Employers can apply for the compensation of the cost of obtaining qualifications, Estonian language training and work-related translation services for an employee who has obtained for the first time:
- an Estonian residence permit as a recipient of international protection or
- a certificate of an applicant for international protection allowing them to work in Estonia.
The costs compensated are those actually incurred, although no more than 2500 euros (including VAT) per employee within five years of them obtaining an Estonian residence permit as a recipient of international protection or a certificate of an applicant for international protection allowing them to work in Estonia for the first time.
In the case of the cost of obtaining qualifications, we compensate the cost incurred on behalf of an employee related to obtaining a professional certificate, a certificate of competence, another certificate or a document evidencing the right to drive a motor vehicle: pre-exam consultation, exam and certification fees, including state fees.
In the case of the cost of translations services, we compensate costs connected to translation and interpreting services provided by a legal entity or self-employed person in relation to the work of the employee.
In the case of the cost of Estonian language training, we compensate the employer for the cost of said training. The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund only compensates the cost of in-service training carried out by an in-service training institute listed in the Adult Education Act. An in-service training institute is a training provider who has submitted a notice of economic activity or who has an activity licence for the conducting of training applicable to Estonian language training in preparation for undertaking a standard-determining Estonian language exam. Information about the activity licences and notices of economic activity of in-service training institutes is published in the Estonian Education Information System’s national register www.ehis.ee. If the training provider is not an in-service training institute, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund is unable to compensate training costs.
The amount of the subsidy is 50% of the employee's salary (gross) but no more than 50% of the employee's one-month estimated salary provided in the wage subsidy contract that has entered into force and no more than the minimum wage established on the grounds of § 29 section 5 of the Employment Contracts Act (540 euros per month in 2019). Wage subsidies can be requested for both fixed-term employment contracts and employment contracts entered into for an unspecified term. A fixed-term employment contract must be entered into for at least six months.
In order to apply for the compensation of costs, a written application should be submitted. A copy of the certificate of the recipient of international protection or certification from the Police and Border Guard Board evidencing the obtaining of an Estonian residence permit for the first time as a recipient of international protection should be submitted alongside the application.
Applications can be submitted:
- via e-mail; or
- on paper to any county office of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund.
The application must be signed i.e. any application submitted via e-mail must bear a digital signature. The application should be submitted to the office of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund in the county in which your company operates. Applications submitted via e-mail should be sent to the general e-mail address of the county office. (For example, if your company operates in Ida-Viru County, e-mail your application to firstname.lastname@example.org.) The person signing the application must be a member of the management board or an authorised individual. In the case of the latter, a copy of their authorisation document (which does not need to be notarised) must be appended to the application.
You will find the contact details of all of the county offices of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund here.
Please submit your application at least seven (7) working days prior to the commencement of the relevant services. Decisions on the compensation of costs are made within seven (7) working days of the submission of a correctly completed application and any related documents. The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund issues the employer with a letter confirming the compensation of the costs or, in the event that their application is rejected, a decision to that effect.
If the service in question commences prior to a decision being made by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, the fund does not have the right to compensate the costs.
Costs are compensated to an employer after a document evidencing the payment of an invoice is submitted. In order to have the cost of obtaining a qualification compensated, the employer must also submit copies of the document evidencing the qualification (a certificate of competence or other certificate) and the document evidencing the payment of the state fee. In order to have the cost of Estonian language training compensated, the employer must also submit a copy of the document evidencing the completion of the training (a certificate or diploma). The invoice must be issued in the name of the employer and set out the name of the employee who participated in the service, the content of the service (in the case of translation services, what was translated) and the period during which the service was provided.
The compensation of the training costs of employees constitutes state aid; more specifically, de minimis aid. More information about state aid can be found on the website of the Ministry of Finance at http://www.fin.ee/riigiabi. Further information can be obtained from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund’s employer consultants, whose contact details can be found here: employer consultant contact details.