The employment register and the resolution of labour disputes by a labour dispute committee

On the basis of a decision which has entered into force, the chairman of the labour dispute committee may make an entry in the employment register in order to amend the date of commencement of employment, the type of legal relationship which served as the basis for employment, the date of expiry of an employment contract and the legal basis of the end of an employment contract.

The employment register is a register kept by the Tax and Customs Board for recording important facts related to employment (such as starting date, suspension or termination of employment, type of employment contract, etc.). The employee’s data is entered in the employment register by the employer, who is responsible for the accuracy of the information. The entries in the employment register are important for receiving, inter alia, unemployment insurance benefits, pensions and sickness benefits. Please visit the Tööelu (Working Life) portal for more information about the employment register.

If an employer has entered inaccurate data in the employment register or has neglected to update the data, the labour dispute committee is entitled to amend information such as the nature of the employment contract (e.g. from a contract under the law of obligations into an employment contract), the commencement date of an employment relationship, the end date of an employment relationship, and the legal basis for terminating an employment contract based on the requests submitted in a labour dispute and the ascertained facts. For example, if an employer has indicated in the employment register that a contract is a contract under the law of obligations but a labour dispute committee ascertains that it is an employment contract, the labour dispute committee is entitled to amend the entry on the type of contract in the employment register.

A claim regarding an entry in the employment register is not an self-standing claim, but a subsidiary claim; this means that a petitioner cannot submit a claim for changing an entry in the employment register alone. A claim for changing an entry in the employment register must be submitted together with an establishment claim. This means that the principal claim of a petitioner must be the establishment of a relationship based on an employment contract, establishment of the starting date of an employment relationship, establishment of the termination of an employment contract or establishment of the cancellation of an employment contract as null and void.

The chairman of the labour dispute committee may only amend entries in the employment register based on a decision which has entered into force. This means that a notation on entry into force must be added to the labour dispute committee’s decision. For more information about adding a notation on entry into force, please follow this LINK.

The chairman of the labour dispute committee may, based on a decision of the labour dispute committee that has entered into force, amend the following data:

The date on which the employee starts work is defined as the date on which an employee starts performing their professional duties based on an employment contract, i.e. the starting time of a de facto employment relationship. The time at which an employment contract is concluded and work commences may differ. For example, parties conclude an employment contract on 1 April 2022 with a condition that the employee starts work on 1 June 2022. In this instance, date on which the employee starts work is 1 June 2022.

In addition, the date when an employee was supposed to commence work but was unable to do so for a good reason (in particular under Section 35 of the Employment Contracts Act; e.g. the employee could not actually work due to reasons arising from the employer but the employer was subsequently obliged to remunerate the employee and pay the related taxes) is considered the date on which the employee starts work. For example, the parties conclude an employment contract on 1 April 2022 with a condition that the employee commences work on 1 June 2022; however, the employer does not yet have any work to give to the employee on 1 June 2022. In this case, the date on which the employee starts work is still 1 June 2022.

Two claims must be submitted in order to change the date on which the employee starts work in the employment register. Possible formulation of the claims:

  1. establish a relationship based on an employment contract between the employer and the employee OR establish the date the employment relationship between the employer and the employee commences;
  2. amend the entry about the date on which the employee starts work in the employment register.

The type of legal relationship that formed the basis of employment could be a contract under the law of obligations (typically an authorisation agreement and contract for services) or an employment contract. In the context of a labour dispute, a contract based on the law of obligations or a verbal agreement that has been agreed between the parties may constitute an employment contract. A party can request a labour dispute committee to change the type of the legal relationship that formed the basis of employment and the entry on the date the employee started work simultaneously.

In order to change the type of the legal relationship that formed the basis of the employee’s employment in the employment register, two claims must be filed. Possible formulation of the claims:

  1. establish an employment relationship based on an employment contract between the employer and the employee;
  2. amend the entry in the employment register on the type of legal relationship that formed the basis of employment.

The date of expiry of an employment contract is the date of the last day of an employment relationship. If an employer has entered an incorrect date of expiry of an employment contract in the employment register or not entered it at all, it is possible to request that the entry on the date of expiry of the employment contract be amended by the labour dispute committee. A party may simultaneously request a labour dispute committee to amend the legal basis of the expiry of an employment contract and the entry on the date of expiry of an employment contract.

The date of expiry of an employment contract can be amended in the employment register in two instances.

When neither party contests the termination of the employment contract, two claims must be filed with a labour dispute committee. Possible formulation of the claims:

  1. establish the termination of the employment contract concluded between the employer and the employee;
  2. amend the entry in the employment register regarding the date of expiry of the employment contract.

If the cancellation of an employment contract is contested, the following claims can be filed with a labour dispute committee:

  1. establish the cancellation of the employment contract concluded between the employee and the employer as null and void;
  2. terminate the employment contract via the labour dispute committee pursuant to subsection 107(2) of the Employment Contracts Act (in the case of an employee) OR consider the cancellation of the employment contract to be an ordinary cancellation pursuant to subsection 85(4) of the Employment Contracts Act (in the case of an employer);
  3. amend the entries in the employment register on the legal basis and the date of expiry of the employment contract.

Last updated: 06.07.2022