Resolution of a labor dispute in a Labor Dispute Committee of an employee posted to Estonia

According to the law in force in Estonia, the working language in resolving labour disputes is Estonian. An Estonian-language petition along with Estonian-language evidence is to be submitted to the labour dispute committee. If the submitted petition or documents are in a foreign language, the labour dispute committee has the right to request their translation into Estonian.

An employee posted to Estonia can turn to a Labor Dispute Committee in Estonia in two cases. In the first case, he or she can file a claim against his or her employer who posted the employee to Estonia if his or her rights arising from the Working Conditions of Employees Posted to Estonia Act have been violated. For example, if the posted worker's employer has not compensated the employee for overtime work in accordance with the procedure for compensation for overtime work established in Estonia.

In the second case, recourse to the Labor Dispute Committee in Estonia may take place in connection with a claim for salary against the person who ordered the service from the employer of the employee posted to Estonia. An employer of a foreign country is obliged to pay salary to an employee posted to Estonia. If the employer fails to pay the posted employee the salary, the employer has breached the obligations arising from the contract. In this case, the employee can first file a claim for salary with the foreign or Estonian labor dispute body against his or her employer.If it is not possible to collect the salary from the employer within six months after the enforcement of the decision, it is possible in certain cases to request payment of salary from the person who ordered the service from the posted employee's employer by turning to the Estonian Labor dispute Committee.

The right to claim the payment of salary from the person who ordered the service is applicable in cases when the work done by the posted employee is connected with construction work involving the construction, renovation, maintenance, alteration or demolition of buildings, including excavation work, earthmoving work, actual construction work, or the assembly and demolition, connection and installation, modification, renovation, repair, disassembly, demolition, maintenance, painting, cleaning or repair of prefabricated components.

The amount of salary that an employee posted to Estonia can claim in such a case is limited to the minimum monthly wage established in Estonia. In 2022, minimum monthly salary for a full-time employment is 654 euros (gross).

At the same time, it must be borne in mind that a person who has ordered a service from the posted employee's employer is not required to pay the salary to the employee posted to Estonia if in everyday economic activities he or she has exercised due diligence in their relationship with the employer of the posted employee.

Important points in connection with the resolution of labor disputes if the petitioner is an employee posted to Estonia:

  • The settlement of labor disputes and the communication with the Labor Dispute Committee takes place in Estonian, which also means that a labor dispute petition must be submitted in Estonian. In the case of proof in a foreign language, an Estonian translation must be submitted
  • The Labor Dispute Committee provides the option of holding the session virtually (via video bridge), should there be a need for a session
  • It is possible to turn to the Labor Dispute Committee personally or through a representative. A representative can be any person (except a witness in the occurring case), who the employee posted to Estonia has assigned to represent him or her, such as an acquaintance, friend or a lawyer, however it is important that the person would speak Estonian. In order to appoint a representative, a signed letter of authorization must to be attached to the labor dispute petition
  • The labor dispute petition has to be signed. It can be signed digitally and sent to the email address [email protected]. If there is no possibility to digitally sign the labor dispute petition, the petition may be signed on paper and sent to the Labor Dispute Committee by mail
  • When resolving a labor dispute matter in a Labor Dispute Committee each party shall cover their own procedural expenses (for example, possible costs related to filling out the labor dispute petition and representation in the labor dispute)

Last updated: 21.06.2022