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Awareness of each other’s rights and obligation is a good foundation for open relations in one’s working life. Informed conduct in employment relations gives parties a chance to be equal partners and involved in the development of working life.

The following legal acts regulate working life in Estonia:

1)   The Employment Contracts Act (ECA) regulates the relations between the employee and the employer that arise out of the employment contract. The Act brings together the norms regulating individual employment relations, including rules applicable to entry into and termination of employment contracts, wages, working and rest time, holiday and material liability. It is important to keep in mind that in case of a dispute, the final solution is provided by a labour dispute committee or court. The ECA can be accessed from the online Riigi Teataja (State Gazette): https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/Riigikogu/act/512122016002/consolide

2)      The Working Conditions of Employees Posted to Estonia Act (WCEPEA) – the objective of the Act is to ensure the protection of the rights of employees posted to Estonia from a foreign state and fair competition among employers providing the service. The WCEPEA can be accessed from the online Riigi Teataja: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/Riigikogu/act/512122016001/consolide

3)     The Equal Treatment Act (ETA) – the purpose of the Act is to ensure persons are protected against discrimination on grounds of nationality (ethnic origin), race, colour of skin, religion or other beliefs, age, disability or sexual orientation. The ETA can be accessed from the online Riigi Teataja:https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/Riigikogu/act/530102013066/consolide

4)      The Gender Equality Act (GEA) – the purpose of the Act is to ensure equal treatment of men and women as provided for in the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and to promote equality of men and women as a fundamental human right and for the public good in all areas of social life. The GEA can be accessed from the online Riigi Teataja: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/Riigikogu/act/521012016001/consolide

5)    The Private International Law Act (PILA) – the Act applies in cases where a legal relationship is connected with the law of more than one state. If, according to an Act, international agreement or transaction, foreign law is to be applied, the court applies such law regardless of whether or not application of the law is requested. Foreign law is applied pursuant to the interpretation and practice of application of the applicable law in the corresponding state. The PILA can be accessed from the online Riigi Teataja: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/Riigikogu/act/514032016002/consolide

6)    European Parliament and Council regulation (EC), 17 June 2008, No 593/2008 (Rome I) – the regulation applies, in situations involving a conflict of laws, to contractual obligations which allows the parties free choice of the law applicable to employment contract. Such a choice may not, however, have the result of depriving the employee of the protection afforded to him or her by provisions that cannot be derogated from by agreement. To the extent that the applicable law has not been chosen by the parties, the employment contract is governed by the law of the country where the country in which the employee habitually carries out his or her work in performance of the contract. Where such a country cannot be determined, the contract shall be governed by the law of the country where the place of business through which the employee was engaged is situated. Where it appears from the circumstances as a whole that the contract is more closely connected with another country, the law of that other country applies.

For more information on the regulation, access the European Community law Web page EUR-Lex: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32008R0593

7)    European Parliament and Council directive 96/71/EC, 16 December 1996, concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services – the directive applies to undertakings established in a Member State which, in the framework of the transnational provision of services, post workers for a limited period to the territory of a Member State other than the State in which they normally work.

For more information on the directive, access the European Community law Web page EUR-Lex: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A31996L0071

8)      European Parliament and Council Directive 2014/67/EU, 15 May 2014, on the enforcement of Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 on administrative cooperation through the Internal Market Information System (IMI Regulation) – this is the implementing directive of posted workers to enhance the application and actual enforcement of the posting of workers directive 96/71/EC, ensuring better protection of posted workers and better envisaged and more transparent legal framework for service providers.

For more information on the directive, access the European Community law Web page EUR-Lex: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=celex%3A32014L0067