Choose an employment contract

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Autor:Kaia Alev
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Conditions established by law under an employment contract

Contract presumably signed for an unspecified term.

Guarantees both for the employee and the employer that the cooperation will continue. However, a contract can be signed for a specified term when justified by the temporary characteristics of the work – mainly due to temporary increase in the work load or in case of seasonal work, but also in order to substitute an employee who is temporarily away.

Default probation period for assessing an employee’s skills and capacities.

Unless agreed otherwise, a four-month probationary period is applied upon the commencement of work, or in case of a specified-term contract signed for up to eight months, a probationary period of not more than half of the validity of the contract is applied.

Working and rest time limits to guarantee regular rest and preservation of health.

As the employee is subordinate to the management and control of the employer, the law establishes limits on the length of the employee’s working day and obliges the employee to rest every day and every week.

Generally, 11 hours of consecutive rest time must be left in between working days and each seven-day period must include 48 hours of consecutive weekly rest time (36 hours if calculating summarised working time).


Limits on work for minors

To sign an employment contract with a minor, the consent of his/her legal representative (parent) is needed. According to the law, full-time work is shortened for an employee under 18 years of age and the daily rest time is prolonged according to the age.

Example. During summer vacation, Jaana’s oldest son, 16-year old Martin, is working under an employment contract as a customer attendant in an ice cream shop near their home. As Martin graduated from basic school in the spring and is no longer subject to the obligation to attend school, he is allowed to work the whole vacation through. Last summer, he had not graduated yet and so he only worked for half of the vacation and rested the rest of the time.

When Martin was 13, he worked during his summer holiday under a contract for services as an ice cream seller at the beach. He worked hard on the hot and even rai¬ny summer days as he made money on each ice cream he sold. The ice cream box was heavy, the days long and exhausting and often, he did not get the remuneration he had hoped for.


Validity of employment contract in case of transfer of enterprise.

If an enterprise changes owners, but continues the same or similar economic activities, employment contracts are transferred to the transferee of an enterprise unamended. A transferor and transferee of an enterprise are prohibited from cancelling an employment contract due to the transfer of the enterprise and the conditions of the employment contract are only amended by agreement.