Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - Estonia - 2017
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- Employment Contracts Act (ECA), adopted in December 2008 and entered into force in July 2009, consolidated version including amendment of 28 April 2017, effective since 8 May 2017.
The link provided is in English, updated up to 2012
Date: 28 Apr 2017; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
- Equal Treatment Act [ETA], dated 11 December 2008 (RT I 2008, 56, 315), entered into force 1 January 2009
Date: 11 Dec 2008; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
- Individual Labour Dispute Resolution Act [ILDRA], dated 20 December 1995, consolidated version dated March 2003
Date: Mar 2003; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No
- Art. 109 ECA. There are statutory amounts of compensation for unfair dismissal (in lieu of reintegration). However, it is worth noting that such amounts (3 or 6 months' wages depending on the categories of employees - see below) can be modified by the court or the labour dispute committee.
Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
- In the event of an unlawful dismissal, if so requested by either party, the court or the labour dispute committee can terminate the employment contract as of the time when it would have been terminated in the event of the validity of the cancellation. In such cases, the employer shall pay 3 months' wages. This amount can however be modified by the court or the labour dispute committee, considering the circumstances of the dismissal and the interests of both parties.
- If the unlawful dismissal affects a pregnant woman or a woman entitled to maternity leave as well as an employee's representative, compensation in lieu of reinstatement shall be 6 months' wages. This amount can however be modified by the court or the committee.
When compensation is awarded, the employee can not claim the payment of loss wages from the date of the dismissal until the court's or the committee's decision.
Reinstatement available: Yes
- Art. 107 ECA: If the court or the labour dispute committee establishes that termination of employment is void due to the absence of a legal basis or the non-conformity with law or nullified due to a conflict with the principle of good faith, it shall be deemed that the employment contract has not been terminated and therefore the employee is entitled to return to work. In such cases, the employee is entitled to the payment of loss wages form the time of the dismissal until the reintegration of his/her former position.
Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No
- art. 3
1) If possible, a disagreement arising from the employment relationship of an
employee and employer is resolved by agreement of the employee and
employer through the mediation of a representative of employees or a directing
body of a union or federation of employees.
2) In order to resolve a disagreement, an employer, in co-ordination with a
representative of employees or a directing body of a union or federation of
employees, may establish a conciliation committee, the membership, competence
and procedures of which are determined by agreement of the employer and the
representative of employees or directing body of a union or federation of employees.
3) Attempts to resolve disagreements by agreement do not deprive the parties of the
right of recourse to labour dispute resolution bodies in order to resolve a labour
4) Parties have the right of recourse to a labour dispute resolution body without the
mediation of a representative of employees or a directing body of a union or
federation of employees if they find that a labour dispute cannot be resolved by
Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): ordinary courts; administrative body
- There are no specialized labour courts in Estonia. All labour disputes lie within the jurisdiction of general courts. Disputes relating to termination of employment shall be heard by the court or a labour dispute committee (arts. 105-109 ECA).
Labour dispute committees are independent, extra-judicial individual labour dispute resolution bodies which are established within the local branches of the Labour Inspectorate. They are composed of three members: the chairperson of the labour dispute committee and representatives of employees and employers (arts. 10-11 ILDRA)
Existing arbitration: No