Several international corporations have established branches in Estonia and the number of such branches is expected to grow in the future. Therefore it is apparent that the matters of applying the Estonian labour law to alien employees need to be explained in a short format.
If an Estonian employer is planning to employ an alien, both parties should consider that:
a) Estonian labour law applies to alien’s employment in Estonia, and
b) the Police and Border Guard Administration (PBGA) may intervene in relations between the employer and employee in order to prescribe requirements for the alien’s employment in Estonia, but only in limited extent. If the PBGA’s decision to grant residence permit prescribes additional requirements not expressly stated by the law as compulsory, then it would probably be reasonable to analyse whether the PBGA is intervening too much in the employer-employee relations with such requirements.
The courts unanimously declared that the Estonian labour law regulations apply also to alien employees. The Aliens Act (AA) does prescribe some special provisions, but the applying of those provisions does not in any way prejudice the applying of the Employment Contracts Act (ECA). The Supreme Court also stressed that although the PBGA may prescribe the conditions for an alien’s employment in Estonia with its decision of granting residence permit, the PBGA does not have unlimited options in doing so.
Source: Ramil Pärdi
André Beukes is an EU Management Consultant to international companies doing business in Europe.
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