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  • Only for the mother of the child
  • Up to 100 days for a working mother (70 days before the expected date of birth and 30 after the birth)
  • For a non-working mother up to 30 days after the birth of a child
  • While receiving maternity benefit it s not allowed to work on the basis of an employment contract or public service contract
  • The amount of the parental allowance is calculated individually for each person, based on the amount of his/her social tax paid in the period of 12 months before the beginning of pregnancy
  • The minimum amount is 725 EUR per month gross (in force since 01.01.2024)
  • No maximum rate
  • Includes health insurance from the birth of the child
  • Taxable with income tax
  • Payout on the 8th for the previous month

Maternity benefit (in Estonian ‘ema vanemahüvitis’) is a new type of parental benefit that replaced the current maternity benefit (in Estonian ‘sünnitushüvitis’) from 1 April 2022.

All expectant mothers are entitled to maternity benefit. If, up until now, unemployed mothers were not entitled to maternity benefit, then from 1 April, they will also be entitled to receive the new maternity benefit.

An employed mother has the right to maternity benefit before the birth of the child. In the case of employed mothers, the maternity benefit always includes maternity leave.

Unemployed mothers become entitled to maternity benefit from the birth of the child.

Maternity benefit is and individual right of the mother, meaning that only the mother is entitled to it and the other parent cannot use it.

NB! In this context, an employed mother is a mother who was in an employment relationship prior to the estimated date of birth and who is entitled to receive maternity benefit and maternity leave under the Health Insurance Act. An unemployed mother is a mother who was not in an employment relationship prior to the estimated date of birth and who is entitled to maternity benefit from the birth of the child.

NB! From April 1 2022, we pay the maternity, father's and shared parental benefit on the basis of the daily rate. Until now, the calculation of parental benefit was on a monthly basis, the benefit was paid in exactly the same amount in each month. From 1 April 2022, all types of parental benefits are granted at the daily rate. For the recipient of the benefit, the change means that the amount of parental benefit varies slightly from month to month, depending on the number of days in the month.

The parents will be able to use their parental benefits on a daily basis and plan on which days of the month they want to use the benefit.

FAQ about maternity benefit  

Attention! You have the right for maternity benefit and other types of family benefits only if your family lives in Estonia. If, in addition to Estonia, you live in another country then you have the right for family benefits only if you stay in Estonia for at least 183 days per year.

How can I receive maternity benefit?

Until now, employed mothers notified their gynaecologist or midwife when they wanted to take pregnancy and maternity leave from work and the benefit was paid by the Health Insurance Fund.

From 1 April 2022, the Social Insurance Board will start to send maternity benefit and the accompanying maternity leave offers to mothers.

In the case of employed mothers, we receive information about the estimated date of birth of children born on or after 10 June 2022 from health service providers (doctor or midwife). We determine whether the mother is already entitled to maternity leave and maternity benefit before the child’s estimated date of birth or from the child’s birth, depending on whether the mother is employed or not.

We send a maternity benefit offer to an employed mother 80 days prior to the child’s estimated date of birth.

In the case of unemployed mothers, we send them the maternity benefit offer together with the family benefits offer. We are able to send the offer once the child is registered in the population register.

NB! The Social Insurance Board also sends a notification about the offer in the self-service portal to the e-mail address of the mother. Please make sure that a valid e-mail address of yours is available in the self-service portal of the Social Insurance Board.

How can I receive maternity benefit and maternity leave if I work based on a contract under the Law of Obligation, am self-employed, a member of a governing body, notary, or bailiff?

Mothers working under a contract under the Law of Obligation, as self-employed individuals, members of governing bodies, notaries, or bailiffs, have the right to receive maternity benefit before the birth of the child if they are entitled to sickness benefits according to the Health Insurance Act. This means that the mother has valid health insurance. In this case, the mother is entitled to maternity benefit for 100 calendar days, of which up to 70 days can be used before the birth of the child and 30 days after the birth. The total number of days of shared parental benefit is 475 calendar days.

NB! If you work based on a contract under the Law of Obligation, as a self-employed individual, a member of a governing body, notary, or bailiff, please inform us through the self-service, email, or by phone so that we can send you a maternity benefit offer. Automatic offers are sent only to mothers working under an employment contract!

However, if a person working under a contract under the Law of Obligation, as a self-employed individual, a member of a governing body, notary, or bailiff, does not have valid health insurance, they are entitled to maternity benefit only from the child's birth, for 30 days. In this case, parents have the right to receive a total shared parental benefit of 515 calendar days. After the end of maternity benefit (and for mothers in employment after the end of maternity leave), it is possible to receive shared parental benefit.

A mother in employment can either stay on parental leave or return to work. A person working under a contract under the Law of Obligation, as a self-employed individual, a member of a governing body, notary, or bailiff, usually cannot take parental leave, as it is one of the types of leave regulated by the Employment Contracts Act. However, they have the option to suspend their agreement or activities for the period they want to dedicate to taking care of the child.

What should I do when I receive a maternity benefit offer?

An employed mother receives a maternity benefit offer from us via e-mail 80 days prior to the estimated date of birth of the child.

An unemployed mother receives the maternity benefit offer together with other types of family benefits the mother is entitled to after the child’s birth and the registration of the birth in the population register.

An employed mother receives the second family benefits offer after the child’s birth, which includes all other types of family benefits the mother is entitled to.

The family benefits offer includes exactly the types of family benefits the parents are entitled to, which may be as follows:

  • maternity benefit 
  • paternity benefit
  • shared parental benefit
  • childbirth allowance
  • child allowance
  • single parent's child allowance
  • allowance for a family with many children
  • supplementary contributions to funded pension
  • and other family benefits

A mother can either approve or waive the maternity benefit. An employed mother can also plan the starting date of the maternity benefit and the accompanying maternity leave.

How is maternity benefit calculated?

In the case of an employed mother, maternity benefit is calculated on the basis of the child’s estimated date of birth.

In the case of an unemployed mother, maternity benefit is calculated on the basis of the child’s actual date of birth. Paternity benefit and shared parental benefit are calculated in the same way.

The basis for the calculation of the maternity benefit is the justification period, which is the nine months preceding the child’s estimated date of birth or the birth of the child and, from that period, the income subject to social tax of the preceding 12 calendar months (i.e. the reference period), which is used to calculate the monthly rate of benefit. The monthly rate is divided by 30 to get the daily rate of maternity benefit.

The amount of maternity benefit depends on the number of calendar days, i.e. the daily rate. Therefore, the amount of maternity benefit received each month fluctuates, depending on how many days there are in the given month.

Example 1: an employed mother whose child’s estimated date of birth is 1 July 2024.

The reference period of maternity benefit (the period in which the income subject to social tax is used as the basis for calculating the amount of maternity benefit) is from October 2022 to September 2023, i.e. 12 calendar months. The period from October 2023 to June 2024, i.e. nine months, is excluded from the calculation.

Example 2: an unemployed mother whose child’s date of birth is 1 July 2024.

The reference period of maternity benefit (the period in which the income subject to social tax is used as the basis for calculating the amount of maternity benefit) is from October 2022 to September 2023, i.e. 12 calendar months. The period from October 2023 to June 2024, i.e. nine months, is excluded from the calculation.

If the mother did not receive income subject to social tax during the 12-month reference period, she will receive maternity benefit at the rate of parental benefit, which is 725 euros per month in 2024, with a daily rate of 24,16 euros).

If the mother’s income subject to social tax during the 12-month reference period was equal to or lower than minimum wage, she will receive maternity benefit in the amount of minimum wage, which is 820 euros per month in 2024, with a daily rate of 27,33 euros.

NB! The maternity benefit has no maximum rate, thus the maternity benefit is granted and paid on the basis of the actual amount of the mother’s income subject to social tax in the reference period.

NB! In the following cases, it is possible for the mother’s maternity benefit and the shared parental benefit to be of different amounts:

  • first, an employed mother’s maternity benefit is calculated on the basis of the estimated date of birth of the child, while the shared parental benefit is calculated on the basis of the actual date of birth of the child;
  • second, the maternity benefit has no maximum rate, whereas the shared parental benefit does have a maximum rate or an upper limit above which the benefit is not paid to the parent.

NB! Maternity benefit is granted on a gross basis, as the parental benefit is subject to income tax..

When and how is maternity benefit granted?

After the mother has confirmed the maternity benefit offer, we grant the mother maternity benefit by a decision. The mother can view the decision in the self-service portal of the Social Insurance Board

When is maternity benefit paid?

Previously, the Health Insurance Fund paid maternity benefit for 140 days in advance, however, now the Social Insurance Board pays maternity benefit on a monthly basis, similarly to parental benefit. This means that maternity benefit for the previous month is paid on the 8th day of the following month.

If the 8th day of the month falls on a weekend or public holiday, the parental benefit will be paid on the preceding working day. For example, if the 8th day of the month is a Sunday, the benefit will be paid on the 6th day of the month, i.e. on Friday.

An example: Let’s assume that the mother is entitled to the maternity benefit for an uninterrupted period of 100 calendar days from 10 June 2024 through 17 September 2024. The maternity benefit will be disbursed to the mother in four monthly instalments payable the following month:

  • For 10 June through 30 June, the benefit is paid on 8 July.
  • For 1 July through 31 July, the benefit is paid on 8 August.
  • For 1 August through 31 August, the benefit is paid on 8 September.
  • For 1 September through 17 September, the benefit is paid on 7 October as the 8th day of the month coincides with the weekend. In other words, the benefit is paid on the last business day preceding the 8th day of the month.

Is the maternity benefit subject to income tax?

Yes, maternity benefit is subject to income tax, however, you are entitled to an exemption from income tax.

You can notify the Social Insurance Board of your wish to use the exemption from income tax when you approve the maternity benefit offer or at a later date upon request in the self-service portal.

How many calendar days is the maternity benefit paid for?

An employed mother is entitled to up to 100 consecutive calendar days of maternity leave, taking into account the child’s estimated date of birth. An employed mother can use maternity benefit up to 70 calendar days before the child’s estimated date of birth and 30 calendar days after the child’s estimated date of birth.

A mother who is not in an employment relationship before the child’s estimated date of birth, receives maternity benefit for 30 consecutive calendar days from the child’s date of birth.

NB! An employed mother has the opportunity to choose when they want to start using the maternity benefit and take child leave from work.

Employed mothers have three different ways to use maternity benefit and maternity leave.

  1. The mother takes maternity leave 70 days before the child’s estimated date of birth.

If the mother takes maternity leave 70 days before the estimated date of birth, the duration of her maternity leave is 100 days.

  1. The mother takes maternity leave 31–69 days before the child’s estimated date of birth.

If the mother takes her maternity leave at least 31 days before the estimated date of birth, the duration of her maternity leave is at least 61 days.

In this case, up to 39 calendar days of maternity leave will remain unused by the mother by her own decision. The mother’s unused days of maternity benefit will thus be carried over to the period of shared parental benefit, which can be used by both parents flexibly if they so wish. This means that the period of shared parental benefit is extended by the mother’s unused days of maternity benefit.

How many days of parental benefits will the family receive in this case?

Let’s look at another example, in which the mother wishes to take maternity leave 31 days before the child’s estimated date of birth. The family will be entitled to the following parental benefits:

  • The mother will be entitled to maternity benefit and thus also 61 days of maternity leave (31 days before the child’s estimated date of birth + 30 days after the child’s estimated date of birth).
  • Both the mother and father will be entitled to shared parental benefit. In this case, it is up to the parents to decide which of them will start receiving the shared parental benefit. However, as the mother started to use maternity benefit later than the permitted 70 days before the child’s estimated date of birth, and thus also took maternity leave later, the shared parental benefit will be extended by the number of unused maternity benefit days the mother was entitled to (100 - 61 = 39 calendar days). If otherwise the duration of the shared parental benefit would have been 475 calendar days, then it is now 514 days (475 + 39 calendar days).
  • The father is entitled to paternity benefit of 30 calendar days.

In total, the family has 605 calendar days of parental benefit (61 + 514 + 30 calendar days).

  1. The mother takes maternity leave 30 or less days before the child’s estimated date of birth.

If the maternity leave starts 30 calendar days or less prior to the expected date of birth of the child (i.e., 30 to 0 calendar days prior to the expected date of birth), the duration of the leave will be at least 30 days. In this case, the unused days of maternity leave will not be added to the duration of the shared parental benefit. In other words, the period of shared parental benefit will not be extended by the corresponding number of days. In this event, the days not used by the mother following the commencement of her entitlement to maternity leave (defined as 70 calendar days before childbirth), will be forfeit by the family and cannot be used towards the paternal benefit.

Another example: if an employed mother takes maternity leave and starts receiving maternity benefit 29 calendar days before the child’s estimated date of birth, the family will be entitled to the following parental benefits:

  • The mother will be entitled to maternity benefit and thus also 59 days of maternity leave (29 days before the child’s estimated date of birth + 30 days after the child’s estimated date of birth).
  • The parents are also entitled to shared parental benefit of 475 calendar days.
  • The father is entitled to paternity benefit of 30 calendar days.

In total, the family has 564 calendar days of parental benefit (59 + 475 + 30 calendar days).

In the light of the period of benefit receipt, it is recommended for an employed mother to take maternity leave at least 31 days prior to the child’s estimated date of birth and receive parental benefit, as the total number of parental benefit days received by the family will not be reduced in this case.

When does maternity benefit end?

The receipt of maternity benefit generally ends when the child attains 30 days of age or when the maximum number of maternity benefit days, i.e. 100 consecutive calendar days, are used.

For example, the child is born at 42 weeks. As the maternity benefit is granted according to the child’s estimated date of birth, the child is actually two weeks younger than 30 days old when the maternity benefit ends. However, the maternity benefit cannot be granted for more than 100 days.

In the case of premature children, the maternity benefit ends when the child reaches 100 days of age.

How are maternity benefit and maternity leave linked? Am I allowed to work during maternity leave?

Employed mothers who are entitled to maternity benefit have the right to take maternity leave. The mother is not allowed to work on the basis of an employment contract or public service contract while on maternity leave.

Can you receive income while on maternity leave?

Only people who work under a public service contract or an employment contract are entitled to maternity leave. During maternity leave, the contract is suspended and the woman on maternity leave should take a break from work. However, if a woman on maternity leave has, in addition to her employment or public service contract, part-time job, which she does on the basis of a contract under the law of obligations (service contract), then she can continue to do this work and earn income from it.
It also happens that the employer decides to pay a bonus for the previous period to the person on maternity leave. If the bonus is paid for work that was done before the start of maternity leave, the employer can also transfer money to the person on maternity leave. If necessary, the employer should be ready to provide additional proof to the Social Insurance Board that the income subject to social tax was earned before the maternity leave period.
 

How to notify the employer of maternity leave?

We recommend that employed mothers discuss their wish to take maternity leave with their employer at least 30 calendar days before the start of maternity leave. The expectant mother will receive guidance from their employer on how to record the maternity leave in the holiday schedule. The exact arrangement of this is up to the employer.

When an employed mother receives a maternity benefit offer 80 calendar days before the child’s estimated date of birth, the mother also submits the e-mail address(es) of her employer(s) when planning the benefit. This is important, so that we can inform the employer of the mother’s wish to start to use the maternity leave from the date selected. The employer has the right to refuse to grant the leave to the employee within five working days.

If the employer does not refuse to grant leave, we enter the maternity leave in the employment register and the mother can take their leave on the desired date. Maternity leave is entered in the employment register one day before the start of leave but no earlier than after a period of five working days from the date of planning the maternity leave in our self-service portal.

Can maternity leave be suspended for a period of time?

No, maternity leave cannot be suspended – the mother can only use it consecutively.

If a mother has decided to take maternity leave from work from the desired date and start receiving maternity benefit, we will grant her maternity benefit for the desired period, a maximum of 100 consecutive calendar days. In the employment register, we record that the employment relationship of the mother has been suspended. The type of holiday entered in the employment register is ‘Maternity leave’.

Does the time spent on maternity leave count towards the annual holiday calculation? Will the period of annual holiday be reduced due to maternity leave?

Although employment is considered to be suspended during maternity and paternity leave, according to subsection 68 (2) of the Employment Contracts Act, the corresponding period is still included in the time serving as the basis for the right to grant annual holiday.

Therefore, the number of annual holiday days is not reduced due to maternity leave. Time spent on maternity leave counts towards the annual holiday calculation. The mother is entitled to annual holiday according to the number of days of maternity leave used. The employer receives the relevant information from us when the mother plans her maternity benefit and maternity leave in our self-service portal. Estonian Tax and Customs Board notifies the employer when we have entered the maternity leave in the employment register.

Example: the duration of employee’s annual holiday is 28 days in a calendar year. The employee wishes to take maternity leave for 100 calendar days. The mother is entitled to eight days of annual holiday for the time spent on maternity leave (28 / 365 = 0.077 * 100).

Please provide an example of the various alternatives for maternity leave, including specific dates:

Let’s say that the child is expected to be born on 10 July 2024. An employed mother now has the following three options for her maternity leave:

  1. The mother starts her maternity leave 70 days before the expected date of birth of her child.

In this instance, the maternity leave begins on 1 May 2024.

If the maternity leave starts 70 days prior to the expected date of birth of the child, the duration of the leave will be 100 days whereof 70 days can be used before and 30 days after the expected date of birth.

In our example, the mother would enjoy her maternity leave and be entitled to the parental benefit from 1 May through 8 August 2024. As the duration of the shared parental benefit for a family with an employed mother is 475 days, the family in our example would receive the shared benefit from 9 August 2024 through 26 December 2025 (uninterrupted period). The mother would be entitled to benefits for a total of 575 days (100 + 475).

  1. The mother starts her maternity leave 31-69 days before the expected date of birth of her child.

If the maternity leave starts 31 days prior to the expected date of birth of the child (for the purposes of our example, on 9 June 2024), the duration of the leave will be at least 61 days whereof 31 days can be used before and 30 days after the expected date of birth. In this case, the mother opts not to use 39 calendar days of her maternity leave. These unused days will be added to the shared parental benefit that can be used flexibly by both parents as requested. This means that the period of shared parental benefit will be extended on account of the unused portion of maternity leave.

In our example, the mother would enjoy her maternity leave and be entitled to the parental benefit from 9 June through 8 August 2024.

In a standard scenario, the duration of the shared parental benefit for a family with an employed mother would be 475 days, but in this case, it amounts to 514 days (475 + 39). In this example, the family would receive the shared parental benefit from 9 August 2024 through 4 January 2025 (uninterrupted period). The mother would be entitled to benefits for a total of 575 days (514 + 61).

  1. The mother starts her maternity leave 30 days or less before the expected date of birth of her child.

If the maternity leave starts 30 calendar days (for the purposes of our example, on 10 June) or less prior to the expected date of birth of the child (i.e., 30 to 0 calendar days prior to the expected date of birth), the duration of the leave will be at least 30 days. In this case, the unused days of maternity leave will not be added to the duration of the shared parental benefit. In other words, the period of shared parental benefit will not be extended by the corresponding number of days. Hence, the duration of the shared parental benefit for a family with an employed mother is 475 days. In this event, the days not used by the mother following the commencement of her entitlement to maternity leave (defined as 70 calendar days before childbirth), will be forfeit by the family and cannot be used towards the paternal benefit.

In our example, the mother would use her maternity leave for 30 days from 10 June through 9 July 2024, and the shared parental benefit for 475 days from 10 July 2024 through 27 October 2025. The mother would be entitled to benefits for a total of 535 days (475 + 60). The mother forfeits a portion of her maternity benefit equivalent to a period of 40 days.

Does the mother have health insurance while receiving maternity benefit?

Health insurance is guaranteed to all mothers. The provision of health insurance does not depend on whether or not the mother was employed before the child’s birth.

State health insurance is always provided to mothers during pregnancy and three months after the child’s estimated date of birth as determined by a doctor.

Read more about state health insurance cover for pregnant women on the website of the Health Insurance Fund.

The right to receive maternity benefit and related maternity leave is only granted to a mother with whom an employment contract has been signed (the Employment Contracts Act opens in a new tab) and for whom a record of employment has been entered in the employment register.

If a mother only has an entrepreneurial account and does not have a valid employment contract, the same principles apply for obtaining maternity benefit as for self-employed persons (individual entrepreneurs), meaning she must have the right to temporary incapacity benefit in accordance with the Health Insurance Act, which implies that the mother has valid health insurance coverage. Health insurance coverage is only established when the mother has paid the social tax for herself at the minimum rate.

Example 1: If the mother has joined the II pension pillar

If a mother operates solely through an entrepreneurial account and has joined the II pension pillar, she must earn at least 1993,75 euros in a calendar month in 2024 from the provision of services or the sale of goods. An entrepreneurship income tax is 20% and in our case equals 398,75 euros (1993,75 × 20%), and the social tax portion of it is 239,25 euros (398,75 × 33/55 for an obligated person in the pension insurance scheme). Since the minimum social tax obligation has been met, the person has the right to health insurance coverage.

Example 2: If the mother has not joined the II pension pillar

If an individual operates solely through an entrepreneurial account and has not joined the II pension pillar, she must earn at least 1921,25 euros in a calendar month in 2023 from the provision of services or the sale of goods, taking into account an entrepreneurship income tax of 384,25 euros (1921,25 × 20%), and the social tax portion of 239,25 euros (384,25 × 33/53). Since the minimum social tax obligation has been met, the person has the right to health insurance coverage.

Maternity benefit amount for mothers operating through an entrepreneurial account

The basis for the calculation of the maternity benefit is the justification period, which is the nine months preceding the child’s estimated date of birth or the birth of the child and, from that period, the income subject to social tax of the preceding 12 calendar months (i.e. the reference period), which is used to calculate the monthly rate of benefit. The monthly rate is divided by 30 to get the daily rate of maternity benefit.

In other words, the more a mother pays social tax during the reference period, the higher her potential maternity benefit will be.

Example: The expected date of birth of the child is November 1, 2024. In this case, the reference period is:

01.11.2024 - 9 months - 12 months = 01.02.2023 - 31.01.2024

To calculate the amount of maternity benefit, the social tax paid during the period from 01.02.2023 to 31.01.2024 is taken into account.

If the mother did not receive income subject to social tax during the 12-month reference period, she will receive maternity benefit at the rate of parental benefit, which is 725 euros per month in 2024, with a daily rate of 24,16 euros).

If the mother’s income subject to social tax during the 12-month reference period was equal to or lower than minimum wage, she will receive maternity benefit in the amount of minimum wage, which is 820 euros per month in 2024, with a daily rate of 27,33 euros.

How is maternity benefit calculated when several children are born in close succession?

If several children are born in close succession and the age gap between children is less than three years, a working mother is entitled to maternity benefit 70 days before the estimated date of birth. In the calculation of the benefit, we look at the parental benefit paid for the previous child – if it exceeds the new planned parental benefit, the mother will receive parental benefit in the same amount as before.

It is important to note that if the mother is granted maternity benefit in the amount granted for the previous child because it is more beneficial to the mother, the maximum rate of maternity benefit, above which the benefit is not paid, is applied to the maternity benefit. In 2024, the maximum rate is 4733,53 euros per month.

NB! If the mother had a child during the previous (prior to 01.04.2022) parental benefit regime and the next child is born during the currently valid regime, the mother on parental leave must submit an application to the employer to end the parental leave and then she can go on maternity leave and receive the maternity benefit.

From 01.04.2022, childcare leave is called parental leave.

Read more about how to end parental leave and stay on maternity leave below.

What should I do if I am on parental leave and a new baby is about to be born?

If you are on parental leave, you will not automatically receive your maternity benefit offer. In this case, you have two options:

  • If you want to receive the maternity benefit before the birth of the child, you should end the parental leave with the employer at least 1 day before the start of the maternity leave and write a notification through the Social Insurance Board's self-service communication that you want to receive the maternity benfit in connection with the birth of a new child. We ask that you inform us of your wish at least 80 days before the expected date of birth of the child.
  • If you still receive shared parental benefit with the previous child, you can continue to receive it until the new child is born. In this case, after registering the child's birth in the population register, you will receive an offer from us for all benefits at once. Since at the time of the child's birth, your employment contract was suspended due to the previous child's parental leave, as a non-working mother, the maternity benefit applies for 30 days and the shared parental benefit for 515 days.

We describe both options in more detail below.

I am on parental leave and would like to end parental leave early in order to stay on maternity leave

Your first, or earliest, opportunity to take maternity leave and start receiving your maternity benefit is 70 days before the child's expected due date. In this case, you can use maternity leave and the maternity benefit for 100 consecutive calendar days, of which 70 days before and 30 days after the expected date of birth of the child.

In order to be able to stay on maternity leave, you must first finish your current parental leave. You can end parental leave one day before the start of maternity leave. We recommend starting this process at least 80 days before the child's expected due date.

You can end your parental leave with the following steps.

1. Submit an application for termination of parental leave to the employer.

Find out from the employer in which form he wants the application. Employers may have different expectations, such as a paper or electronic application. Based on your parental leave termination application, the employer can terminate your parental leave in the employment register.

2. If you inform the employer that you want to end the parental leave, also immediately inform that you want to stay on maternity leave from the day after the end of the parental leave due to the birth of a new child.

This is important, because for the time spent on maternity leave, the employer counts the days of your annual leave, which you have the right to use when you return to work in the future.

NB! We make the entry of maternity leave in the employment register. The employer will find out about your request for maternity leave in two ways: both through us, when you plan maternity leave in our self-service, and from the Tax and Customs Board, when we enter your maternity leave in the employment register.

3. Confirm the mother's parental benefit offer.

If you have submitted a request for termination of parental leave to the employer and you know from which date you want to start using maternity leave, write us a message through the Social Insurance Board's self-service communication that you would like to receive the maternity benefit offer. When you receive an offer, please confirm it in self-service.

When confirming the offer, you have two options.

1. If you take maternity leave 70 days before the expected birth of your child, the duration of your maternity leave is 100 days. Of this, you can use 70 days before and 30 days after the expected date of birth of the child.

On the offer, mark the day following the end of parental leave as the start of the maternity benefit.

Example: if your child's expected date of birth is 10.06.2024, your earliest opportunity to stay on maternity leave and start receiving the maternity benefit is 70 days before that, i.e. 01.04.2024. In this case, the last day of your previous parental leave should be 31.03.2024. On the offer, mark the next day, i.e. 01.04.2024, as the start of the maternity leave.

2. You will be on maternity leave 31-69 days before the expected date of birth of the child.

In this case, at your request, up to 39 calendar days (70-31) of maternity leave will not be used. During this time, you are still on parental leave with your older child. If you no longer receive parental benefit with an older child, your unused mother's parental benefit days will be transferred to the shared parental benefit period, which can be used flexibly by both parents if they wish. This means that the period of shared parental benefit is extended by the days of your unused maternity benefit.

On the offer, mark the day after the last day of the parental leave as the start of the maternity leave.

NB! If you choose maternity leave 30 or less days before the child's expected date of birth, the unused days of your maternity benefit will not be transferred to the period of shared parental benefit. In this case, you will receive 60 days of mother's parental benefit and 475 days that can be divided.

Example 1. If your child's expected birth date is 10.06.2024 and you want to take maternity leave 31 days before the birth date, end parental leave on 09.05.2024. On the offer, mark the next day, i.e. 10.05.2024, as the start of the maternity benefit.

Then the duration of your maternity leave is 61 days, of which you can use 31 days before and 30 days after the expected date of birth of the child. In this case, the family has a total of 605 days of benefit: 61 days of parental benefit for the mother, 475 + 39 days of shared parental benefit and 30 days of paternity benefit.

Example 2: The mother is on parental leave and still receives shared parental benefit with the older child. If the expected date of birth of the future child is 10.06.2024 and you still receive parental benefit for the older child, but you plan to stay on maternity leave 31 days before the date of birth of the future child, then the previous parental leave must end on 09.05.2024. On the offer made for the future child, please indicate the starting day of the maternity benefit the day following the end of shared parental benefit for the previous child - 10.05.2024.

Then the duration of your maternity leave is 61 days, of which you can use 31 days before and 30 days after the expected date of birth of the child. In this case, the 39 days of the mother's parental benefit cannot be transferred to the days of shared parental benefit, and the family has a total of 566 days of benefit:s 61 days of the mother's parental benefit, 475 days of shared parental benefit and 30 days of the father's parental benefit.

How can I receive the benefit when a child is born prematurely?

In the case of pre-term birth, an employed mother is entitled to 100 consecutive days of maternity leave from the child’s birth, however, this only applies if the child is born more than 70 calendar days before the estimated date of birth.

If a child is born, for example, 69 or 30 days before the estimated date of birth, the mother is still paid parental benefit according to the child’s estimated date of birth.

If the mother is unemployed and the child is born pre-term, the mother is entitled to 30 consecutive calendar days of maternity benefit from the birth of the child.

If the child is not born on the estimated date of birth, how will maternity benefit be calculated?

In the case of an employed mother, the mother is entitled to receive maternity benefit according to the estimated date of birth of the child. If the child is born before or after the estimated date of birth, the maternity benefit will not be recalculated. In addition, the mother is always entitled to shared parental benefit from the day following the end of maternity benefit.

For example, if the estimated date of birth as at 40 weeks is on 1 July 2024,

  • the mother is entitled to 100 consecutive calendar days of maternity benefit from 22 April 2024 to 30 July 2024.
  • The child is actually born on:
    •   Option 1: 17 June 2024, i.e. at 38 weeks, – the right to shared parental benefit arises on 31 July 2024 and it is granted for 475 calendar days.
    •   Option 2: 14 July 2024, i.e. at 42 weeks, – the right to shared parental benefit arises on 31 July 2024 and it is granted for 475 calendar days.

Therefore, the actual date of birth and age of the child are not the determining factors here, as the maternity benefit is granted according to the child’s estimated date of birth, on the basis of which the mother also takes maternity leave from work and receives maternity benefit. In addition, the mother is entitled to shared parental benefit from the day following the end of maternity benefit. Therefore, it is possible that, when the child is born after the estimated date of birth, shared parental benefit already starts when the child is just 25 days old.

NB! The period of maternity benefit and maternity leave can only be changed (recalculated) if the mother wishes to start using maternity benefit and maternity leave after the child’s actual date of birth. The amount of maternity benefit will still be calculated on the basis of the child’s estimated date of birth.

For example, the child’s estimated date of birth is 1 August 2024. The mother wishes to start using maternity benefit and maternity leave 31 calendar days before the child’s estimated date of birth. It is an informed choice made by the mother, as the family has decided that, even though the mother is on maternity leave for a shorter period of time, they now, as a family, have 39 extra calendar days of shared parental benefit (475 + 39 = 514 days).

Maternity benefit is granted to the mother for the period from 1 July to 30 August 2024, i.e. for 61 calendar days (31 days before the child’s estimated date of birth and 30 calendar days after the child’s estimated date of birth), and the mother takes maternity leave from work 31 calendar days before the estimated date of birth.

However, the child is born 40 days before the estimated date of birth on 22 June 2024, which is 11 days earlier than the maternity leave requested by the mother.

In this case, we will change both the maternity benefit and the period of maternity leave in the employment register. We do this because the mother cannot go to work due to the birth of the child. To this end, the new period of maternity leave will be from 22 June to 30 August 2024 (from the actual date of birth of the child). This means that the period of shared parental benefit is reduced by 11 days and the period of maternity benefit is extended by 11 days (a total of 72 days). The period of shared parental benefit is 475 + 28 (39 - 11) = 503 days.

Am I entitled to maternity leave and parental benefits if my child is stillborn or dies within 70 days?

A working mother is entitled to maternity leave and maternal benefits for 100 consecutive calendar days if the child is stillborn or dies within 70 days (from the 22nd week of pregnancy). During this period, the mother is provided with health insurance.

If the mother has started to use the right to receive the maternity benefit before the stillbirth of the child, she has the right to use the maternity benefit and receive a total of 100 calendar days of maternity leave. For example, if a mother has been on maternity leave 70 calendar days before the birth of a child and has started using the mother's right to receive maternity benefits, she is entitled to another 30 calendar days of maternity leave and benefits after the child's stillbirth, for a total of 100 calendar days. If the mother has been on leave for, e.g., 30 calendar days before giving birth, she is entitled to another 70 calendar days of maternity leave and maternity benefits after the stillbirth, for a total of 100 calendar days.

There is also an exception here for mothers who have already used the maternity benefit for more than 70 calendar days by the day of the child's death. In this case, the mother has the right to receive the maternity benefit for an additional 30 consecutive calendar days from the day following the child's death. This means that, regardless of how many days the mother has managed to use up the maternity benefit by the day of the child's death, 30 calendar days of maternity leave and maternity benefit are guaranteed from the day of the child's death.

If the child dies while the mother has started to use the already distributed parental benefit, the mother will be re-registered as the recipient of the parental benefit.

A mother who does not work has the right to receive the maternity benefit from 30 consecutive calendar days following the child's death, i.e., the parental benefit cannot be divided by days over a longer period of time, but all 30 days must be used consecutively if desired. During this period, the mother is provided with health insurance.

In addition, one of the parents is also entitled to a childbirth allowance in the event of a stillborn child (from the 22nd week of pregnancy). The allowance is one-time, the amount is 320 euros. The right to childbirth allowance arises on the day the child is born.

In order to receive the maternity benefit, the mother herself generally does not need to contact us and submit relevant applications. The Social Insurance Board automatically receives information about the stillbirth or the death of a child through the data exchange between the health care information system and the social protection information system in order to enable a proactive offer of family benefits to parents who have lost a child through the Social Insurance Board's self-service. If the mother has not received an offer within 14 working days, please contact us via self-service

What to keep in mind when transferred to lighter work?

Today, a gynaecologist or midwife issues the certificate of incapacity for work to pregnant women for transfer to lighter work, this will remain so after 1 April 2022.

It is up to the woman to decide when she wants to start to use the maternity benefit and she is also responsible for contacting the midwife with regard to the termination of the certificate of incapacity for work for transfer to lighter work. 

NB! The certificate of incapacity for work for transfer to lighter work must be terminated before the mother starts to use maternity benefit and takes maternity leave.

NB! A major change compared to today: as of 1 April 2022, a woman is no longer obligated to terminate the certificate for transfer to lighter work 70 calendar days before the child’s estimated date of birth. This can be done at a later date, if needed. Therefore, the rules that apply here are the same ones that apply to employed mothers.

Last updated: 23.04.2024

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