Civil service

Civil service means working for a state or local government authority. Each civil servant is part of a larger system whose common objective is to serve the public interest. The main principles that all civil servants should abide by in their work are set out in the Civil Service Code of Ethics.

Functions of officials and employees

Both officials and employees work in civil service.

An official is a person who has been appointed to or selected for a specific position as a member of a state or local government authority. As working as an official is directly related to the exercise of official authority as well as the adoption and implementation of decisions that affect many lives, officials have several additional obligations and restrictions on activities pursuant to the Civil Service Act. Officials are in a public law service and trust relationship with the state or local government.

Specifications provided for by specific laws apply to the work of special categories of civil service officials, such as police and border guard board officials.

Employees support the work of officials. Civil service employees are, for example, accountants, human resources specialists, IT personnel, etc. The functions of employees support officials in their work. The Employment Contracts Act applies to employees.

Bonuses and requirements that apply to officials

Officials are entitled to an annual holiday of 35 calendar days. Officials have all the rights that apply to persons who work under an employment contract in their relationship with the employer and the authority that implements social security or social care.

Estonian citizens who are at least 18 years of age, have at least a secondary education and active legal capacity, and are proficient in Estonian may be employed as state or local government officials. Higher and senior officials must be at least 21 years of age. A citizen of a Member State of the European Union who conforms to the requirements established by law and on the basis thereof may also be employed in civil service. Only Estonian citizens may be appointed to positions where official authority is exercised and the public interest is protected. Upon the appointment of an official, a probationary period of up to four months may be applied.

Last amended: 18-06-2017 00:00 | Compiled by: Estonian Public Service Portal, Ministry of Finance