Working conditions in Estonia
This section describes working conditions in Estonia. Find some general information about working hours, salaries and academic positions. Also find information about recognition of qualifications, research ethics and intellectual property rights.
General working time in Estonia is 8 hours a day, 5 days per week. According to the Working and Rest Time Act, the duration of the lunch break should be between 30 minutes and an hour. A person raising a child younger than 1.5 years shall be granted additional breaks for rest and meals.
12 public holidays and one national holiday, i.e. the Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia on the 24th of February, are days off. Working days are 3 hours shorter on the day before New Year’s Day, before the Anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, before Victory Day (23rd of June) and before Christmas Eve.
The duration of the annual vacation is 28 days, an extended vacation is granted in case of some professions, such as state officials and local government officials, teachers, academic, pedagogical and scientific staff and others. National holidays and public holidays are not included in the vacation duration calculations. Employees who have worked at least six months during their first working year have the right to be granted a vacation in proportion to the number of months worked.
A woman is granted 140 days pregnancy and maternity leave, which may commence at least 70 days before the estimated birth date of the child. The pregnancy and maternity leave should be commenced at least 30 days before the estimated birth of the child, or else deductions will be made to the maternity benefit. A mother or father shall be granted parental leave at her or his request for raising a child of up to 3 years of age. For more details about maternity and child-care benefits, see Family benefits.
Academic Careers Observatory - Estonia, Academic Career Structure
State portal - Employment contract
Each university has its own regulations concerning employment conditions for researchers and academic staff. The salary level and other conditions of employment are established in an employment contract, based on the rules of the university and on the Employment Contracts Act.
The salary rules vary for professors, docents (assistant professors), specialists and other academic positions, and the rules are reviewed on a regular basis. The rules can be found on the web pages of the universities.
Estonian public universities have signed the Agreement on Good Practice in the Internationalisation of Estonia’s Higher Education Institutions, which guides the employment of foreign research staff and the enrolment of international students. All universities that host EURAXESS Services Centres have signed the Agreement on Good Practice.
Estonian University of Life Sciences. General regulations and documents and Senate Regulation available under Human Resources Management section
On principle, official recognition of a foreign diploma or degree is sought only for admission to further studies. Some applicants, however, choose to receive a statement of academic recognition before seeking employment. This kind of recognition (academic recognition for professional purposes) helps employers to understand which home country’s qualification can be compared to the foreign one – for example, whether a candidate fulfills the conditions to be employed as a professor.
The Estonian ENIC/NARIC evaluates foreign qualifications and determines the Estonian correspondence to the attested qualifications for commencing or continuing studies in Estonian higher education institutions or employment in non-regulated professions. An applicant for the evaluation of foreign qualifications may be the holder of the qualification as well as an employer, higher education institution or another institution where the education document has been presented. An evaluation determines the correspondence of foreign qualifications to qualifications within the Estonian education system and a proposal is made for the recognition of these qualifications to a higher education establishment or employer.
If human research or animal experiments are intended in the research, the positive resolution of the Ethics Review Committee or permit committee of the conduct of animal experiments is needed.
There are three ethical committees in Estonia:
- Research Ethics Committee of University of Tartu
Tel: (+372) 737 5514
Fax: (+372) 737 5508
- Tallinn Medical Research Ethics Committee (web-site in Estonian)
Hiiu 42, Tallinn 11619
Tel: (+372) 659 3924
Fax: 659 3901
- Permit Committee of the Conduct of Animal Experiments (web-site in Estonian)
Tel: (+372) 737 4335