 am–3:00 pm)
                 www.ti.ee




                         European Union
                       European Social Fund   For the future of Estonia

								
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