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Registration of employment

  • The employer is responsible for the correctness of the entry in the Employment Register.
  • The employment of all natural persons must be registered in the Employment Register.
  • The entry upon termination of the employment relationship must be made within ten days of the date of termination.
tühi ankeet

The obligation to register employment lies with all natural and legal persons who provide employment.

A person enabling work (employer) is a legal person resident in Estonia or a non-resident, an Estonian state agency or local government agency, a natural person or a self-employed person who enters into an agreement on the basis of employment or appoints a person (employee).

The Employment Register must record the employment of all natural persons for which a tax liability arises in Estonia, regardless of the form of the contract and its duration. If a person performs work duties abroad and no tax liability arises in Estonia, they do not have to be registered in the Employment Register.

As an exception, unpaid employment in a company and self-employment must also be entered in the Employment Register.

The maker of the entry, i.e. the employer, is responsible for the correctness of the entry in the Employment Register.

An entry in the Employment Register must be made:

  • at the latest by the time the employed person starts work;
  • employment of a child aged 7–14 for ten working days before the child starts working ;
  • within ten days as from the date of expiry of the employment relationship;
  • within ten days as from the date of termination of the employment relationship.

NB! Until the labour dispute committee or the court decides otherwise, the legal basis for making an entry is a declaration for cancellation of an employment contract submitted by an employee together with the legal basis contained therein, i.e. a section of the Employment Contracts Act. An employer is entitled to contest the extraordinary cancellation by an employee in the labour dispute committee or court and the grounds for expiry of the employment relationship may be changed as a result. An employer cannot do this at their own initiative.

Who to contact if an entry in the Employment Register is incorrect?

The employer is primarily responsible for the correctness of the entries in the Employment Register, because according to the Taxation Act it is their obligation to make an entry in the Employment Register upon commencing employment, suspension of the employment (for example, during parental leave or a longer period of holiday without pay, if so agreed between the parties) and expiry of employment.

The entry in the Employment Register is related to several rights that are important for a person, including the right to health insurance, the right to parental benefit, as well as the right to register as unemployed and apply for unemployment benefits. It is important that the termination of the employment relationship takes place on the basis of the actual reason. Not all grounds for termination of employment entitle to the aforementioned benefits. An entry in the Employment Register alone does not guarantee these rights, but together with other important documents, it can be crucial.

Unfortunately, situations arise in life when an incorrect entry in the Employment Register becomes an obstacle for a person, for example, to receive the benefits and social protection prescribed by law.

The following is a brief guide on how to deal with such situations, who to turn to and in what order.

Frequently asked Questions

A person discovers in the employment register that they are registered as an employee of a company where they have never worked and have not been involved with in any other way.

  1. You must contact the employer, sending at least an email (a copy of which you should also keep for yourself) – if necessary, repeatedly and using different channels – to the company’s official address, ie the one indicated in the Commercial Register (data search https://www.rik.ee/en/e-ariregister), and request the deletion of the entry.
  2. If the employee has made every effort to find the employer but has not been successful, the employee should contact the Tax and Customs Board (hereinafter MTA) at [email protected] for termination of the entry (substitutional performance). Please explain in the petition how the petitioner tried to resolve the situation prior to the involvement of MTA. An official of the MTA reviews the petition and tries to find ways to correct the employment register entry (incl having the employer make an entry).
  3. Alternatively, it is possible to take recourse to a labour dispute committee with a claim for the establishment of employment relationship (this is necessary so that the labour dispute committee can establish that there is no employment relationship) and amendment of employment register entry. In addition to the labour dispute committee, it is also possible to take recourse to a court with a claim for establishment of lack of employment relationship. A court judgment that has entered into effect can be used to contact the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.
  4. If a labour dispute committee has made a decision in the matter, the labour dispute committee can amend the entry on the basis of the decision that has entered into force. If a court has made a decision in the matter, the court judgment that has entered into force must be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.

The employer made an entry concerning the commencement of work, but deleted it after a few days and said that the employee did not pass the probationary period, ie the employment contract has expired.

Deleting an entry from the employment register or marking an entry as terminated does not terminate the employment contract. The conditions for termination of an employment contract arise from the Employment Contracts Act. An employment contract can be terminated orally only by agreement of the parties; in other cases, ie in the event of ordinary or extraordinary cancellation of the employment contract, the employer or employee must give the other party a clearly expressed declaration of cancellation in a form reproducible in writing (eg by email).

If the employee discovers that the entries in the employment register are still unchanged, ie the entries are incorrect, then:

  1. You must contact the employer, sending at least an email (a copy of which you should also keep for yourself), and request that they restore the entry and make correct entries that correspond to reality and are in accordance with the provisions of the Employment Contracts Act. Please note! The employment relationship continues until one or the other party makes a declaration of cancellation!
  2. If the employer refuses to restore the cancelled entry, the employee must continue to work and demand work or cancel the employment contract themselves during the probationary period on the basis of subsection 1 of § 86 of the Employment Contracts Act, giving 15 calendar days’ notice. If no work is provided or the employer hinders the commencement of work, the employee may cancel the employment contract without adhering to the term for advance notice pursuant to subsection 2 of § 91 of the Employment Contracts Act.
  3. If a declaration of cancellation is received, but there is no corresponding entry in the employment register, you can take recourse to a labour dispute committee and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Amendment of employment register entry on the basis of a decision made by a labour dispute committee.
  4. Instead of a labour dispute committee, the employee can also take recourse to a court and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Obliging the employer to amend the employment register entry.
  5. If a labour dispute committee has made a decision in the matter, the labour dispute committee can amend the entry on the basis of the decision that has entered into force. If a court has made a decision in the matter and the employer has not amended the entry, the court judgment that has entered into force must be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.
  6. In the event of violations of law regarding taxes (undeclared wages), send a tip to MTA at [email protected]. When submitting a tip, please try to define as precisely as possible the circumstances, time and place of the committed violation of law as well as the details of the person/company involved. Where possible, please provide the given name and surname, date of birth or personal identification code of the person; the name and registry code of the company.

A written employment contract has been entered into with the employee, but the employment register lists an entry ‘other contract under the law of obligations’ as the basis of employment.

  1. The employee contacts the employer, at least via email, requesting that they correct the entry in the employment register, ie make it correspond to reality. Please note! Within three months from the start of employment, the employer can make the entries themselves (ie three months retroactively from the start of employment and the termination entry three months retroactively from termination, etc). If more than three months have elapsed since the entry was made, the employer must contact the MTA via an authenticated channel (the MTA communication application) or by means of a digitally signed application. Amendment of the entry in the employment register (including amendment of the type of employment) must be in accordance with the type of payment declared on the TSD.
  2. If the employee has made every effort to find the employer but has not been successful, the employee should contact the Tax and Customs Board (hereinafter MTA) at [email protected] for amendment of the entry (substitutional performance). Please explain in the petition how the petitioner tried to resolve the situation prior to the involvement of MTA. An official of the MTA reviews the petition and tries to find ways to correct the employment register entry (incl having the employer make an entry).
  3. If amending the entry with the help of MTA proves to be unsuccessful, the employee can take recourse to a labour dispute committee, demanding the following:
    1. Establishment of the employment relationship; and
    2. Amendment of employment register entry on the basis of a decision made by a labour dispute committee.
  4. Instead of a labour dispute committee, the employee can also take recourse to a court and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of the employment relationship; and
    2. Obliging the employer to amend the employment register entry.
  5. If a labour dispute committee has made a decision in the matter, the labour dispute committee can amend the entry on the basis of the decision that has entered into force. If a court has made a decision in the matter and the employer has not amended the entry, the court judgment that has entered into force must be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.

The employment contract has been terminated for a long time and it is verifiable, ie there is a declaration of cancellation, an agreement between the parties, etc, but the entry in the employment register still indicates a valid employment relationship, ie no termination entry has been made.

  1. The employee contacts the employer, at least via email, requesting that they correct the entry in the employment register, ie make it correspond to reality. Please note! Within three months from the start of employment, the employer can make the entries themselves (ie three months retroactively from the start of employment and the termination entry three months retroactively from termination, etc). If more than three months have elapsed since the entry was made, the employer must contact the MTA via an authenticated channel (the MTA communication application) or by means of a digitally signed application.
  2. If the employee has made every effort to find the employer but has not been successful, the employee should contact the Tax and Customs Board (hereinafter MTA) at [email protected] for termination of the entry (substitutional performance). Please explain in the petition how the petitioner tried to resolve the situation prior to the involvement of MTA. An official of the MTA reviews the petition and tries to find ways to amend the employment register entry (incl having an entry made by the employer).
  3. If amending the entry with the help of MTA proves to be unsuccessful, the employee can take recourse to a labour dispute committee, demanding the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Amendment of employment register entry on the basis of a decision made by a labour dispute committee.
  4. Instead of a labour dispute committee, the employee can also take recourse to a court and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Obliging the employer to amend the employment register entry.
  5. If a labour dispute committee has made a decision in the matter, the labour dispute committee can amend the entry on the basis of the decision that has entered into force. If a court has made a decision in the matter and the employer has not amended the entry, the court judgment that has entered into force must be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.

The employment relationship has long since ended (the parties do not communicate or ask/provide work), but the termination of the employment contract has not been formalised in any way and there is no evidence of it, the entry in the employment register still indicates a valid employment relationship, ie no employment termination entry has been made.

  1. You must contact the employer, sending at least an email (a copy of which you should also keep for yourself) – if necessary, repeatedly and using different channels – to the company’s official address, ie the one indicated in the Commercial Register (data search https://www.rik.ee/en/e-ariregister) and make a proposal to terminate the employment contract by agreement of the parties. Please note! An agreement requires the other party to agree to the proposal.
  2. If the company does not take action, does not respond and does not amend the entry, the next option is to send a declaration of ordinary cancellation of the employment contract (within the meaning of subsection 1 of § 85 of the Employment Contracts Act, ie at own request) or a declaration of extraordinary cancellation (pursuant to subsection 2 of § 91 of the Employment Contracts Act) via email to the company’s official address, ie the one indicated in the Commercial Register.
  3. If the employee has made every effort to find the employer but has not been successful, the employee should contact the Tax and Customs Board (hereinafter MTA) at [email protected] for termination of the entry (substitutional performance). Please explain in the petition how the petitioner tried to resolve the situation prior to the involvement of MTA. An official of the MTA reviews the petition and tries to find ways to correct the employment register entry (incl having the employer make an entry).
  4. If amending the entry with the help of MTA proves to be unsuccessful, the employee can take recourse to a labour dispute committee, demanding the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Amendment of employment register entry on the basis of a decision made by a labour dispute committee.
  5. Instead of a labour dispute committee, the employee can also take recourse to a court and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Obliging the employer to amend the employment register entry.
  6. If a labour dispute committee has made a decision in the matter, the labour dispute committee can amend the entry on the basis of the decision that has entered into force. If a court has made a decision in the matter and the employer has not amended the entry, the court judgment that has entered into force must be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.

The company was experiencing financial difficulties and the employer agreed with the employees on holiday without pay of indefinite duration. After that, the member of the management board of the company disappeared, but soon completely new names appeared in the Commercial Register as members of the management board. No further work is provided, but the entries for the employment contract have still not been terminated in the register.

  1. You must contact the employer, sending at least an email (a copy of which you should also keep for yourself) – if necessary, repeatedly and using different channels – to the official address of the company, ie the one indicated in the Commercial Register (data search https://www.rik.ee/en/e-ariregister), describe the situation and ask what the plans of the new board members are regarding the company and employees. If desired, you may also propose to terminate the employment contract immediately, for example, by agreement of the parties. Please note! An agreement requires the other party to agree to the proposal.
  2. If the company does not take action, does not respond and does not amend the entry, the next option is to send a declaration of ordinary cancellation of the employment contract (within the meaning of subsection 1 of § 85 of the Employment Contracts Act, ie at own request) or a declaration of extraordinary cancellation (pursuant to subsection 2 of § 91 of the Employment Contracts Act) via email to the company’s official address, ie the one indicated in the Commercial Register.
  3. If the employee has made every effort to find the employer but has not been successful, the employee should contact the Tax and Customs Board (hereinafter MTA) at [email protected] for termination of the entry (substitutional performance). Please explain in the petition how the petitioner tried to resolve the situation prior to the involvement of MTA. An official of the MTA reviews the petition and tries to find ways to correct the employment register entry (incl having the employer make an entry).
  4. If amending the entry with the help of MTA proves to be unsuccessful, the employee can take recourse to a labour dispute committee, demanding the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Amendment of employment register entry on the basis of a decision made by a labour dispute committee.
  5. Instead of a labour dispute committee, the employee can also take recourse to a court and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Obliging the employer to amend the employment register entry.
  6. If a labour dispute committee has made a decision in the matter, the labour dispute committee can amend the entry on the basis of the decision that has entered into force. If a court has made a decision in the matter and the employer has not amended the entry, the court judgment that has entered into force must be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.

The employee went on parental leave two years ago. In the meantime, the company was sold to new owners, the company has changed its field of activity and the members of the management board have also changed. The employment contract has not been terminated, the entry on the employment contract has been suspended in the employment register.

  1. You must contact the employer, sending at least an email (a copy of which you should also keep for yourself) – if necessary, repeatedly and using different channels – to the official address of the company, ie the one indicated in the Commercial Register (data search https://www.rik.ee/en/e-ariregister), describe the situation and ask what the plans of the new members of management board are. The employee must also be clear whether they wish to return to work or whether they no longer have an interest in the employment relationship. If desired, you may also propose to terminate the employment contract immediately, for example, by agreement of the parties. Please note! An agreement requires the other party to agree to the proposal.
  2. In such a situation, the employee has the right to give notice of the termination of parental leave and the commencement of work with a specific date (giving 30 calendar days’ advance notice), following which the company is forced to decide what to do next. Namely, this involves deciding whether to enable the performance of an existing employment contract, offer a new job or use legal means to terminate the employment contract.
  3. If the company does not respond to repeated emails within a reasonable time (eg within two weeks of the last email), the next option is extraordinary cancellation of the employment contract by the employee on the basis of subsection 2 of § 91 of the Employment Contracts Act due to a breach of the employer’s obligation, which consists of refusal to perform the employment contract and failure to provide work. Making such a declaration of cancellation requires that the prior notice of termination of parental leave and the claim for performance of the employment contract can be proved by the employee in the event of a dispute (eg the employee still has all the emails sent to the employer).
  4. If amending the entry with the help of MTA proves to be unsuccessful, the employee can take recourse to a labour dispute committee, demanding the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Amendment of employment register entry on the basis of a decision made by a labour dispute committee.
  5. Instead of a labour dispute committee, the employee can also take recourse to a court and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Obliging the employer to amend the employment register entry.
  6. If a labour dispute committee has made a decision in the matter, the labour dispute committee can amend the entry on the basis of the decision that has entered into force. If a court has made a decision in the matter and the employer has not amended the entry, the court judgment that has entered into force must be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.

The employee submitted a declaration of extraordinary cancellation on the basis of subsection 2 of § 91 of the Employment Contracts Act because they found that the employer was in fundamental breach of the contract. The employer does not agree with this, but has not contested the cancellation in a labour dispute committee or in court and refuses to make an entry in the employment register regarding the termination of the employment contract.

  1. The employee can, for instance, opt to send the employer an email to draw their attention to the fact that making an entry in the employment register is their obligation, and if this obligation is not fulfilled, the employee will be forced to take recourse to a labour dispute committee or a court.
  2. If the employer fails to respond to such repeated requests, the employee can take recourse to a labour dispute committee and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Amendment of employment register entry on the basis of a decision made by a labour dispute committee.
  3. Instead of a labour dispute committee, the employee can also take recourse to a court and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Obliging the employer to amend the employment register entry.
  4. If a labour dispute committee has made a decision in the matter, the labour dispute committee can amend the entry on the basis of the decision that has entered into force. If a court has made a decision in the matter and the employer has not amended the entry, the court judgment that has entered into force must be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.

The company had only one board member who was also the sole shareholder, but they passed away two months ago. The company’s activities have essentially come to a standstill, three of its employees no longer receive any work and, due to lack of authority, the employees themselves cannot do anything. There is a valid entry on the employment contract in the employment register. What is the next step?

  1. Employees have the opportunity to contact a notary to obtain information about a potential successor and, once this information has been received, to contact the successor to obtain information about the future of the company.
  2. It is also possible to wait until the estate opens in order to find out if and who will take over the company’s activities.
  3. As no work is provided and the employment relationship is with a legal person, there is also the option of extraordinary cancellation of the employment contract on the basis of subsection 2 of § 91 of the Employment Contracts Act due to a breach of the employer’s obligation, which consists of refusal to perform the employment contract and failure to provide work, by sending a corresponding declaration of cancellation to the company’s official address, ie the one indicated in the Commercial Register.
  4. Once the declaration of cancellation has been delivered to the company and it can be verified in the future if necessary, the employee can contact the Tax and Customs Board (hereinafter MTA) at [email protected] for termination of the entry (substitutional performance). Please explain in the petition how the petitioner tried to resolve the situation prior to the involvement of MTA. An official of the MTA reviews the petition and tries to find ways to correct the employment register entry (incl having the employer make an entry).
  5. If amending the entry with the help of MTA proves to be unsuccessful, the employee can take recourse to a labour dispute committee, demanding the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Amendment of employment register entry on the basis of a decision made by a labour dispute committee.
  6. Instead of a labour dispute committee, the employee can also take recourse to a court and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Obliging the employer to amend the employment register entry.
  7. If a labour dispute committee has made a decision in the matter, the labour dispute committee can amend the entry on the basis of the decision that has entered into force. If a court has made a decision in the matter and the employer has not amended the entry, the court judgment that has entered into force must be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.

The only board member of the company who is authorised to perform operations is being held in a detention facility abroad. The company continues to operate in part, but no one knows how long the board member will be absent or what will happen next. Who terminates the employment entry in the employment register?

  1. There must be a legal basis for the termination of the employment contract, ie the employment relationship does not end solely due to the imprisonment of a member of the management board.
  2. The employer has the obligation to make, amend and terminate entries in the employment register. If the termination of the employment relationship has taken place in accordance with the requirements of law, the representative of the employer must also make an entry of termination. If no one other than the member of the management board of the company has been granted the right to amend entries in the employment register and no one else can grant such an authorisation at the moment, the employee can opt for extraordinary cancellation of the employment contract on the basis of subsection 2 of § 91 of the Employment Contracts Act due to a breach of the employer’s obligation, which consists of refusal to perform the employment contract and failure to provide work, by sending a corresponding declaration of cancellation to the company’s official address, ie the one indicated in the Commercial Register.
  3. Once the declaration of cancellation has been delivered to the company and it can be verified in the future if necessary, the employee can contact the Tax and Customs Board (hereinafter MTA) at [email protected] for termination of the entry (substitutional performance). Please explain in the petition how the petitioner tried to resolve the situation prior to the involvement of MTA. An official of the MTA reviews the petition and tries to find ways to correct the employment register entry (incl having the employer make an entry).
  4. If amending the entry with the help of MTA proves to be unsuccessful, the employee can take recourse to a labour dispute committee, demanding the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Amendment of employment register entry on the basis of a decision made by a labour dispute committee.
  5. Instead of a labour dispute committee, the employee can also take recourse to a court and demand the following:
    1. Establishment of termination of employment; and
    2. Obliging the employer to amend the employment register entry.
  6. If a labour dispute committee has made a decision in the matter, the labour dispute committee can amend the entry on the basis of the decision that has entered into force. If a court has made a decision in the matter and the employer has not amended the entry, the court judgment that has entered into force must be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board where the entry will be amended based on the judgement.