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Posted Workers

Viimati uuendatud: 24.02.2017

Due to the favourable conditions of the constantly developing joint market, employers’ possibilities have continued to expand to send their employees to some other member state. Providing international services has also sent employees to work in foreign countries, even though they have concluded the employment contract with an Estonian employer. Employees of foreign employees also come to work in Estonia.

In this situation, the posted worker an employer can have a hard time understanding, what country’s legal framework must be followed when working in another country. Should it be Estonian or not, and will the Estonian legal system find a solution for all questions that arise during working in Finland or Germany?

It gets more complicated, as there are business trips and posted worker. The term used in Estonian law (“person on a business trip”) is linguistically similar to the EU term (“posted worker”). The posted worker concept is regulated in European Parliament and Council Directive No 96/71/EC, concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services.

Following the Employment Contracts Act (ECA) valid in Estonia, an employee is on a business trip if the employer sends them to another place (different from the workplace as set in the employment contract) to work, either domestically or abroad. Thus, if an Estonian employer and employee have agreed that the workplace is Sweden, then when the employee travels from Estonia to Sweden, then they are not going on a business trip as defined by the ECA.

The directive does not determine that the temporary workplace must be outside the workplace mentioned in the employment contract. According to the directive, a posted worker is also such an employee, with whom a temporary agreement has been concluded to work at the territory of a member state, as it is important from the directive’s point of view that working in another country is of temporary nature. The directive shall apply if the employer does not permanently move to the other country to live and work, but only works abroad temporarily, which is also known from the very beginning.


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