If a petition has been filed with omissions which prevent the petition being heard, the chairman of the labour dispute committee will issue a ruling granting a time limit of up to 15 calendar days to eliminate the omissions in the petition. First, the petitioner must confirm that they have received the ruling. The ruling states the time limit the chairman of the labour dispute committee has granted to the petitioner and which omissions the petitioner must eliminate. The petitioner must eliminate the omissions on the last day of the time limit at the latest. The time limit is calculated from the day that follows the date on which receipt of the ruling was acknowledged. For example, if a labour dispute committee sends a ruling for the elimination of omissions to a petitioner on 1 May 2022 and the employee acknowledges receipt of the ruling on 2 May 2022, the time limit granted by the ruling is counted from 3 May 2022.
If a petitioner does not eliminate the omissions within the time limit granted by a labour dispute committee, the chairman of the labour dispute committee will issue a ruling refusing the petition for adjudication. The petition and its annexes are returned to the petitioner. When the matter is not accepted for adjudication, the petition is deemed not to have been submitted to the labour dispute committee. Petitioners have the right to file the petition with the labour dispute committee again if they submit a valid (correct) petition.
If you cannot sign a petition digitally, you can file a personally signed paper petition by post. If the evidence is in an electronic format, it can be sent to [email protected]; a note should be added that the documents accompany a petition filed as a hard copy (also stating who and when sent the petition).
Pursuant to subsection 45(1) of the Labour Dispute Resolution Act, each party must prove the facts on which the claims and objections of that party are based. A labour dispute committee does not collect evidence to resolve a labour dispute; it may only rely on the evidence which the parties have submitted to the labour dispute committee when discussing the case and making a decision. A party can choose independently whether to submit any evidence and which kind to present in order to substantiate their claims or allegations.
Petitioners must file a petition containing a specific claim, and in the case of a monetary claim, the amount of the claim and how it was calculated. The labour dispute committee does not calculate claim amounts on behalf of a petitioner. If the amount of the claim is missing from the petition, the chairman of the labour dispute committee grants a time limit to the petitioner to eliminate this omission, i.e. to submit the amount of the claim.
A claim for a penalty for late payment should be filed as an amount of a claim as at the time of filing a petition, and starting from the day following it until the main claim is settled, in the amount stipulated by law. An example: order the employer to pay a penalty to the employee for late payment as at the date of filing the petition (i.e. 1 May 2022) in the amount of X euros, and starting from 2 May 2022 until the conforming performance of the obligation, in the amount of X% of the main claim.
A labour dispute committee presumes that monetary claims are submitted as gross amounts. However, filing claims in net amounts is not prohibited, but in this case, the petition must clearly state that the amount of the claim has been provided in net amount.
Claims that are already being processed can be specified further (for example, the amount of a monetary claim can be changed), but new claims cannot be filed for the same proceeding. For any new claims, the petitioner must file a new petition. If the chairman of the labour dispute committee finds that it would be reasonable to adjudicate on both claims of the petitioner simultaneously, he will join the petitions that the petitioner has submitted into a single hearing.
If a party would like a witness to be heard at a session, that party must invite the witness to the session. The labour dispute committee does not summon witnesses to sessions.
When the labour dispute committee accepts a labour dispute for adjudication, it sends the opposing party the petition and the annexed evidence as well as the ruling to accept a petition for adjudication. The labour dispute committee issues a ruling granting the opposing party a time limit to reply and submit evidence. The opposing party must reply to the labour dispute committee by the last day of the time limit.
Pursuant to subsection 45(1) of the Labour Dispute Resolution Act, each party must prove the facts on which the claims and objections of that party are based. An opposing party must also submit evidence to substantiate their claims and positions. The opposing party can choose whether to submit any evidence and which type to submit to the labour dispute committee in order to substantiate their allegations.
If the petitioner has requested that the opposing party submit evidence and the opposing party is obliged to store certain information (e.g. written employment contracts, payroll by the employer), the chairman of the labour dispute committee will set a time limit for the opposing party to submit evidence. The opposing party is obligated to submit evidence requested by a ruling of the labour dispute committee. If the opposing party fails without reason to submit the evidence requested by the petitioner but they are obligated by law to store the evidence, then the labour dispute committee will deem the arguments concerning the content of the evidence or information to be proven.
For more information, please visit the section on evidence.
It is possible to attend a labour dispute committee session through virtual channels. In order to do this, the party must submit a request to attend the session virtually to the labour dispute committee. The secretary/desk officer of the labour dispute committee sends the necessary information on participating in the session to the parties prior to the session.
It is also possible to send a representative to attend a labour dispute committee session on your behalf. If you are unable to attend a session personally, you can authorise a third person to participate at the session on your behalf.
If you have a valid reason for being unable to attend a session, you can submit a request for the postponement of the session to the labour dispute committee. In this case, you must submit evidence of the good reason (e.g. in the case of an illness, you must submit a document proving the illness, if you need to attend another session at the same time, you must submit evidence of the time of the other session, etc.).
If a petitioner does not appear at a session and has not submitted a reasoned request for the postponement of the session, the labour dispute committee will terminate the proceedings. A labour dispute committee can hear a matter in a session without the presence of an opposing party if the opposing party has given their written consent or the opposing party fails to attend the session without good reason.
Labour dispute committee proceedings take place in Estonian. Therefore, labour dispute committee sessions are also conducted in Estonian. If you do not speak Estonian, you must invite an interpreter to the session. A sworn interpreter does not need to be used, but the interpreter must speak sufficient Estonian for the party to understand what is happening at the session and for the labour dispute committee and the other party to understand the evidence of the party.
A labour dispute committee does not provide an interpreter for a party or cover the cost of interpreting.
Last updated: 06.07.2022