Work Arrangement Rules
by Administrative Decree 8 of the Rector
of 11 March 2011
ESTONIAN UNIVERSITY OF LIFE SCIENCES
WORK ARRANGEMENT RULES
1. General provisions
1.1. The Work Arrangement Rules (hereinafter ‘the work rules’) are a bylaw of the Estonian University of Life Sciences (hereinafter ‘the university’) which defines the general rules of conduct for the university, when acting in the capacity of the employer, and for its employees, and the mutual obligations of employer and employee in their employment relationship, having regard to the Republic of Estonia Employment Contracts Act, the Republic of Estonia Universities Act and the Statutes of the university.
1.2. In situations which are not governed by the university’s work rules and other university bylaws pertaining to employment, workplace health and safety and other related areas, the university and its employees shall have regard to national legislation of the Republic of Estonia, the employment contract and the job description. The parties shall also have regard to the values and principles established at the university, to generally recognised principles of civility and moral behaviour, to the rule of reason, and to good faith.
1.3. The work rules form an integral part of employment contracts between the university and its employees and shall be observed by both. A paper copy of the work rules is kept in the Personnel Office and an electronic version of the work rules is available on the university’s intranet. The effect of any amendments to the work rules does not depend on their being individually notified to each employee against signed acknowledgement. Instead, the amendments are made available by computer network (the university’s intranet), where all employees can read them.
1.4. An employee of the Personnel Office shall introduce the work rules to each new employee with whom the university has entered into an employment contract and the new employee shall sign an acknowledgement of having been apprised of the substance of the work rules.
1.5. Malicious and unwarranted disregard of the work rules shall be considered by the employer as grounds to terminate the employee’s employment for cause of misconduct.
1.6. The work rules shall be translated into English. In the case of conflict between the Estonian and the English text, the Estonian text shall prevail.
2. EXECUTING AND TERMINATING THE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT
2.1. The employment relationship shall be defined in the employment contract made by the university and the employee, including all annexes thereto. On behalf of the university, the employment contract shall be executed, amended or terminated by the Rector or by a university employee authorised by the Rector.
2.2. The employment contract shall be executed in writing in two copies at the latest on the day the employee commences employment. One signed copy shall be kept by the university and one by the employee.
2.3. In order to be able to execute the employment contract, the university is entitled to request the following documents/information from the employee:
2.3.1. an identity document (passport, ID card, driver’s licence);
2.3.2. certificates (diplomas) showing completion of required education or possession of required qualifications;
2.3.3. one photo (4x5 cm);
2.3.4. the employee’s bank account number;
2.3.5. the number of children below 14 years of age and their personal particulars;
2.3.6. documents certifying any partial disability of the employee;
2.3.7. any other documents and information required for executing the employment contract.
2.4. If the university decides to offer a new employee a probationary period that is shorter than four months, the beginning and final date of the probationary period must be set out in the employee’s employment contract.
2.5. Any amendments to the employment contract shall be in writing and shall be agreed by both parties (except in cases where the law stipulates otherwise). Agreements to amend the employment contract shall be signed on behalf of the university by the university employees referred to in section 2.1 above.
2.6. In the case of any change of or addition to the information recorded in the documents required for the execution of the employment contract, the employee shall inform the Personnel Office of such change or addition within one week either orally or in writing.
2.7. The university may not hire an employee to perform similar work by making more than two consecutive fixed term (up to five years) contracts with him or her, except in the cases stipulated in section 39 of the Republic of Estonia Universities Act. A fixed term employment contract may be extended once in a five-year period.
2.8. During the probationary period, both the university and the employee are allowed terminate the employment by giving 15 calendar days notice thereof, regardless of whether the employment contract was concluded for a fixed term or for an indefinite period.
2.9. An employment relationship may be terminated by mutual agreement at any time by way of one party making an application to terminate and the other party consenting to it in writing.
2.10. The university and the employee shall be entitled to terminate the employment relationship unilaterally according to the procedure established in the Republic of Estonia Employment Contracts Act. The terminating party shall give written notice of termination to the other party. The intention to terminate must be expressed unconditionally.
2.11. Termination of employment shall be formalised as an annex to the employment contract. The annex shall indicate the grounds for termination including a reference to the relevant provision in the law, the date of termination, the amount of accrued but unused leave to be compensated in cash, or of deductions made to set off leave days used in excess of the actual entitlement accrued to the date of termination.
2.12. The day of termination of employment shall be the last day the employee comes to work. The day of termination is also the day on which the university is required to make the final salary payment to the employee, and to return the employment record book to any employee whose employment commenced prior to 1 July 2009.
2.13. At the latest on the day of termination, the employee shall return any work equipment or other assets that belong to the university and that were placed in his or her charge during employment. The employee shall also return any work-related documents in his or her possession to the immediate supervisor or the head of the unit. A memorandum of delivery shall be drawn up in respect of the documents returned.
3. PROVISION OF WORK INSTRUCTIONS
3.1. The university is represented in employment relationships by the Rector and by such other employees to whom the Rector has delegated the corresponding authority.
3.2. The university shall provide its employees with work of the agreed type and shall also provide clear and timely work instructions where needed.
3.3. The employee shall receive work instructions from his or her immediate supervisor, either orally or in writing, depending on the purpose and substance of the work.
3.4. While a higher-ranking manager may issue work instructions to an employee directly, he or she shall also notify the employee’s immediate supervisor thereof.
3.5. Employees are obligated to follow the work instructions received, provided the instructions are lawful and in conformity with the purpose and substance of the work.
3.6. It is prohibited to issue work instructions which contradict the law, which are beyond the authority of the issuer or which the person receiving the instructions is not authorised or competent to perform, or which endanger the life, health and property of the employee or the university. Upon receiving a prohibited instruction, the employee must notify this to the immediate supervisor of the official who issued the instruction.
4. WORKING TIME
4.1. Working time is a period of time agreed upon in the employment contract or in any other agreement of the parties as the period during which the employee shall perform work for the university. Working time in a full-time position is 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week.
4.2. Underage employees shall work reduced full-time hours as stipulated in the Republic of Estonia Employment Contracts Act.
4.3. The working hours in the Estonian University of Life Sciences are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Members of teaching and research staff may organise their working time in accordance with their individual preferences, subject to conditions agreed upon in the employment contract. A member of teaching and research staff must be available for work-related communication during working hours (except for teaching hours).
4.4. The lunch break shall be taken between the hours of 12 noon and 2 p.m. and shall last 30 minutes. The exact time of the break shall be individually agreed with the immediate supervisor. The time of the lunch break of a member of teaching staff shall depend on his or her teaching schedule.
4.5. In every university unit with at least three employees, the head of the unit shall organise his or her employees’ lunch breaks in a manner that ensures uninterrupted service in the unit.
4.6. The working time of access attendants may be calculated as an aggregate over a reference period. The working hours of access attendants including breaks for rest and meals shall be determined in a work time schedule, which shall be drawn up and approved by the supervisor of the facility or grounds the attendant is assigned to. The work time schedule shall be drawn up in respect of each month separately and shall be delivered in writing to the employee at the latest on the last working day of the preceding month.
4.7. Employees who work on the basis of a work time schedule may leave their workplace only when relieved of their duty by the next shift employee. If the next shift employee fails to arrive at the workplace on time, the duty employee must immediately notify this to the immediate supervisor and continue working until the next shift employee arrives but not for more than four hours from the moment his or her own shift ended.
4.8. On working days directly preceding New Year's Day (1 January), Estonia's Independence Day (24 February), Estonia's Victory Day (23 June), and Christmas Eve (24 December), the working day shall end at 1:30 p.m., except for those employees who work on the basis of a work time schedule. On working days directly preceding any other national holidays, the working hours may also be reduced to end at 1:30 p.m. provided the work arrangements permit this.
4.9. During the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day (27 December – 31 December), the working hours of employees may be reduced and they may also be granted days off, provided this does not interfere with proper performance of job duties.
4.10. During the summer period (25 June – 20 August), working hours may be reduced to end at 3 p.m. if such an arrangement of working time is possible and provided this does not interfere with proper and timely performance of job duties.
4.11. The parents of children who are commencing their first school year shall be granted a day off with full pay on the first school day of the child.
4.12. If the immediate supervisor agrees to it, an employee whose child is attending primary school may be granted reduced working hours (until noon) on the first school day of each year the child attends primary school.
4.13. In addition to cases stipulated in the Republic of Estonia Employment Contracts Act, the head of the unit may also grant an employee in the unit up to three consecutive days off with full pay:
4.13.1. in the case of the employee’s marriage;
4.13.2. in the case of a death in the employee’s family.
4.14. Absence from work for personal reasons shall be allowed in the cases stipulated in the Republic of Estonia Employment Contracts Act and provided the employee’s immediate supervisor approves it.
4.15. Should any circumstances arise that prevent the employee from arriving for work on time (e.g., an illness), the employee shall inform his or her immediate supervisor of those circumstances at the latest within one working day. The immediate supervisor shall then notify this to the Finance Office employee responsible for the calculation of salaries.
4.16. Working overtime is generally allowed if previously agreed by the parties. Unless agreed upon otherwise, working overtime or working on national holidays shall be compensated by granting time off to the employee. The university may order the employee to work overtime if this is required by unforeseen circumstances, mainly in order to prevent damage from arising.
5.1. The university shall be entitled to second the employee, for a period of time not exceeding 30 consecutive days (in the absence of a different agreement between the parties), to perform job-related duties in a location different from the one designated as the place of work in the employment contract.
5.2. At least 24 hours before an employee’s secondment is scheduled to commence, the seconded employee or the employee in charge of clerical business in the relevant unit/department shall enter the secondment in the secondment register in the university’s document management system. The secondee shall be responsible for timely registration of the secondment.
5.3. The secondee is entitled to claim an advance on estimated secondment expenses provided he or she does so no later than two working days prior to commencement of the secondment. In order to claim an advance, the secondee shall fill out a secondment authorisation form, where he or she shall indicate the amount of the advance requested, the name of the bank and the number of the bank account into which the money should be transferred. The university shall transfer the advance payment to the employee’s bank account before commencement of the secondment.
5.4. No daily allowance shall be paid to employees seconded to a location in Estonia.
5.5. The reimbursement/set-off of secondment expenses shall be based on the secondment expense report duly filled out by the secondee and endorsed by the person in charge of secondment funds.
5.6. The secondee shall submit his or her secondment expense report to the Finance Office no later than within seven working days following return from secondment.
6. LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS
6.1. Under the Republic of Estonia Employment Contracts Act, standard entitlement to paid annual leave amounts to 28 calendar days. Employers are allowed increase their employees’ paid annual leave entitlement by up to 7 calendar days.
6.2. The paid annual leave entitlement of the rector, vice rectors, directors of institutes and members of teaching staff (assistants, lecturers, senior lecturers, professors) shall amount to 56 calendar days.
6.3. The paid annual leave entitlement of research fellows, senior research fellows and heads of teaching / research laboratories shall amount to 42 calendar days.
6.4. The university shall draw up a general schedule of annual leave in respect of each calendar year, based on the requirements of work arrangements and taking into account the employees’ wishes where possible.
6.5. The number of leave days that an employee must claim in the schedule of annual leave may not be inferior to that which was agreed in the employment contract. Entitlements to paid annual leave shall expire one year after the end of the calendar year in respect of which they accrued.
6.6. The employee in charge of drawing up the schedule of annual leave in an institute/department shall submit the schedule to the Personnel Office by 1 February at the latest. The university shall approve the schedule of annual leave and shall communicate it to the employees by 31 March at the latest.
6.7. Where an employee is employed in more than one position at the university at the same time, he or she shall use his or her leave entitlements accruing in respect of these positions concurrently. If the paid annual leave entitlements arising in respect of the different positions differ in length, the employee shall accept a leave without pay in respect of the position giving rise to the shorter leave, for the period of time by which the longer entitlement exceeds the shorter one.
6.8. If an employee wants to reschedule his or her leave or to request study leave, he or she shall submit a written application in the required format to the Personnel Office at least two weeks before the commencement of the rescheduled leave or study leave.
6.9. An employee who wants to use additional childcare leave or additional childcare leave without pay at a specific time in the calendar year should inform the university of his or her request during the period when the schedule of annual leave for the year is being drafted, otherwise the university may not be in a position to guarantee the employee the requested leave at the desired time.
6.10. An employee who is hired after the schedule of annual leave has already been approved shall submit his or her application for annual leave two weeks before the commencement of the leave.
6.11. In the first year of employment, the employee’s paid annual leave entitlement in respect of a shorter period than a calendar year shall be calculated proportionately to the time worked in that year. The employee shall be entitled to paid annual leave when he or she has been employed by the university for at least six months.
6.12. Paid annual leave may be granted as a series of separate leave periods. At least one continuous period of leave in a calendar year must amount to no fewer than 14 calendar days. A period of paid annual leave may not be shorter than 7 calendar days, except when the remaining entitlement amounts to less than one full week.
6.13. An employee whose salary and leave payments are funded under a project must observe the requirements of the project when using his or her paid annual leave entitlement. The project manager shall be responsible for keeping an account of leave entitlements and their use by employees involved in the project.
6.14. Should any personal circumstances arise that prevent the employee from using his or her leave entitlement (primarily the employee’s temporary incapacity or maternity leave), the unused part of the leave entitlement should be used immediately after said circumstances cease. The employee shall inform his or her immediate supervisor of any circumstances that prevent him or her from using his or her leave entitlement. The immediate supervisor shall then notify this to the Finance Office.
6.15. Where a secondment interferes with the secondee’s leave arrangements as determined in the schedule of annual leave, the employee’s leave arrangements must be modified no later than five working days before the secondment authorisation is issued. The employee’s immediate supervisor shall be responsible for modifying the employee’s leave arrangements in timely manner.
6.16. Due to changes in the schedule of annual leave as stipulated under sections 6.14 and 6.15 above, the application to reschedule paid annual leave must set out the desired period of rescheduled leave.
6.17. An employee may be granted leave without pay if this is agreed between the university and the employee. A leave without pay shall be granted on the basis of the employee’s application, which must be endorsed by the employee's immediate supervisor and approved by the head of the unit.
6.18. The employee’s leave pay shall be calculated on the basis of the employee's average pay in a calendar day and shall be paid out to the employee on the working day preceding the last working day prior to the commencement of the leave, unless agreed otherwise by the university and the employee. Any agreements purporting to postpone the leave payment to a date after the payday following the leave shall be void.
7.1. Employees shall be paid remuneration at the latest on the last working day of the month for work performed during the month. If an employee requests it in writing, his or her monthly remuneration shall be paid out in two instalments, the first on the 15th day of the month and the second on the last working day of the month.
7.2. Remuneration shall be paid out on the basis of a duly filled out timesheet and other original documents (e.g., directives authorising additional remuneration), which shall be submitted to the Finance Office at the latest on the working day immediately preceding the day of payment, but not later than on the 25th day of the current month.
7.3. Unless agreed otherwise, the university shall pay the employee’s remuneration by bank transfer into the personal bank account specified by the employee in writing. Should the employee's bank account details change, he or she must immediately notify this to the Finance Office in writing or in a format that allows reproduction in paper copy.
7.4. An employee shall be entitled to request from the university the issuance of a pay certificate showing the calculation of his or her pay and the taxes withheld.
8. EMPLOYEES’ LIABILITY
8.1. Pursuant to the employment contract, personal liability agreement and applicable legislation, employees shall be liable for any damage they cause to the university.
8.2. If, for the purpose of discharging work duties, an employee is entrusted with property belonging to the university, he or she shall execute with the university a personal liability agreement pursuant to section 75 of the Republic of Estonia Employment Contracts Act. Employees whose employment with the university is being terminated shall return the university’s property to the university on the last day of their employment.
8.3. During an employee’s employment or upon its termination, the return of property belonging to the university and entrusted to the employee for discharging work duties shall be arranged by the head of the unit.
9. Rules regarding the use of computers and communication devices
9.1. University property entrusted to an employee for performance of work duties (desktop or laptop computer, printer, telephone) may only be used for that purpose; its use shall be subject to terms and conditions effective at the time the property was placed in the employee’s charge and to those of any written agreements entered into in relation to the property.
9.2. Employees shall be responsible for ensuring preservation of the data stored in their computers and shall make backup copies. Technical assistance shall be provided by the university’s IT specialists.
9.3. Employees shall use a university e-mail address in the following format: email@example.com. E-mail accounts in the university’s system are administered (issued, closed, modified, etc.) and related advice is provided by the senior specialist of the Office of Information and Communication Technology.
9.4. While on leave, an employee shall configure his or her e-mail client to generate an automated reply, which shall include information regarding the duration of the employee's leave and a reference to his or her substitute at the workplace. IT consultants shall provide advice in relation to configuring the e-mail client.
9.5. Upon request by the head of the unit, the specialist for electrical and communication systems of the Estates Management Office shall install telephone devices, issue landline/mobile phone numbers and perform repairs as needed.
9.6. When using the telephone, the following rules should be observed:
9.6.1. to call a landline or mobile number of the university, internal calls (initiated by dialling the short number, e.g. 3212 instead of 731 3212 for landline, or 53212 instead of 5013 212 for mobile) should be preferred;
9.6.2. when leaving the workplace, divert your calls to your mobile or to the employee who is substituting for you.
10. OBLIGATIONS OF THE PARTIES
10.1. The university shall:
10.1.1 observe the terms agreed upon in the employment contract;
10.1.2. provide the employee with work as agreed and also provide clear and timely work instructions where needed;
10.1.3. ensure safe working conditions in the workplace;
10.1.4. inform the employee of the substance of work rules, health and safety rules and fire safety rules upon hiring the employee as well as during the employee’s employment;
10.1.5. improve work arrangements and create opportunities for employees to enhance their professional skills and knowledge;
10.2. An employee shall:
10.2.1. perform the work described in the employment contract and job description and, without specific instructions, also perform other tasks which arise in the general course of the work or are related to the nature of the job.
10.2.2. adhere to discipline (including working time arrangements) in his or her work;
10.2.3. read work-related e-mails arriving at his or her work e-mail address and reply to such e-mails within two working days;
10.2.4. inform his or her immediate supervisor of accidents in the workplace;
10.2.5. refrain from actions that interfere with other employees’ performance of their duties or that damage the property of other employees or third parties, or the reputation or interests of the university;
10.2.6. indemnify the university for expenditure incurred in relation to work equipment (university car, mobile phone, etc.) used by the employee, if the expenditure made by the employee exceeds the limits prescribed by the university;
10.2.7. refrain from disclosing or using in his or her interest any of the employer’s confidential information which the employee has become privy to in the course of performing his or her job duties or in other situations, and be responsible for the preservation of work-related information;
10.2.8. inform his or her immediate supervisor of employment with another employer immediately after the execution of the corresponding employment contract. An employee shall refrain from unfair competition with the university, including working for the university’s competitors without the university’s written consent. The university’s competitors shall include similar educational and research institutions and other institutions and businesses offering educational services.
10.2.9. perform the duties stipulated in labour legislation, the employment contract and other agreements entered into between the university and the employee.
11. GENERAL WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES
11.1. All employees shall comply with health and safety requirements.
11.2. As employer, the Estonian University of Life Sciences shall:
11.2.1. ensure safety of the workplace and safe and healthy working conditions of employees such that accidents at work and/or occurrences of occupational diseases may be avoided;
11.2.2. draw up and approve workplace health and safety guidelines which are required for conducting preliminary health and safety instruction and primary instruction of employees in health and safety in their workplace;
11.2.3. instruct employees in workplace health and safety matters and monitor their health and safety practices;
11.2.4. inform employees via health and safety representatives, members of the health and safety committee and the employees’ representatives of health and safety risks, the results of assessments of health and safety risks and of measures taken to avoid disablements caused by occupational diseases or injuries;
11.2.5. provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment, work gear and cleaning and washing supplies if required for the job;
11.2.6. organise the provision of health and safety services and bear the related costs;
11.2.7. appoint first aiders and arrange for their training, bearing the cost of such training;
11.2.8. ensure that at least one first aider is present in each unit;
11.2.9. ensure the availability of first aid facilities to all employees. Designated first aid kits are available in each institute, department or unit;
11.2.10. ensure proper investigation of any accidents at work and any occurrences of occupational diseases.
11.3. Employees of the Estonian University of Life Sciences shall:
11.3.1. observe workplace health and safety guidelines, use appropriate personal protective equipment and keep that equipment in good repair;
11.3.2. make sure that their work or its consequences does not endanger their own or others’ lives, health and the environment;
11.3.3. perform only such tasks which they have been trained to do;
11.3.4. keep order in the workplace;
11.3.5. comply with workplace health and safety related directives of the university, the university’s representative, the health and safety representative, the occupational health physician and the labour inspector;
11.3.6. immediately notify the immediate supervisor and/or the employer’s representative of any accidents at work, or of any risk thereof, and of any injuries or occurrences of illness that interfere with the performance of work duties.
11.4. The university shall cooperate with its employees to achieve safety in the workplace.
11.5. When preparing measures to improve health and safety conditions in the workplace, the university shall consider proposals of the health and safety committee and shall invite employees to take part in the implementation of these measures.
12. GENERAL FIRE AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY GUIDELINES
12.1. The university shall:
12.1.1. ensure fire safety in the buildings as required by law;
12.1.2. appoint employees responsible for fire and environmental safety;
12.1.3. develop and establish fire safety requirements for rooms/workplaces;
12.1.4. ensure the availability of primary fire emergency equipment and keep it in good repair;
12.1.5. establish general rules for reducing pollution of the environment and for recycling hazardous waste.
12.2. An employee shall:
12.2.1. observe the fire safety requirements established by the university;
12.2.2. apprise himself or herself of the location and manner of use of primary fire emergency equipment;
12.2.3. in the case of fire emergency, take all measures to prevent fire from spreading, notifying the emergency to the university or a representative of the university and calling the rescue service (by dialling 112); until the arrival of the fire brigade, the employee shall use all available equipment to extinguish the fire and try to ensure the safety of people;
12.2.4. observe the environmental safety requirements established by the employer.
12.3. Smoking is permitted only in areas designated and marked for that purpose.
13. Final provisions
13.1. The Work Arrangement Rules shall be approved by administrative decree of the Rector.