Work bites and short-term employment

Work bites mean temporary work when a person is registered as unemployed in order to be professionally active until suitable employment is found.

As of September 1, 2020, changes of Employment Service and Benefits Act took effect, according to which a registered unemployed person may work temporarily up to 8 days in a calendar month, during 12 calendar month within the period of 24 months. Temporary work may be done on single days or during 8 days in succession.

The salary paid for temporary work within one calendar month and per each single work bite must not exceed 40% of the minimum monthly salary of the current calendar year. The minimum rate of salary paid in 2022, taking into account the minimum salary (654 EUR), can be up to 261.60 EUR.

If a person is employed, the registration as unemployed is usually ended then, but in case of temporary work the registration is not ended and the person may receive the employment subsidy or unemployment insurance benefit. The salary for temporary work is not included as income when unemployment subsidy is paid. At the same time, the length of temporary work is not included in the insurance period. It has to be stressed that when a person opens a short-term enterprise account or receives a board member’s fee, then it is not temporary work and the person’s registration as unemployed is ended.

Also the registration of the unemployed self-employed person, whose business activity is halted or whose seasonal activity has finished, is ended if he/she wants to continue with entrepreneurship even for a short time. Information about the registration of the unemployed and work bites is available as additional information on the homepage of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund

In case of work bites, an employment contract is concluded with the employee as usually in accordance with the nature of work either by applying an employment contract or a contract under the law of obligations (contract for services and authorisation contract). It is also necessary to register the employee in the Employment Register, and pay labour taxes (social tax, unemployment insurance premium, deducted from the income tax and mandatory pension fund) make the statement of the tax declaration and make corresponding payments.

When working via platform, the employee must take into account his/her registration/non-registration as unemployed – a contractor is registered in the Employment Register for one day according to the date the fee is paid.

A work bite is working under conditions, which duration and the size of the fee exceed the above-mentioned limits. If a person is not registered as unemployed, he/she may perform short-time work irrespective of the expressed conditions: e.g. it is a good way to earn extra money besides the basic employment. It is possible to become familiar with short-term work options in the section “Job Offers” on the homepage of

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

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