Temporary employment during the period of registration as unemployed, i.e. a workbit, means employment period matching the period of registration as unemployed.
From 1 September 2020, it is possible for people registered as unemployed to be temporarily employed while looking for a full-time job, without their registration as unemployed terminating due to employment. This allows jobseekers to be professionally active until they find a new full-time job. Previously, a person looking for a job had to terminate the period of registration as unemployed during the time they were invited to deliver a one-time paid lecture, or the person wanted to publish a paid article, or replace a former colleague who was unexpectedly away for a few days, etc. Many people have considered the termination of the period of registration as unemployed and re-registration after a workbit too cumbersome and complicated, and many have feared that something would happen to health insurance or benefits and have rather given up their workbits in this fear. The amendment, which will enter into force on 1 September, will make it easier and more risk-free to undertake such workbits, provided that the person negotiates with the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund over the duration and volume of the workbit. After the entry into force of the amendment on workbits, the conditions for registering as an unemployed person have not changed; only person who does not work can register as an unemployed person.
Similarly to the process of starting a new job, the client must notify the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund immediately if it turns out that there is an opportunity to work. To this end, a person does not have to wait for a meeting with their consultant, as they can also notify the fund by email or phone. The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund must be notified of the expected duration and remuneration of the workbit. If the time and duration of the workbit, as well as the expected remuneration meet the conditions of the workbit, the person can start working and their period of registration as unemployed will not be terminated. If there are more days of work or the remuneration is higher than allowed, the period of registration as unemployed must be terminated for the employment period and one must register as unemployed again upon the end of employment.
The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund verifies whether the duration of employment and the amount of remuneration complied with the conditions of the workbit on the basis of the employment register and the tax revenue data of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board; if it is later identified that the employment period lasted longer than permitted or the remuneration was higher than allowed, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund will terminate the client’s period of registration as unemployed retrospectively. To prevent this from happening and ensure that the client would not have any potential problems with the repayment of other services and benefits, it is very important to inform the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund in good time about any workbits and make sure that it is possible to continue with the period of registration as unemployed.
Conditions of temporary employment (established in section 42 of the Labour Market Services and Benefits Act):
- from 1 September 2020;
- employment lasting up to 8 days;
- the number of working days allowed per month is 8;
- type of employment (employment contract, contract under the law of obligations, civil service);
- employment period matches the registration period;
- gross remuneration – a lump sum or in total not more than EUR 233.60, i.e. 40% of this year’s minimum wages;
- workbits may be undertaken during the period of registration as unemployed for up to 12 calendar months in a 24-month period (24 months are considered retrospectively for each workbit, but not further than 1 September 2020; all months with the registration period + temporary employment will be considered).
While the registration period is usually terminated in case of regular employment, then for temporary employment, the registration period is not terminated and the client can simultaneously receive unemployment benefits or unemployment insurance benefits, as well as any services / continue participate in services, if necessary. Remuneration for temporary employment is not included in income when paying unemployment benefits.
Temporary employment means employment on the basis of an employment contract or a contract under the law of obligations or civil service. If a person opens a business account for a short period of time or receives remuneration as a member of the management board, then it is not considered temporary employment and the person’s registration period as unemployed ends.
The period of temporary employment will not be taken into account as employment when determining unemployment benefit. The insurance period is not calculated for temporary employment and the right to unemployment insurance benefit does not arise on the basis thereof. Remuneration received for temporary employment is not taken into account when calculating the amount of unemployment insurance benefit.
If a person is employed in the same month before registration, this cannot be considered temporary employment, as it does not match the registration period.
The registration period as unemployed must be terminated:
- if a person is employed for an indefinite period or for a period exceeding 8 days, inclusive of the date of commencement of employment;
- if a person has exceeded the number of days of temporary employment per month during the period of registration as unemployed;
- if the remuneration for temporary employment is higher than EUR 233.60 per month (both a lump sum and total sum);
- if a person has exceeded the number of months of temporary employment during the period of registration as unemployed.
The client can notify of temporary employment:
- via e-töötukassa (an online environment of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund);
- by phone, email or on the spot.