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Legal requirements for employers when employing a foreigner in Estonia

Employers in Estonia have some legal obligations when it comes to employing foreigners (except EU citizens) that are often not followed. This can lead to unexpected problems both for the employer and the employee. We cover a few of them below.


Salary requirement


The employers has to be pay a certain minimum amount of salary to the foreign employee. For example in the case of short-term employment the minimum salary is the average Estonian salary This is published by Statistics Estonia: https://www.stat.ee/en .


This is the requirement also for most of the residence permit cases but there are exceptions.

Employment registry


The employer is responsible for maintaining the accuracy of the employment registry (kept with the Tax Board). This means the end of the employment also needs to be registered. Failure to comply can influence the good reputation of the employer and this can lead to difficulties in future employing process.


Obligations related to commencing and terminating employment

The employer needs to notify the Police and Border Guard about the commencement of employment, also about not concluding employment agreements in case of short-term employment, not starting the employment or also changes in the conditions of employment (such as salary). Importantly there is the obligation to notify of the termination of employment. This is often not done.


Legal basis for employment

The employer also needs to confirm the foreigner has legal basis for working and living in Estonia.

In many cases the breach of obligations can lead to a fine and also future difficulties when employing foreigners.


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