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Estonia

January 15, 2021

By Karina Paatsi

Back to International Employment Law

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2021


 

Remote work and related issues

There are still a number of unresolved issues related to remote work. It is still not entirely clear what expenses must be covered by the employer in case of remote work and whether the parties are free to agree on sharing liability related to health and safety while working remotely. Remote work from abroad also raises tax‑related issues.


 

Vaccination of employees

There is an ongoing debate as to whether the employers can terminate the employment contracts of employees who refuse to be vaccinated. There are opinions that the employer should have such right in case if the risk analysis of the work environment shows that there are no other means for sufficiently protecting the health of personnel and clients (e.g., in hospitals, care homes).


 

Flexible working time

Existing employment laws do not allow agreement upon flexible working time ‑ under the law the employers and the employees need to agree upon the exact number of working hours per day, week, or month. Exceeding such agreement means working overtime, whereas working less obliges the employer to pay average salary for such time. A pilot project was due to enter into force on 1 July 2021 to enable employers in retail businesses to hire a certain number of employees with flexible working hours, i.e., only part of the working hours would need to be fixed and the employer would have the right to apply additional hours based on the company's needs for which regular salary (not overtime fee) would be paid. The aim of such regulation is to decrease the number of civil law contracts in that industry and encourage the companies to conclude which do not provide the employees protection of the employment laws.

With thanks to Karina Paatsi of Cobalt for her invaluable collaboration on this update.

Contributors

Image: Suzanne Horne
Suzanne Horne
Partner, Employment Law Department

Image: Kirsty Devine
Kirsty Devine
Associate, Employment Law Department

Image: Aashna Parekh
Aashna Parekh
Associate, Employment Law Department

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