"No science is immune to the infection
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Jacob Bronowski
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Additional Employment

What is this??

An official has the right to take up any activities whatsoever outside his or her official duties (e.g. under a contract for services, as an undertaking, as a member of the management body or supervisory body of a legal person), if it is not prohibited by some law and if the restrictions on activities are respected. For example, the side activities of officials can be restricted if they take too much of the official’s time, leading to the deterioration of his or her official duties, or if the side activity takes place e.g. at night so that the official cannot fully rest. Also, an official should not take up side activities if they place him or her in a constant conflict of interests or otherwise hinder him or her from properly performing the official duties, e.g. performing supervision over a company where the or she plans to be a Management Board Member at the same time, or providing a service that competes with his or her official activities.


An official also works as an accountant in a company during his or her term of office

A migration official is simultaneously an accountant in a small enterprise. Under an agreement with his or her direct superior, the official can perform the side activity outside the main work hours. In everyday life, there can be situations where the company’s employee calls the accountant for urgent matters during the normal work hours. Although there are queues in the official agency at peak hours, the official deals with phone calls related to his or her side  activity as well.


In this situation, the side activity hinders the official’s service duties. If the official uses his or her work time for side activities, his or her colleagues will have a higher workload and citizens will have to endure longer queues. Moreover, the official’s direct superior has not allowed the official to deal with side activities during work hours, considering the nature of his or her official duties.

One solution is to hire the migration official as part-time employee. In that case, the official should agree with the other employer the days or hours when he or she can deal with the side activity.

A county government official proofreads as a side activity

A county government’s Cultural Specialist has the education of an Estonian philologist and works as a proofreader for a publishing house outside the work hours, being also paid for that. The official has informed his or her direct superior. As the official works fulltime in the official agency, an agreement with the direct superior means that he or she may deal with the side activity outside the work hours, on the prerequisite that the Cultural Specialist’s duties will not suffer because of that.


The Cultural Specialist’s side activity as a proofreader is allowed because the official has obtained the direct superior’s consent and the side activity does not hinder the official activities. The side activity does not lead to a conflict of interests and does not harm the agency’s reputation.

A Ministry’s official also works as a waitress

The official wishes to start working as a waitress on weekends in a City Centre café with a good reputation.


Among the criteria set for side activities, the official and her direct superior should first and foremost consider whether working as a waitress in that café could harm the Ministry’s reputation. In the case at hand, the café has a good reputation and working there does not harm the Ministry’s reputation. The Ministry’s reputation could be harmed if it were e.g. a shady nightclub instead, being under surveillance by the media and the police as a gathering place of people with a criminal background.

A Headmaster of an upper secondary school is a Chairman of the Rural Municipality Council

The Headmaster of an upper secondary school administrated by a rural municipality is simultaneously a Chairman of the Rural Municipality Council.


A headmaster of an upper secondary school may indeed be a Chairman of the Rural Municipality Council but must remove himself from discussions and decisions pertaining to the upper secondary school. A situation where the headmaster formally removes himself but factually participates in the discussions cannot be considered proper, as well as the contrary situation where the headmaster has factually removed himself but the decision gets undersigned by him.

Still, the removal obligation is not absolute and decisions made in public interest and should be differentiated from decisions made in the economic interests of the school and the headmaster himself. For example, if the Rural Municipality Council presents an opinion about the developmental directions of the county’s educational arrangement prepared by the country government, its connection to this specific school is so little that the Headmaster does not need to remove himself from the discussion and the decisions. But if the Rural Municipality Council decides the specific school’s matters, like the school’s elimination, then the Headmaster has to remove himself.