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Paternity Leave

Viimati uuendatud: 25.08.2020


The father is entitled to a total of 30 calendar days of paternity leave in the period from 30 days before the expected date of birth of the child as determined by a doctor or midwife to when the child reaches the age of three.

In order to go on paternity leave, the father must first either agree on it with the employer or submit an application for paternity leave to the employer and notify the employer of the leave at least 14 calendar days in advance. The father then submits an application in the self-service environment of the Social Insurance Board. The employment contract in the employment register is suspended for the time of the paternity leave.

The use of paternity leave does not depend on whether or not the child’s mother takes pregnancy and maternity leave. When taking paternity leave, it does not matter whether the child’s mother is unemployed, a civil servant, an employee, or in some other legal relationship. It is also irrelevant for the use of paternity leave whether or not the child’s father is married to the child’s mother. If the child’s father has died or fails to fulfil his obligation to raise and care for the child, or if he submits a written notice to the Social Insurance Board of the waiver of additional parental benefit, the mother’s spouse, the child’s other adoptive parent, guardian, or foster parent is entitled to paternity leave.

The father may take the leave consecutively or in parts depending on the needs of the family, but not more than 30 calendar days. If the father wishes to take the leave in parts, it must be borne in mind that the employer has the right to refuse to grant paternity leave for a period of less than seven calendar days. If the father has several employers, paternity leave must be taken from several employers at the same time. During paternity leave, the father may not work or earn income.

From 1 July 2020, the father is paid additional parental benefit during paternity leave. The additional parental benefit is calculated and paid by the Social Insurance Board. You can read more about the calculation of additional parental benefit on the website of the Social Insurance Board

If the child was born before 1 July 2020, the father uses paternity leave in accordance with the old procedure. In this case, the father is entitled to a total of 10 working days of paternity leave within two months before the expected date of birth determined by a doctor or midwife and within two months after the birth of the child. A working day is every day when the employee performs work duties regardless of the length of the working day. The purpose of using paternity leave (as well as child care leave or child care leave without pay) on working days is to provide additional free time to spend with the child and the family. If paternity leave is used in calendar days, a situation may arise where the leave period would also include the employee’s rest days.

The use of paternity leave does not depend on whether or not the child’s mother takes pregnancy and maternity leave. When taking paternity leave, it does not matter whether the child’s mother is unemployed, a civil servant, an employee, or in some other legal relationship. It is also irrelevant for the use of paternity leave whether or not the child’s father is married to the child’s mother.

The father may take the leave consecutively or in parts, depending on the needs of the family, with one or more employers, but not more than 10 working days, and the leave must be taken by the time the child reaches the age of 2 months at the latest.

From 1 January 2013, paternity leave is paid on the basis of the father’s average salary. The upper limit of holiday pay is three times the average gross salary in Estonia in the quarter before last. The holiday pay is reimbursed to the employer from the state budget through the Social Insurance Board. The amount of compensated leave is calculated and paid to the employee by the employer. The employer must submit an application to the Social Insurance Board for the transfer of the indemnified amount from the state budget.

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