Freedom of movement for workers
Freedom of movement for workers gives nationals of the European Union Member States the right to freely choose the place of their employment within the EU. Nationals of one EU Member State are not required to have a work permit in another EU Member State. The nationals of one EU Member State enjoy the same access to employment as the citizens of the Member State, where they want to work. That means that they and their family members have a right to reside in any other EU Member State and to engage in employment there.
Freedom of movement for workers prohibits discrimination against EU workers on the basis of nationality Article 45 (2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 7 (2) of EU Regulation 492/2011, the Free Movement of Workers Regulation.
This also applies to social and tax advantages. Indirect discrimination is also prohibited; in other words, measures which typically afford less favourable treatment to foreign nationals than national workers, without referring directly to nationality, are not permitted either.
EU citizens are also permitted to enter another Member State and reside there for the purpose of seeking employment. However, this right only exists for a period of up to six months, and beyond that only as long as those concerned can provide evidence that they are continuing to seek employment and that they have a genuine chance of being hired (Section 2 (2) no. 1a of the Freedom of Movement Act/EU).
In certain circumstances, freedom of movement for workers continues to apply for six months or longer after the end of an employment relationship (for example in the case of temporary incapacity for work following an accident, or involuntary unemployment); this entitles the EU citizen and his or her family members to remain in the country during this period.
Freedom of movement for workers in Estonia
Principal aspects of entry to and residence in Estonia for the citizens of the European Union and their family members are regulated in the Citizen of the European Union Act. According to the Act’s chapter 5 regardless of citizenship, workers who are citizens of an EU Member State or of the European Economic Area must enjoy equal treatment with the citizens of the Republic of Estonia.
According to the Equal Treatment Act , the Commissioner acts as a contact point for cooperation between the Member States of the European Union to support the exercise of the right of free movement of workers of the EU and the Member States of the European Economic Area. This means, that the Commissioner cooperate with third parties to promote gender equality and equal treatment, including acting as a contact point for cooperation between the Member States of the EU to facilitate the exercise of the right of free movement of the workers who are citizens of a Member State of the EU and of the European Economic Area, and of their family members.
More information about working in Estonia can be found from the Estonian Police and Border Guard’s webpage and from eesti.ee webpage.