Parental Leave

Estonian parents have access to seven different kinds of child-related leave and six kinds of benefits or allowances funded either from the state budget or via the Health Insurance Fund. The goal for the provision of different forms of parental leave is to facilitate the combination of the parent’s work and family life in such a manner that the family would not have to make significant changes in their life due to having a child and could focus more on the child. 

The state is working on improving the system of parental leaves and benefits to facilitate the combination of work and family life and more equal distribution of the care-load between the parents.

Parental leave

Pregnancy and maternity leave

Women have the right for 140 days of pregnancy and maternity leave. The leave can be taken at least 70 days before the birth term determined by the physician or midwife. For pregnancy and maternity leave, maternity benefits are paid by the Health Insurance Fund to women covered by health insurance as employed persons based on a certificate of maternity leave.

Paternal leave

Fathers have the right to receive a total of ten working days of paternal leave within two months before the presumed birth term determined by the physician or midwife and two months after childbirth. Paternal leave is compensated based on average wage, up to a maximum of three-time Estonian mean gross wages.

Adopter’s leave

A person adopting a child under 10 years of age has the right for adopter’s leave. The leave can be taken within 70 days of the entry into force of the court ruling concerning the adoption. Adoption benefits are paid for the leave in accordance with the Health Insurance Act. The benefits are paid based on average wages of the year preceding the adoption. More information adoption benefits and the calculation of the benefits is available on the website of the Health Insurance Fund.

Parental leave 

Both the mother and the father have the right for parental leave until the child turns three years old. Only one person can take the leave at a time. Parental leave can be taken all at once or in parts at any time by notifying the employer of taking the leave 14 calendar days in advance, unless agreed otherwise by the parties. Parental benefits or child care allowance can be paid during the parental leave in accordance with the Family Benefits Act. Read more about family benefits here.

Child care leave

Each year, the mother or father of a child has the right to take child care leave, compensated based on minimum wage. Child care leave can be taken for:

  • three working days by the parent of one or two children under 14 years of age;
  • six working days by the parent of at least three children under 14 years of age or at least one child under three years of age.

The mother or father of a disabled child has the right to take one additional working day of child care leave per month until the child turns 18. This additional day is also compensated based on the minimum wage established by the Government of the Republic. 

Unpaid child care leave

A mother or father raising an up to 14-year old child or an up to 18-year old disabled child has the right to receive up to ten working days of unpaid child care leave per calendar year.

 

 

Last updated: 6 November 2017