Estonia flag Estonia: Operating a Business in Estonia

Work conditions in Estonia

The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 705,794703,864699,106

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 78.89%79.12%78.90%
Men activity rate 82.72%82.65%81.99%
Women activity rate 75.09%75.60%75.80%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database


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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
Legal duration is 40 hours a week.
Retirement Age
63 for men

60 for women

Working Contracts
There are fixed-term contracts, (their maximum duration is five years) and contracts with unspecified terms. A minimal part of the working populations has no written contract; conditions are agreed orally. These contracts cannot be extended over two weeks.
Labour Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
The minimum wage is EUR 584 per month in 2021 according to Eurostat.
Average Wage
According to Statistics Estonia data, the average salary was around EUR 1,316 per month in 2019 (latest data available).
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: The rate is 33.8% (20% for social security, 13% for health insurance and  0.8% for unemployment insurance).
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: The rate is 3.6% (2% for a pension fund and 1.6% for unemployment insurance).

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Social Partners

Employer Associations
EVEA - Estonian Association of SMEs
APLP - Association of Small Scale Industries
Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
There are 2 major trade unions in Estonia:




- EAKL - Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions

- TALO - Estonian Employees' Unions' Confederation.

It should be noted that trade unions were reorganized following the independence of the country in the 90's. The trade unions gave up their role of acting as an "executing organ" and supporter of the Soviet Union system to gain freedom in acting in the state system and economy. The principles of social partnership were therefore established quite recently. A Trade Unions Act was drawn up and guarantees the right for employees to join a trade union.


Labour Unions
Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions
Estonian Employees' Unions' Confederation
Unionisation Rate
Only 14% of Estonian employees are member of a Trade Union.
Labour Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Social Affairs

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Latest Update: March 2024

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