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Labour disputes filed in by the end of 2017 will be resolved based on Individual Labour Dispute Act (valid until 31.12.2017)

Labour Dispute Resolution Act is in effect since 1 January 2018. Labour Dispute Committes will resolve disputes according to this act. All disputes that were filed in before will be resolved based on the earlier Individual Labour Dispute Act.


Application to the Labour Dispute Commitees until the end of 2017

Applications may be submitted to the Labor Dispute Committees on paper or electronically

Applications submitted on paper are signed personally, under the hand of the applicant. The application may be signed by the representative only if a document certifying the right of representation (unattested proxy) is enclosed to the application. The application on paper, together with annexes, is signed and submitted in duplicate and mailed to the relevant Labour Dispute Committee or brought in person.

Application  submitted electronically is signed digitally. If documents are wished to be annexed to the application, they are submitted by e-mail as well.

If necessary the dates which do not suit the applicant and the reason why the dates do not suit the applicant to appear at the hearing within the period of 1.5 months may be pointed out in the application (in particular within the period from the third to the fifth week after the submission of the application).

When determining the time for the sitting the Commission takes into consideration the above mentioned application only with certified good reason.

Unsigned applications are not accepted.

In the application the following information is set out:

 

  1. the name, personal identification code or registry code, workplace, residence or location and telecommunications numbers of the applicant;
  2. the name, personal identification code or registry code, residence or location and telecommunications numbers of the person against whom the claim is filed;
  3. the clearly and unambiguously expressed claim of the applicant, and, in the case of a financial claim, the sum of the claim (gross amount) and calculation procedure;
  4. the description of the facts which are the basis for the claim and which justify the claim and the legal basis for the claim; data on conclusion of the employment contract
  5. documentary evidence which justifies the claim;
  6. the date and applicant`s signature.

 

If documentary evidence is added as an annex to an application, they must be annexed to the application. Financial claims are noted in gross amounts.

Limitation period for filing claim

 

  1. The general limitation period for filling claim is four month
  2. The limitation period for filing a claim to challenge the cancellation of an employment contract is 30 calendar days as of the receipt of a notice of cancellation;
  3. The limitation period for filing a claim for payment of wages is three years.

If a financial claim is 10,000 euros or more, the labour dispute committee returns the application, as pursuant to § 4 of the Individual Labour Dispute Resolution Act, labour dispute committees do not resolve disputes over so large financial claims.



Proceeding of a labour dispute at a meeting

For hearing a matter of a labour dispute at a meeting summonses are delivered to the parties to the dispute. As a rule labour disputes are heard and resolved in the presence of the employees and employer or their representatives. As an exception the Labour Dispute Committee may:

  • hear the claim with the written consent of the parties to the labour dispute in their absence, if the person against whom the claim is filed recognises it to the full extent;
  • if the employees or employer do not attend the meeting of the committee with good reason, the dispute resolution will be adjourned;
  • if a person against whom a claim is filed fails to attend a meeting without good reason or has submitted a written consent for hearing of the application in his or her absence, the labour dispute committee may make a decision in his or her absence (Individual Labour Dispute Resolution Act § 18).

In a meeting, the explanations of persons concerned and witnesses are heard, and documents and other evidence are inspected and assessed. At a meeting an applicant may supplement the claims set out in a written application and submit additional documentary evidence. Additional claims are filed in writing. At a meeting an applicant has the right to waive claims set out in an application in full or in part. (Individual Labour Dispute Resolution Act § 20).


Enforcement of the decision of a Labour Dispute Committee

The decision is made on the day the matter is heard. Only members of the committee are present while a decision is made.  The chairman of a committee sitting alone decides on a matter of labour dispute in which the party against whom a claim is filed has recognised the claim to the full extent (Individual Labour Dispute Resolution Act § 22).

The decision of a labour dispute committee is communicated to the parties to the dispute within five working days after the meeting is held. On the day the meeting is held, the parties are informed of the date and time of communication of the decision. On the date of communication of a decision, the copy of the decision is given to the parties or sent by post pursuant to the procedure prescribed in the Administrative Procedure Act (Individual Labour Dispute Resolution Act § 23).

If it is not possible to deliver the decision because it cannot be handed over on the date of announcement of the decision or in the recipient’s dwelling or business premises, the decision is deemed delivered by putting the decision in a mailbox belonging to the dwelling or business premises or to another similar place which the recipient uses for mail and which usually guarantees the preservation of packages.

If the parties do not agree with the decision it can be contested in full or partly. The parties to the dispute may have recourse to city or county courts for hearing of the same labour dispute, within one month after the date following the date of receipt of a copy of the decision of the labour dispute committee.

 A decision of a labour dispute committee enters into force if no party files a statement of claim to a city or county court for hearing of the same labour dispute. A decision of a labour dispute committee which has entered into force is binding on the parties (Individual Labour Dispute Resolution Act § 25).

Decisions of a labour dispute committee are executed after the entry into force thereof, except immediate execution (Individual Labour Dispute Resolution Act § 26).

A labour dispute committee may obligate an employer by a decision to immediately continue to carry out an employment contract if the committee establishes that cancellation of the employment contract by the employer was void.

A labour dispute committee shall declare a decision ordering payment of wages to be subject to immediate execution to the extent necessary for the employee but not exceeding the extent of two months’ wages.

Upon recourse to a court for challenging a decision which is to be immediately executed, one has the right to apply for suspension of immediate execution by way of securing the action.


Addition of a notation of entry into force on the decision

The decision of a Labour Dispute Committee enters into force if neither the employee nor the employer have for challenging the decision submitted a statement of claim to county court within one month after receipt of the decision.

In order the bailiff can insist on compliance with the decision, there must be a notation of entry into force on the decision. To add a notation of entry into force on the decision, an application must be submitted to the Labour Dispute Committee who has made the decision. The request can be sent by mail or electronically. The contacts of the Labour Inspectorates can be found here.

After receiving a request, the secretary of the Labour Dispute Committee makes an inquiry to the county court to identify if the parties to the dispute have addressed the court concerning the issue. It may take 2-3 days to obtain a response from the court. If it is identified that the decision has been contested in court, notation of entry into force is not added to the decision and the applicant is notified in writing.

Pursuant to the amendments to the Act entered into force on 07.01.2014 Labour Dispute Committees add a notation of entry into force on the decision at the reasoned request of concerned administrative authorities (in particular the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, Health Insurance Fund, Tax and Customs Board, the Social Insurance Board).

A notation of entry into force is added to the decision only if it is established that the decision has not been contested in court.