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Changes in the Family Benefits Act

As of 1 September 2019 the following changes will take effect:

 

When calculating the amount of parental benefit we will always first subtract the 9 months preceding the month of birth of the child and we will calculate the amount of benefit on the basis of income earned over the course of 12 months preceding those 9 months. This change will affect all who will have the right to parental benefit as of 1 September 2019.
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We will no longer grant child care allowance in connection with children born on 1 September 2019 and later. We will keep paying the benefit to all parents whose children are born before said date and to all who have been granted child care allowance earlier until the expiry of the right or until 31 August 2024 at the latest.
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As of 1 July 2020 the following changes will take effect:

 

Instead of the current 10 working days, the father will have the opportunity to take 30 calendar days of paternity leave and to receive the parental benefit for that period. The additional benefit for fathers will also be paid to fathers who are not working. Please note the differences during the transition period! Read more

The payment of the parental benefit can be suspended by calendar month and resumed in accordance with the wish of the parent until the child reaches 3 years of age. Read more

     

     Changing the period for calculating parental benefit

     

    If the right to parental benefit arises as of 1 September 2019,

    we will calculate the amount of parental benefit on new bases. Pursuant to the new procedure we will always first subtract 9 full calendar months (average length of pregnancy irrespective of whether or not the child is full term, premature or postterm) from the month of birth of the child and we will base the calculation of parental benefit on income over the course of 12 months preceding those 9 months. The amount depends on the amount of paid social tax, declared for the earned income.
    Even if parental benefit is applied by the father of the child we will calculate his benefit on the basis of the same period.

    • Example:  If a child is born on 10 September 2019, the new procedure will already apply and we will calculate parental benefit for the parents of that child pursuant to the new procedure. We will subtract 9 full months from the month of birth of the child, that is to say from September 2019 = December 2018. Therefore, the 12 calendar months preceding December 2018 will be taken into account. We will calculate the amount of parental benefit on the basis of income earned from 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2018.

    Additional info

     

    Who will be affected by the new procedure?

    Whether or not you will be subject to the new procedure for the calculation of parental benefit depends on when you will have the right to parental benefit. This new procedure will affect all who will have the right to parental benefit as of 1 September 2019.

    If you have the right to the benefit before 1 September 2019, the transition to the new system will not concern you – we will grant or keep paying parental benefit pursuant to the current procedure.
    We will also not recalculate parental benefits granted earlier and we will keep paying them as granted.

    That means, that the transition to the procedure concerns you only if:

    • The mother of a child did not work prior to the birth of the child and so she had no right to pregnancy and maternity leave (to be issued a certificate for maternity leave) and the child is born on 1 September 2019 or later.
    • The mother of a child worked prior to the birth of the child and she took a pregnancy and maternity leave (was issued a certificate for maternity leave) and the pregnancy and maternity leave ends on 31 August 2019 or later (the right to parental benefit arises on the day following the end of the pregnancy and maternity leave which means on 1 September 2019 or later).
    • The mother of a child had the right to maternity benefit on other grounds (for example, self-employed persons) and the period of receiving maternity benefit ends on 31 August 2019 or later (the right to parental benefit arises on the day following the end of the period of receiving maternity benefit which means on 1 September 2019 or later).

     

    How will we calculate parental benefit in case of consecutive births?
     

    If a new child is born before the previous child attains the age of 2.6 years, the current procedure will remain applicable, according to which we will calculate parental benefit according to the amount more favourable for the parent. It means that we will compare the income used for the calculation of parental benefit for the previous child to the income used for the calculation of parental benefit for the subsequent child. We will grant parental benefit on the basis of the amount more favourable for the parent.

    Read more here: https://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/family-and-child-protection/kinds-family-allowances#Parental%20Benefit%20Amount%20Calculation%20if%20Another%20Child%20is%20Born

     

       

      Child care allowance will no longer be granted as of 1 September 2019

      • In connection with children born on 01.09.2019 and later child care allowance will no longer be paid. The state will gradually incorporate the funds that become available as a result thereof in the parental benefits system during 2020–2022. Read more about the planned changes on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs (in Estonian): http://www.sm.ee/et/vanemapuhkuste-ja-huvitiste-susteemi-taiustamine.
      • We will grant and keep paying child care allowance pursuant to the old procedure to all families where a child is born on 31 August 2019 at the latest.
      • We will also keep paying child care allowance to all who are already being paid child care allowance on 31 August 2019 or to whom we have granted the allowance earlier. 
        We will keep paying child care allowance until the expiry of the right to the allowance or until 31 August 2024 at the latest.

      Additional info

      The amount of child care allowance is 38.36 euros per month from the time the payment of parental benefit is stopped until the child attains 3 years of age. If there are other children 3–8 years of age in the family, we will also pay child care allowance for them 19.18 euros a month per child. Families with 3 and more children have the right to child care allowance (19.18 euros) for all children up to 8 years of age. 

      Please note that parental benefit and child care allowance are not paid to a family at the same time – so during the time we pay the family parental benefit for one child we suspend the payment of child care allowance for all children in the family.

      Read more about child care allowance here: https://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/family-and-child-protection/kinds-family-allowances#Child%20care%20allowance

       
      • Example 1: A child is born on 31.08.2019 into a family where there already is a child 4 years of age. The old procedure will apply and in connection with the birth of the second child we will grant child care allowance in connection with the newborn (38.36 euros per month) as well as with its 4-year-old sibling (19.18 euros per month). We will pay child care allowance for both children as of the end of payment of parental benefit in connection with the newborn until it attains 3 years of age on 31 August 2022.
      • Example 2: A child is born on 01.09.2019 into a family where there already is a child 2 years of age for whom we already pay child care allowance to the family.
        Since the new child is born after the new procedure goes into effect, we will not grant the family child care allowance for either child in connection with the birth of the child.
        In connection with the 2-year-old child we will keep paying the family child care allowance on former grounds until we start paying parental benefit in connection with the newborn (it usually happens 70–110 days after the birth of the child). As of that moment we will stop paying child care allowance in connection with the 2-year-old child. The reason is that a family will not be paid child care allowance for any child at the same time with parental benefit and by the time the payment of parental benefit is stopped the older child will be more than 3 years of age and the right to child care allowance for that child which arose pursuant to the old procedure will be expired.
      • Example 3: A child is born on 01.09.2019 into a family where there already is a child 4 years of age. Child care allowance will not be granted in connection with either child.
       

      Changes that will take effect starting of 1 July 2020

       

      Additional parental benefit for fathers and 30 days of paternity leave

      The additional parental benefit for fathers is a new type of parental benefit. We will begin to grant and pay it starting on 1 July 2020. This will be accompanied by paternity leave of 30 days for working fathers from their employers. The goal is to promote the greater involvement of fathers in the raising of their children and thereby also alleviating the burden of care placed upon mothers.

      Additional info

      Who is eligible to receive the benefit?

      • Fathers, whose child is born on 1 July 2020 or later
      • If the child's biological father is failing to perform his obligation to raise the child and has not already exercised his right to the additional benefit for fathers, the adoptive parent, guardian or foster parent or the mother’s spouse has the right to receive the additional parental benefit.
      • The mother’s spouse also has the right to paternity leave even if the biological father submits a written notice to the Social Insurance Board regarding the decision to waive the right to receive the additional benefit for fathers.

       

       

      TRANSITION PERIOD!

      Please note that the new system will only apply to those children who are born on 1 July 2020 or later. Regardless of the child's estimated due date!

      In order for the new system to be valid, the entire holiday taken based on the new system must be taken after 1 July 2020. The new paternity leave cannot be used earlier than 1 July 2020!

      This means that:

      • Even if the child’s estimated due date is 1 July 2020 or later, but the child is born earlier, the old system will apply to the father. He will have the right to use 10 working days of paternity leave assigned under the old system.
      • If the estimated due date is prior to 1 July 2020, but the child is actually born on 1 July 2020 or later, the new system will apply to the father and he will have the right to use 30 calendar days of paternity leave.

        Please Note! Except if the father has, in accordance with the old system, already exercised his right to 10 days of paternity leave in the two months prior to the birth of the child! In that case, the old system will apply to the father, and he will no longer have the right to take out the so-called remaining 20 days, regardless of whether the child was born on 1 July 2020 or later!
       

      What do I need to know?

      • Can be used starting 30 days prior to the estimated due date assigned by the doctor or midwife until the child reaches 3 years of age. Take into consideration the difference in the transition period !)
      • If the father is employed, the father must, at the time of receiving the additional parental benefit, be on paternity leave from all of his employers! The use of the holiday period will be entered in the employment register. Paternity leave can be used as a whole or in parts. In accordance with the Employment Contracts Act, the employer may refuse to grant the holiday for a period of less than 7 calendar days.
      • In the case of the additional parental benefit for fathers the principle shall not apply that in the case of earning a maximum of one-half of the upper limit of the benefit (EUR 1774.05 in 2020) there shall be no decrease in the parental benefit.
        During paternity leave the father may not work or earn any income!
      • If the father is unemployed, if he is a FIE or a so-called representative of a liberal profession (for example, notaries, bailiffs, sworn translators, auditors, trustees in bankruptcy) or a person employed under an authorisation agreement and contact of employment or other contract under the law of obligations or a member of a management body of a legal person, he is ineligible for paternity leave. He is eligible to receive the additional parental benefit for fathers for a period of 30 calendar days. It can be used at a convenient time, starting 30 days prior to the estimated due date until the child reaches 3 years of age. The father can decide whether he wishes to use the benefit as a whole or in parts.
      • If the family has several children under 3 years of age, who were born at different times after 1 July 2020, the father has the right to use the 30 day paternity leave and/or additional parental benefit in association with each of the children. The benefit/holiday for each child must be used at a different time – the additional parental benefit for fathers cannot be taken out for multiple children at the same time, nor can a multiple benefit be collected during the same period as a result.
      • In the case of a multiple birth, one period shall be valid regardless of the number of births.
      • The additional parental benefit for fathers may be collected during a period when the mother is the recipient of the parental benefit or the maternity benefit (30 calendar days prior to the due date for the child) as well as later, until the child reaches 3 years of age.
      • If the family wishes that the father would receive the standard parental benefit followed by the additional parental benefit for fathers, then the first 30 days of the period covered by the benefit shall always be considered the additional parental benefit for fathers. A father may begin to receive the standard parental benefit starting on the day when the child is at least 70 days old and the mother’s certificate for maternity leave has ended. Prior to that time, the father is only able to exercise his right to the additional parental benefit for fathers.
       

      What is the amount of the additional parental benefit for fathers?

       

      The additional parental benefit for fathers is calculated for each father using the same rules that are used to calculate the parental benefit.

      This is done by first subtracting the nine full calendar months prior to the birth of the child from the child’s month of birth (i.e. the average length of pregnancy, regardless of whether the child was born on time, prematurely or was overdue) and when calculating the parental benefit we take the income for the 12 months prior to those 9 months as the basis.

      The amount of the benefit depends on the amount of social tax which has been paid on the earned income. You can read more about how the parental benefit is calculated here. Also of assistance is the parental benefit calculator (in estonian).

      The minimum amount of the parental benefit is the minimum monthly wage (EUR 540 for 2020) that was valid on 1 January of the previous calendar year. The maximum amount of the parental benefit is three times the average salary in Estonia during the year before last (EUR 3548.10 in 2020).

       

       

      The payment period for the parental benefit becomes flexible


      As of 1 July 2020, the payment of the parental benefit may, based on the wishes of the parent, be stopped and resumed by calendar months until the child reaches 3 years of age.

      Who is eligible to receive the benefit?

      • As of 1 July 2020, it will be possible for all parental benefit recipients to stop the receipt of parental benefit by calendar months and to resume the receipt thereof – this is true for those who are just beginning to receive the parental benefit as well as those who have already been receiving the benefit!
      • The payment of the parental benefit may be stopped and resumed until the child reaches 3 years of age.


      The condition for stopping and resuming is that the parental benefit may not be assigned for a period of less than one calendar month, except for the month when receipt of the parental benefit begins and ends.

      When resuming the payment of the parental benefit the amount of the parental benefit will not be recalculated!

      Additional info