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Reporting a violation / sending a tip-off

If an employee has a problem with the working environment or an employment relationship which the employer has not addressed or, in the view of the employee, has not addressed adequately, it is possible to tip-off (i.e. send a complaint to) the Labour Inspectorate about the violation. A violation can be reported in a free format, and depending on the content of the tip-off, the Labour Inspectorate will decide whether to conduct an inspection, send a letter of formal notice or inform other authorities. Sometimes a tip-off may also be left unchecked. The person who sent the tip-off is guaranteed anonymity.

You can report potential violations relating to the working environment and employment relationships:

  • by phone to 640 6000  Mon-Thur from 09.00 to 16.30 and on Fridays to 15.00
  • or by email to [email protected]

When submitting a tip-off, please describe the circumstances, time and place of the violation and, if possible, all the information regarding the people and enterprises involved in the case

If the person submitting the tip is an employee of the company, please also describe whether and how the employer has already been informed of the deficiency - for example, whether the employer, direct supervisor and/or working environment specialist have been contacted, whether the problem has been discussed with the working environment representative.

We emphasize that when dealing with a tip, the Labor Inspectorate is primarily interested in whether the employer is aware of the deficiency and whether they have had the opportunity to resolve the deficiency.

The person’s details who sent the tip-off will not be disclosed to third parties, including the employer. If possible, please include your contact information, so that if we need further details, we will be able to contact you. If desired, the tip can also be sent completely anonymously, but then the Labor Inspectorate has no way to specify any further details.

In order to receive feedback on the processing of the tip-off and its results, you can submit a request for information to the Labour Inspectorate. To submit a request for information, please write to [email protected] or submit the request for information electronically. As a rule, we respond to requests for information within five working days, but depending on the amount of information requested, it may take up to 15 working days to provide an answer. We will inform you about the extension of the time limit for reply and the reason of thereof.

Information that does not fall into our competence will be forwarded to the appropriate authority. 

The Labour Inspectorate's supervisory powers under the Employment Contracts Act (TLS):

  • Notification of employee of working conditions (subsection 1 of § 5 of TLS)
  • Failure to provide data even after receipt of such a request (subsection 3 of § 5 of TLS).
  • Obligation to notify an employee working under a fixed-term employment contract of the option to enter into an employment contract for an unspecified term; obligation to notify an employee who is performing duties by way of temporary agency work of vacant positions in the user undertaking; obligation to notify a full-time employee of the possibility of part-time work and vice versa (TLS).
  • Agreement on the payment of wages (subsection 3 of § 29 of TLS)
  • Agreement to pay gross (not net) wages (subsection 3 of § 29 of TLS)
  • Agreement on payment of wages at least once a month, unless a shorter period has been agreed (subsection 1 of § 33 of TLS).
  • Working time during a quarter of an academic year and during school holidays by age group, taking into account the age of a minor who is subject to the obligation to attend school (subsections 4-42 of § 43 of TLS)
  • Application of summarised working time in violation of a minor's working time or working time limit (subsection 5 of § 43 of TLS).
  • Prohibition for an employee who is under 15 years of age and subject to the obligation to attend school to perform work from 20:00 to 6:00 (22.00 to 6.00 for an employee who is 15–17 years of age and not subject to the obligation to attend school) (clauses 1 and 2 of subsection 1 of § 49 of TLS). Shall not apply if an employee who is a minor performs light work in the field of culture, the arts, sports or advertising under the supervision of an adult from 20:00 to 24:00 (subsection 2 of § 49 of TLS)
  • Prohibition to perform work immediately before the start of a school day (subsection 3 of § 49 of TLS).
  • Consecutive rest time during a quarter of an academic year and school holidays by age group and taking into account the young person's obligation to attend school (subsection 2 of § 51 of TLS).
  • 48 hours of consecutive rest time in a week (subsection 1 of § 52 of TLS)
  • Weekly rest time for summarised working time shall be at least 36 consecutive hours (subsection 2 of § 52 of TLS).
  • Reduction of working time by three hours on 23.02, 22.06, 23.12 and 31.12 (§ 53 of TLS).
  • Daily rest period, consecutive, with exceptions. (subsections 1, 3, 4 of § 51 of TLS)
  • Obligation to grant additional time off for working days of more than 13 hours (subsection 5 of § 51 of TLS).
  • Dividing the rest time into portions (subsection 6 of § 51 of TLS)
  • Obligation to consult before collective redundancies (subsection 1 of § 101 of TLS)
  • Provision of information on the proposed redundancy to the trustee/employees in a format reproducible in writing (subsection 2 of § 101 of TLS).
  • Forwarding a transcript of the data on the planned redundancies to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (subsection 3 of § 101 of TLS)
  • Submission of the data on the redundancies and consultation to the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and the trustee/employees (subsections 1 and 2 of § 102 of TLS).

The Labour Inspectorate does not exercise supervision over:

  • agreements (duty to maintain confidentiality, agreement to provide training, agreement on proprietary liability, contractual penalties, etc.);
  • granting, use and reimbursement of various types of holidays and leaves;
  • approval of certificates of incapacity for work and payment of sickness benefits;
  • payment of bonuses, allowances, etc;
  • reduction of wages;
  • provision of free time;
  • outstanding final settlements;
  • set-off of wages and remuneration;
  • submission of salary statements;
  • equal treatment and discrimination;
  • processing of personal data (including the use of cameras);
  • cancellation of employment relationships (except collective redundancy procedures), etc.

Where possible, breaches of contract that do not fall within the scope of the Labour Inspectorate's supervisory powers and disputes arising from the employment relationship between the employee and the employer are settled by agreement between the parties. If the parties fail to reach an agreement, they have the right to refer the dispute to a labour dispute body (a labour dispute committee or a court) for settlement.

Last updated: 01.09.2023