A wage subsidy is the support paid to an employer for the hiring of an unemployed person. It is designed to support the long-term unemployed, young people, people with reduced capacity for work, recipients of international protection and people who have been released from prison in finding work.
The wage subsidy can be used to hire people who:
- have been continuously registered as unemployed for more than 12 months;
- are aged 16-24 (inclusive) and have been continuously registered as unemployed for more than six months;
- are aged 16-29 and:
- are registered as unemployed and have not done any work in the last three months or have been temporarily involved in the activities listed in points 3-5 of § 6 subsection 5 of the Labour Market Services and Benefits Act for less than 30 days in total; and
- have no or only short-term work experience (having worked for less than one year in the last three years or less than two years in total). Time spent on parental leave or conscription and alternative service is not calculated as part of the work experience period.
- has been registered as unemployed for at least 12 months in the last 15 months and whose unemployment status has meanwhile been cancelled due to employment (Labour Market Services and Benefits Act § 6 section 5 cl 3) or compulsory military service, alternative service or reserve service (LMSBA § 6 section 5 cl 7) – also applies to registered unemployed persons aged 16-24;
- was released from prison up to 12 months prior to registration as unemployed, regardless of their unemployment status period;
- is of decreased working ability and been registered as unemployed for at least 6 months in a row or worked under protected employment immediately prior to commencing work on the open labour market;
- are recipients of international protection* who are registered as unemployed and who obtained an Estonian residence permit on the basis of their status 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 12 months preceding their registering as unemployed.
A person cannot be hired with a wage subsidy if they are studying full-time or acquiring vocational education in full-time studies, including persons on academic leave.
*A wage subsidy can be applied for in order to hire a recipient of international protection as part of the My First Job in Estonia service. For more detailed terms and conditions, click on this link: My First Job in Estonia for recipients of international protection.
Services „My First Job“ and „My First Job in Estonia“ are co-financed from the European Social Fund.