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Wage subsidy in agriculture


Lisatud 16.10.2020

The purpose of the wage subsidy in agriculture is to promote the employment of the unemployed in the field of berry growing.

Wage subsidy can be applied for by an employer (regardless of the legal form) who is active in the field of berry growing.

Wage subsidy in agriculture is paid if the employer hires, or hired no earlier than 1 June 2020, a person in the field of berry growing who is or who was, before being employed:

  • registered as unemployed; and
  • has not been employed or has been temporarily employed for a total of less than 30 days during the last three months.

Wage subsidy is not paid, if the unemployed person is a member of the management or control body of a private legal entity, a partner of a limited partnership or general partnership or if the person owns more than 50 percent of the company applying for wage subsidy.

Subsidy is paid if the employer concludes an employment contract or a contract for the provision of services under the Law of Obligations Act with the unemployed person, regardless of the duration of the contract. 

The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund shall help the employer find suitable candidates who also meet the conditions for the payment of wage subsidy, at the request of the employer. Contacts of employer’s consultants in county departments can be found here

Wage subsidy is an aid of minor importance in the primary production field of agricultural production. The limit for state aid in agriculture is EUR 25,000 per enterprise over three years.

The service of providing wage subsidy in agriculture is co-financed by the European Social Fund of the European Union by regulation No. 222 of the Minister of Health and Labour of 4 December 2014 on the basis of “Provision of labour market services to facilitate employment opportunities”.

How to apply for wage subsidy?

The employer will be able to submit wage subsidy applications until 31 December 2020. The employer must submit an application to receive the wage subsidy, the form for the application can be found on the right-hand side of the page under the heading “Forms and documents”. The application can be sent by e-mail or mail to the address of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund office in your countyor be submitted on the spot.

The application must be signed, including an application submitted in electronic form, which must be digitally signed. The person signing the application must be a member of the management board, an authorised person or the head of the local government agency. In the case of an authorized person, the power of attorney (does not have to be notarized) must be attached to the application.

How much and on what basis is the wage subsidy paid?

Wage support in agriculture is paid from the beginning of the employment relationship until 31 December 2020, but not for a period earlier than 01 June 2020 and for no more than three months per the same employee - both if the contract is concluded for a definite or an indefinite term.

The amount of subsidy in one month is 50% of the gross salary paid to the employee, but no more than the minimum wage (EUR 584).

Wage subsidy is paid on the basis of the fees declared to the Tax and Customs Board and for the calendar months when, according to the data of the unemployment insurance database, the employee has been paid fees based on which unemployment insurance contributions have been made.

When will the wage subsidy received have to be paid back?

The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund has the right to demand full or partial repayment of the wage subsidy if the employer has submitted false information affecting the conclusion of a contract or the payment of wage subsidy or has failed to notify the Unemployment Insurance Fund of information affecting the payment of wage subsidy.


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