Changes in health, work and family benefits in 2022

13.01.2022 | 10:05

More flexibility will be provided in combining part-time work and rest and in sharing the parental burden of care. The unemployed and the recipients of subsistence benefit will also be entitled to dental care benefit at a higher rate, and free dental treatment will be extended to cancer patients. Earlier compensation for sick leave days will continue.Vaccine insurance is planned to be launched on 1 MayThe state will be financing a number of new health services, medical devices and medicines.
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ALLOWANCES AND BENEFITS 

  • Pregnancy and maternity leave will be renamed to maternity leave

As of 1 April, pregnancy and maternity leave will be renamed in Estonian from ‘rasedus- ja sünnituspuhkus’ to ‘emapuhkus’, but the name will remain unchanged in English, for which the maternity benefit (‘ema vanemahüvitis’) will be paid by the Estonian National Social Insurance Board. Part of the parental leave and benefit is intended individually for the mother and part for the father and the rest is to be shared between the parents. https://sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/family-child-protection/changes-family-benefits-act

  • Parents will be able to take up to two months of parental leave at the same time and they will both receive parental benefit at this time.

In such a case, the total duration of the payment of parental benefit will be reduced proportionately by the number of days for which the parents received parental benefit at the same time. Parents of premature babies and parents of triplets or more multiples will be given an exception and the total duration of the payment of parental benefit will not be reduced by more than 30 days. This will ensure that these families can stay at home with their children in any case until the children attain 18 months of age. https://sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/family-child-protection/changes-family-benefits-act

  • More flexibility will be provided in combining part-time work and rest and in sharing the parental burden of care. 

From 1 April, a parent can also claim parental benefit by calendar days until the child attains 3 years of age. Thus, for example, a parent can partially continue working by dividing the parental benefit over a longer period, or both parents can take turns staying at home with the child. https://sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/family-child-protection/changes-family-benefits-act

  • Child care leave will be granted to both parents separately and on a per-child basis, which will solve the issue of using child care leave in blended families. 

Both parents will have their individual right for the leave and benefit and can both separately claim paid parental leave of 10 days per child until the end of the calendar year in which the child attains 14 years of age. In conjunction with this, the parental leave benefit will be increased to half of the average wages of the parent. The transition to the new system will take place on 1 April. The leave can be used either in one part or by days. https://sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/family-child-protection/changes-family-benefits-act

  • The unemployed and the recipients of subsistence benefit will also be entitled to dental care benefit at a higher rate, and free dental treatment will be extended to cancer patients. 

Orthodontic treatment will be provided to patients aged 19 years and older with cleft lip with cleft palate or other congenital malformations and rare diseases of the face and jaw requiring treatment at a later age. Dental treatment in Estonia continues to be free of charge for patients under 19 years of age.  https://haigekassa.ee/en/people/dental-care

  • Earlier compensation for sick leave days will continue.

Earlier compensation for sick leave days allows people to stay at home when they first develop their symptoms without having to substantially lose income. Until the end of 2022, the current system will continue, according to which the first sick leave day is the employee's deductible, the employer pays for the second to fifth days and the Estonian Health Insurance Fund from the sixth day onwards. The same conditions will apply to the close contacts of infected persons when they are on sick leave. https://www.haigekassa.ee/en/people/benefits/benefits-incapacity-work

  • The minimum wage will rise to 654 euros and the hourly wage to 3.86 euros. This is the wage that an employee must receive as a minimum in full-time employment. Minimum wage will be increased by 70 euros, which is the highest increase over the last 10 years. https://news.err.ee/1608430568/government-confirms-654-minimum-wage
  • The maximum wage payable for temporary work (workbits) will rise, allowing the total remuneration in 2022 to be up to 261.6 euros per month without the obligation to reduce unemployment insurance benefit accordingly. https://www.tootukassa.ee/eng/content/job-search/temporary-employment-during-period-registration-unemployed
  • Old age pension and national pensions will be increased, as well as support to pensioners who live alone 

With the indexation on 1 April, pension will increase by approximately 38 euros, which will make the average old-age pension to be 591 euros. The support to pensioners who live alone will also rise from 115 euros to 200. The support will be paid in October to the pensioners who, according to the population register, live alone and whose monthly pension amount received is less than 1.2 times the average old-age pension in Estonia as published by Statistics Estonia, which in 2022 will be 669 euros. https://www.sm.ee/et/uudised/valitsus-kinnitas-erakorralise-pensionitousu-2023-aastaks 

  • Vaccine insurance is planned to be launched on 1 May

The Ministry of Social Affairs has prepared a draft to launch patient and vaccine insurance. Vaccine insurance is support for a person who has experienced a rare but serious adverse reaction following vaccination. The purpose of this system will be to encourage people to vaccinate to protect themselves and others against dangerous infectious diseases. The plan for the first stage is to retroactively compensate for the loss events caused by COVID-19 vaccines. If the Riigikogu is able to adopt the law in due time, vaccine insurance will be launched on 1 May next year. https://vaktsineeri.ee/en/news/government-approved-the-principles-of-the-vaccine-insurance/ , https://news.err.ee/1608423353/vaccine-insurance-debate-could-begin-this-year

 NEW AND IMPROVED SERVICES 

 

  • Employees will have the right to apply for flexible terms concerning their work and private life. From 1 April, all employees will have the right to ask their employer for the possibilities of reconciling their work and family life. The employer must respond to an employee's request within a reasonable time. The fact that an employee seeks to reconcile work and family life must not give reason to terminate the employee’s employment. 
  • The state will be financing a number of new health services, medical devices and medicines. Risk groups will also receive compensation for the oral medicines for COVID-19 for home treatment 
    • Diagnostic and treatment capabilities will be improved in oncology, haematology, neurology, cardiology, surgery, urology, depression treatment and wound treatment.

    • The list of medical devices of the Health Insurance Fund will be supplemented by 566 new medical devices. In addition, the devices people need will also become financially more available for many because compensation for several product groups will increase to 90% of the limit price. Access to medical devices for diabetics to monitor blood sugar will improve significantly.
    • The inclusion of new hospital and prescription medicines in the list of medicines subject to discount will improve the availability of medicines and will provide doctors and patients with more options to find treatments that are better-priced and the most appropriate. The list of medicines subject to 100% compensation will be supplemented with COVID-19 medicines for risk group patients.
  • Hospitals will be able to exceptionally prepare and use novel medicines 

In January, the hospital exemption for medicine preparation will enter into force, allowing hospitals to exceptionally prepare and use novel medicines. The hospital exception means the exceptional preparation and use of a novel medicine in Estonia on the basis of an individual order by and under the professional responsibility of a specialist doctor for the treatment of a particular patient in the hospital. Medicines may be prepared based on the hospital exception if a patient's current treatment options are exhausted, the use of the medicine is medically justified and there is sufficient scientific data available to suggest that the benefits of the medicine outweigh the risks associated with the use of the medicine. The change will allow patients to be offered treatment options that were not available to date. https://www.sm.ee/et/uudised/valitsus-algatas-ravimite-kliiniliste-uuringutega-seotud-ravimiseaduse-muudatused 

  • The National Institute for Health Development will be testing the science-based intervention programme Seikluste Laegas (Adventure Chest) for shaping a healthy lifestyle among children

Seikluste Laegas is a science-based intervention programme for shaping a healthy lifestyle among children, involving parents as well. It is aimed at shaping healthy eating and physical activity habits of children aged 4 to 6. Seikluste Laegas helps integrate four behavioural habits: a healthy diet, adequate hydration, sufficient physical activity and reduced sedentary time, into the activities of kindergartens in a consistent and meaningful manner. In the 2022/2023 academic year, the intervention programme is planned to be tested in up to ten kindergartens. 

  • As of 1 September, the Estonian National Social Insurance Board will provide a national family mediation service that will help parents who have split up or are splitting up reach an agreement on their child’s future living arrangements.

Family mediation allows agreeing on the communication between the child and the parents after the split, and the maintenance of the child. In addition, in the future, all parents who turn to courts to establish the procedure for communicating with their child will be referred to family mediation. Family mediation cannot be made compulsory for families where there have been incidents of domestic violence, but the specifically trained family mediators will be ready to advise such families if the family so wishes. The national family mediation service will be free of charge. https://news.err.ee/1608375980/signe-riisalo-child-well-being-goal-of-family-mediation

  • In order to help children who have been abused, a Children's House will also be opened in Western Estonia

In the second half of the year, the Estonian National Social Insurance Board will open a Children's House in Western Estonia. The Children's House is a child-friendly place to help sexually abused children or children suspected of being sexually abused, where different experts work together to ensure the welfare of children. The experts include child protection officials, the police, prosecutors, doctors, psychologists and many others. Currently, Children’s Houses are located in Tallinn, Tartu and Jõhvi, but are ready to help all children if necessary, regardless of where they live. Children’s House | Government installation profile (sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee)

 

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