Rights of disabled persons at work

If a person needs a technical aid or support person to get to work or an adaptation of their workstation, they should contact the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund also provides other services that facilitate in finding and securing employment to disabled unemployed persons.

Holiday

A person with a partial or no capacity for work has the right to annual holiday of 35 calendar days instead of the usual 28 calendar days. An employed person who has worked for at least six months during their first year of employment has the right to holiday in proportion to the number of months they worked.

Parents raising disabled children are also entitled to conditions more beneficial than usual.

  • A parent who has a child under three years of age has the right to receive child leave for six working days each calendar year and get remunerated accordingly. In addition to the said six days, a parent of a disabled child has the right to additional child leave of one working day per month until the child reaches the age of 18 years. By agreement with an employer, this leave may be combined and the state may compensate for additional leave (up to 12 days per year) and annual holiday together.
  • A mother and father who is raising a child of up to 14 years of age or a disabled child of up to 18 years of age has the right to child leave without pay of up to ten working days every calendar year.
  • One of the parents of a disabled child has the right to receive old-age pension five years earlier than usual.
  • A parent of a child with severe or profound disability has the right to apply for a childcare service financed from state budget that enables them to leave their disabled child under the care of a person providing childcare service for the duration of their working time.
  • A pregnant woman and an employee raising a child under three years of age or a disabled child may be sent on a business trip only with their consent.

Termination of employment relationship

Any termination of an employment contract with an employee must be done under the conditions and pursuant to the procedure provided for in the Employment Contracts Act. Upon termination of an employment contract due to redundancy, an employee who is raising a child under three years of age has the preferential right of keeping their job. No specifications have been made for persons with disabilities. However, it is prohibited to lay off an employee due to their disability or choosing employees to be laid off on the basis of their disabilities.

If an employer decides to cancel an employment contract extraordinarily for economic reasons, the employer must follow the principle of equal treatment. They must not lay off employees due to disabilities or choose employees to be laid off on the basis of their disabilities.

An employer may not cancel an employment contract with an employee who performs important family obligations. Important family obligations may include raising children, including children with disabilities, and caring for parents.

An employer is obligated to give the employee who has a partial work ability as a result of an accident at work or an occupational disease an opportunity to continue working for the enterprise in a position suitable for them.

This is why an employment contract should not be automatically terminated when the employee’s state of health changes but, if such an opportunity exists, the person should be offered another position in accordance with their abilities.

If an employer employs a person receiving pension for incapacity for work, the employer is also entitled to certain benefits.

Support of disabled persons

Occupational rehabilitation service is provided for employees who are disabled. This service assists disabled persons when they are unemployed or seeking employment.

Persons who have been established to have partial or no work ability are paid work ability allowance by the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Assistance on questions regarding employment

In case of questions regarding employment contracts, call the Labour Inspectorate info line 640 6000 (on working days) or send an e-mail to jurist@ti.ee.

Labour disputes are resolved by labour dispute committees and an application for a labour dispute (rtf, 34 kB, in Estonian) must be submitted to the labour dispute committee of the region of your workplace.

An application for a labour dispute may also be submitted through the customer portal of the Labour Inspectorate. An application must include specific claims such as a description and proof of circumstances on which the claims are based, which confirm the circumstances and allegations made by the applicant.

The application form, explanations regarding filling in the application and the working areas and contacts of labour dispute committees are available on the website of the Labour Inspectorate.

Last amended: 02-12-2016 00:00 | Compiled by: Unemployment Insurance Fund, Labour Inspectorate, Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner