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Frequently Asked Questions about compensation for additional days off

 

1. How to calculate breaks for nursing?

If a mother goes back to work before her child is 18 months old and she is not paid parental benefit, she is entitled to additional paid breaks for nursing. Additional breaks shall be granted after every three hours for a duration of no less than 30 minutes each break. Breaks granted for nursing two or more children less than 18 months old shall last for at least one hour.

Breaks for nursing shall be included in the employee’s working time and the employee shall be paid average wages for this time.

2. How much is paid for paternity leave?

Until 1 July 2020 fathers have the right to 10 working days of paternity leave and the relevant pay is compensated on the basis of the father’s average wage but no more than three times the average Estonian gross monthly wage in the quarter before the last one. 

As of 1 July 2020 the procedure for compensation for paternity leave will change – paternity leave will be extended to 30 calendar days and fathers’ additional parental benefit will be created. Read more: https://www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/changes-family-benefits-act#Additional%20parental%20benefit%20for%20fathers%20and%2030%20days%20of%20paternity%20leave   

3. Is an employee entitled to child leave after the child turns 14 years old?

In the year the child turns 14 years old child leave is granted irrespective of whether the child’s birthday is before or after the leave.

4. How many days of child leave is available to a parent raising a disabled child 18 years of age?

A parent of a disabled child is entitled to child leave of one working day a month until the child attains 18 years of age. In the year the child turns 18 years old child leave is granted irrespective of whether the child’s birthday is before or after the leave. This means that a parent of a disabled child 18 years of age is entitled to an additional day off each month until the end of the calendar year when the child attains 18 years of age.

5. Does an employee have the right to use all days off granted in connection with their disabled child at once?

A parent of a disabled child is entitled to one additional day off a month and the law does not provide for an option to add up those days. However, the employer may apply an approach more favourable to the employee. By agreement with the employer, additional days off may be added up retroactively provided such added-up additional days off are required for attending to the disabled child. Granting additional days off retroactively is an agreement between the employee and their employer.

It is not allowed to use days of child leave in advance.


6. Can child leave for parents of a disabled child be taken after the expiry of the term for which the child was determined to have a disability?

If the child has a disability, the parents are entitled by law to these days off. They can be used until the end of the calendar year.

  • Example:
    A child is determined to have a disability until the end of march. Disability will no longer be determined in March. The mother still has the right to use the 3 child leave days for January, February and March. She can use them until the end of the year.

     


7. When does a claim for child leave expire?

A claim for a child leave expires at the end of the calendar year when the leave fell due.

8. How many days of child leave am I entitled to if I work for several employers?

The number of days of child leave (3 or 6 days depending on the age and number of children) is set for a year and it does not depend on the number of employers.

If an employee has several employers and the employee wants all their employers to give them the same day off, days off shall be calculated independently for each employer. This means that taking one and the same day off while working for two employers counts as two days off.

Employers have the right to request a written statement that neither the employee nor the other parent of the child has taken or wants to take a child leave in the employment of another employer.

If the employee or the other parent of the child has already taken or wants to take the child leave in the employment of another employer, the employee is required to note in their application the number of days off taken and to be taken in the employment of the other employer.

9. Can child leave for parents of a disabled child be taken at the same time in the employment of several employers?

Paid child leave for parents of a disabled child totals 12 working days per calendar year. The state wants for parents of disabled children to rest and for employers to enable such rest. If an employee has several employers and the organisation of work allows this employee to work for several employers on the same day, the employee shall also have the option to take a child leave for parents of a disabled child on one and the same day in the employment of several employers.

  • Example 1
    Mari works in three companies under employment contracts and in June she wants to take 6 working days of child leave for parents of a disabled child to go to rehabilitation with her child. Mari reached an agreement with her employers for taking her leave 02.06.2016–09.06.2016. Mari’s employers submit documents to the Social Insurance Board for compensation for holiday pay from the state budget. The Social Insurance Board compensates all employers for wages.
  • Example 2
    Jüri works under employment contracts in two companies and he wants to take a child leave for parents of a disabled child at both employers’ in June of this year, but on different dates. Jüri submits an application to both employers, stating in his application to one employer that he wants to take a child leave for parents of a disabled child during the period of 02.06.2016–06.06.2016 and in his application to the other employer during the period of 07.06.2016–09.06.2016. If those days do not overlap, Jüri can take a total of 6 working days of child leave for parents of a disabled child.

     

10. Is holiday pay for unused holiday compensated from the state budget?

As of 01.07.2019 we compensate employers for the holiday pay for all seven days even if the days of holiday have not been used by the end of the relevant employment relationship. The law requires employers to compensate employees for the holiday pay for days earned but not used, which are compensated to employers by the state.

11. Is the holiday pay for additional holiday of a board member compensated by the Social Insurance Board?

Compensation for holiday pay requires an employment contract with the employee. Since a contract under the law of obligations is concluded with board members, the Social Insurance Board does not compensate for the holiday pay paid to board members.

 

12. How to calculate the annual holiday of employees with partial or no work ability and minor employees in the year they take up employment? To which extent an application for compensation for holiday pay may be filed with the Social Insurance Board?

In the calendar year when the employment is commenced annual leave is calculated for a period of time shorter than a calendar year in proportion to the time worked. The Social Insurance Board also calculates the number of days subject to compensation in proportion (an application with the Social Insurance Board may be filed for days of holiday exceeding 28 calendar days (35 - 28 = 7 calendar days or 20% of annual holiday)).

  • Example: Employees with partial or no work ability and minor employees whose holiday per calendar year is 35 calendar days and who commence employment halfway through the year earn 17.6 calendar days of holiday in the six months.
    Calculation: 184 (number of calendar days worked) / 365 (number of calendar days per year) * 35 (annual holiday of employees with partial or no work ability and minor employees) = 17.6
    The Social Insurance Board compensates 20% of earned days of holiday because the seven additional calendar days a year account for 20% of the 35-day annual holiday.

    Calculation: 20% of 17.6 calendar days = 17.6 * 20/100 = 3.5 calendar days.

    The holiday reserve may be rounded up or down to a whole number. So the employee’s remaining holiday is 18 calendar days. And the Social Insurance Board compensates for the holiday pay for four days.

 

13.  Does the Social Insurance Board compensate for the holiday of employees with partial or no work ability and minor employees that has not been used by the time of termination of the employment contract? How is the extent subject to compensation calculated?

Upon the expiry of an employment contract the employer is required to compensate the employee for unused and unexpired annual holiday in money. As of 01.07.2019 the Social Insurance Board compensates employers for the holiday pay of employees with partial or no work ability and minor employees even if there are unused days of holiday upon the termination of the employment contract.

  • Example:  An employee with partial or no work ability or a minor employee has earned 12 calendar days of holiday by the time they are taking a holiday. The employer allows this employee to take all 35 calendar days at once and applies to the Social Insurance Board for the compensation for seven calendar days of holiday pay.

    But before the end of the calendar year the employee wants to terminate their employment relationship; during the time worked the employee earned 24 calendar days of holiday. The Social Insurance Board compensates for 20%, which means five calendar days.

    Since the employer has already applied for compensation for seven calendar days, the employer is required to file with the Social Insurance Board an application for correction and refund the overpaid amount of two days’ holiday pay.

 

14. How is the holiday balance calculated if an employee is assessed to have partial or no work ability or if such work ability is terminated in the middle of the year?

Holiday is calculated proportionally in the year an employee is assessed to have partial or no work ability or such work ability is terminated.

  • Example: An employee is assessed to have partial or no work ability on 01.03.2019.

    Holiday for January and February is calculated on the basis of 28 calendar days.
    Calculation: 59 (number of calendar days worked) / 365 (number of calendar days in a year) * 28 (number of days of annual holiday) = 4.52 calendar days

    From March to the end of the year the calculation is based on 35 calendar days (20% of which is compensated by the Social Insurance Board).
    Calculation: 306 (number of calendar days worked) / 365 (number of calendar days in a year) * 35 (number of days of annual holiday) = 29.34 calendar days

    The Social Insurance Board compensates for 20% of the days of holiday earned.
    Calculation: 20% of 29.34 calendar days = 29.34 * 20/100 = 5.86 calendar days.

The same applies to the calculation of the holiday of minors.