Estonian Labour Inspectorate put together an information sheet for refugees arriving from Ukraine and seeking for work. The sheet contains information about the most important regarding labour relation – employment contract, working and resting time, salary and terminating the contract.

Download the materials as PDF:

 Working conditions

  • If you have been granted temporary protection and a residence permit, you are subject to the same conditions as local workers.
  • Working is possible under a number of types of contracts. The best protections are granted by an employment contract. The contract must be signed, but only if you agree to its terms!
  • The contract will set out: your working time and rest time; your wage and payday; your working conditions;
  • your job duties.
  • Your employer must instruct and train you on how to do the job safely.
  • Always follow safety rules (e.g., wear personal protective equipment)!

Working and rest time

  • In Estonia, full-time employment means 40 hours of work per week.
  • The standard working day is 8 hours long. If your working time is calculated as summarised working time, it may be longer. It is also possible to work part time.
  • Whenever you work longer than agreed upon, you are working overtime.
  • ! Overtime may only be worked by agreement between the parties.
  • ! Overtime is compensated for with time off or 1.5 times the normal pay rate.
  • At least 11 hours of rest must be provided to workers between the end of one working day and the beginning of the next.
  • At least one rest period of 36 consecutive hours must be provided each week.
  • The law provides for breaks during the working day: 30 minutes for every 6 hours.
  • You are entitled to at least 28 days of paid leave (holiday) each year.


  • Wages are paid on your payday.
  • The amount of the wages is agreed upon in the contract.
  • A minimum wage has been established in Estonia, which in 2022 is 3.86 euros per hour or 654 euros per month.

Termination of employment contract

  • If you want to leave your job, you must give your employer at least 30 days’ notice; however, if both parties agree, then the employment contract can be terminated at any time.
  • If your employer wants to cancel your employment contract extraordinarily, they must state the reasons in writing. Employees may always contest the cancellation of their contract.
  • Upon expiry of an employment contract, the employer must pay the employee remuneration that they have earned, plus compensation for any unused holiday.