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Trial day

Last updated: 12.07.2021
  • The Employment Contracts Act does not provide for an unpaid trial day.
  • A trial day can actually be a concealed employment relationship.
  • Work trial is a service offered by the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
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The Employment Contracts Act does not provide for the concept of a trial day. However, if a person does work for another person which, under the circumstances, can be expected to be done only for remuneration, it presumes the existence of an employment contract.

Nevertheless, employees are often given the opportunity to try their job first or perform work as volunteers for a while. At the same time, the employer may say that if everything goes well and the candidate is successful in performing the work, the money will be paid and a contract will be concluded later. Such an offer is not in fact in accordance with the law. In order to assess the suitability of an employee, the Employment Contracts Act prescribes a probationary period.

Performing specific tasks, such as servicing customers at the store's checkout or putting goods on the shelves in a sales hall, is a job and is performed only for a remuneration. The employer does not have the right to demand unpaid work on trial days. Only if one goes to the trial day to observe one's future job and the tasks and no actual work is done, does the employer not have to pay for it.

If the employee has not received remuneration for the work, the employee has the right to apply to the labour dispute resolution body with a claim for wages not received.

Work trial as an employment service

Work trial is a service offered by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund that lasts for one day. A work trial gives the employee the opportunity to try out the job offered and the employer the opportunity to confirm that the job seeker is suitable before concluding the employment contract. The precondition for organising such a work trial is that the employer is looking for an employee for the vacancy through the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

An unemployed person is entitled to a commuting benefit for the days they participated in the work trial. The employer does not pay wages for the work trial and the employee is not entered into the employment register.

Unemployment Insurance Fund work trial service information for employees and employers.