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Paternity leave taking effect from July 2020: Frequently asked questions for employers

 

 

  1. According to the new procedure taking effect from 1 July 2020, the employer no longer has to ensure holiday pay to the employee for paternity leave and the employee applies directly to the Estonian National Social Insurance Board for registration of paternity leave. How does the information from the employee’s request for leave reach the employer?

In the future, the father must contact the Estonian National Social Insurance Board himself through our self-service. However, we still recommend that fathers agree with their employer in advance on their request for leave.

Our self-service also sends notifications to the employer by email:

  • This first notification is sent when the father enters his request in our self-service.

While doing so, he must also enter the employer’s email address. One email address is always mandatory, but it is also allowed to enter up to two email addresses per employer. We recommend that employers agree with their employees whose email address to use here. It can be an email address belonging to an accountant, an assistant manager or a direct manager, or another person responsible for the subject.

At the email address entered, we will send a notification with the person’s name, personal identification code, and the period when the employee wants to use his paternity leave.

Next, the application will be held without any action for five days. This is the time during which the employer can submit their response. It is only necessary to submit a response if the employee does not agree to provide the employee with paternity leave. If the employer agrees with the employee’s request for leave, no further action is required. 

After five working days, the Estonian National Social Insurance Board automatically makes an entry in the employment register concerning paternity leave and assigns benefit to the relevant person.
 

  • The second notification reaches the employer when the entry for paternity leave has been entered in the employment register.
    This notification is sent to the email address provided by the employer to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (usually the email address in the commercial register).
     
  • Notifications are also sent if the father voluntarily or at the employer’s initiative cancels a period of paternity leave.
    If the entry has already reached the employment register and the period is cancelled afterwards, the employer will also receive a notification of the cancellation of paternity leave at the email address previously forwarded to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board..
 
  1. What happens if the father does not enter the employer’s email address or enters the wrong address?

The employer’s email address field is mandatory in the self-service. If it is left blank, the employee cannot submit the request for leave.
If the employee maliciously enters an incorrect address in the system and the information does not reach the employer as a result and the employee actually does not have the right for paternity leave, then it will become clear after making an entry in the employment register. Any benefits obtained fraudulently will be recovered.

 
  1. Is it possible for the employer to provide the email address to which the notifications concerning paternity leave will be sent?

Unfortunately, it is currently not possible for the employer to enter the self-service of the Estonian National Social Insurance Board and provide their email address there. We recommend that employers agree with their employees internally on the email address that the employees may enter when submitting their applications.

 
  1. For what period can the father submit an application in the self-service of the Estonian National Social Insurance Board? Is it possible to also submit an application retrospectively or only from the current date?

The new paternity leave can be used by those fathers whose child is born after 1 July 2020 (inclusive). It is also possible to submit an application from 1 July 2020. If the child is born before 1 July 2020 or the father wants to take leave before 1 July, paternity leave can be used according to the former system.

In the self-service, it is possible to submit an application for a retroactive period, however, the starting date cannot be earlier than 1 July 2020. The Estonian National Social Insurance Board can also make an entry on the leave in the employment register retroactively.

 
  1. Is the employment relationship paused during the period of paternity leave?

Yes, the employment relationship is paused during that time.

 
  1. Who does initiate the change in the employment register – whether the employer or the Estonian National Social Insurance Board or a third party?

The entry in the employment register is made by the Estonian National Social Insurance Board. The employer cannot add/change/cancel the type of paternity leave.

 
  1. Will the functionality of the employment register change?

A new type of leave is added to the employment register – paternity leave. The necessary changes will be made by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.

 
  1. The employee (father) may simultaneously have several children for whom to take paternity leave. Who will keep records of which child and how many days of paternity leave have been used?

This is the responsibility of the Estonian National Social Insurance Board that also keeps records of the days used.

 
  1. Is it also necessary to submit a form “Application for compensation of holiday pay and average wages from the state budget” to the Estonian National Social Insurance Board for the periods of paternity leave used under the new system?

No, as nothing changes in the conditions for taking other types of leave. The right of taking parental leave continues to be exercised by parents and guardians, and it is also the case if there is a family care contract.

 
  1. Is it also necessary to submit a form “Application for compensation of holiday pay and average wages from the state budget” to the Estonian National Social Insurance Board for the periods of paternity leave used under the new system?

No. This form is intended to allow the employer to recover from the state the holiday pay given to the employee for certain types of leave. Under the new procedure, the employer no longer provides the user of paternity leave with holiday pay, so there is no need to apply for it.

 
  1. Does the new procedure also change the report “Application for compensation of holiday pay and wages”?

If the child is born on 30 June 2020, at the latest, the father can use paternity leave according to the former system until 30 August (i.e. until the child reaches the age of two months) and the application for compensation of wages can be sent within the following three months, i.e. November 2020, at the latest.
From 1 December 2020, the row on paternity leave and the column on the child’s expected date of birth will be removed from the report. There will not be any other changes.

 

Are public holidays that occur during paternity leave excluded from the leave calculation, as in the case of ordinary leave?

No! The father’s additional parental benefit and the new 30 calendar days of paternity leave will be calculated in calendar days. This means that all calendar days are taken into account, regardless of whether the day is a normal working day, a day off or a public holiday.
 

 

Is the time spent on paternity leave taken into account in the general leave calculation?
 

Yes! During paternity leave, the employee’s employment relationship is suspended, but this period is taken into account in the general leave calculation.