Estonia Leave Laws

Do you employ workers in Estonia, or operate in Estonia? If so, brush up on Estonia’s leave laws, and information such as public holidays in Estonia, annual leave requirements, sick leave, maternity and paternity leave, and more.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.

Estonia Public Holidays

Estonia observes the following public holidays in 2024:

January 1New Year’s Day
February 24Independence Day
March 29Good Friday
March 31Easter Sunday
May 1Spring Day
May 19Pentecost
June 23Victory Day
June 24Midsummer Day
August 20Day of Restoration of Independence
December 24Christmas Eve
December 25Christmas Day
December 26Boxing Day

In addition, the working days on the day before New Year’s Day, Christmas Eve, Independence Day and Victory Day are 3 hours shorter.

Public Holiday Pay

Employees who work on one of the above public holidays are entitled to either double pay or time off in lieu.

Estonia Vacation & Annual Leave Laws

Workers in Estonia are entitled to 28 days of annual leave. Certain workers (such as minors and employees with partial or no work ability), as well as those in certain fields (such as education) may receive a higher annual leave allowance.

Holidays should be taken in at least one block of 14 or more consecutive days, and employers have the right to refuse leave of less than 7 days.

Accruals & Rollovers

Annual leave is given for the following year, and expires after a year’s time. Employee’s can’t roll over annual leave indefinitely without it expiring.

Leave starts to accrue after someone has worked at least 6 months with the company, at which point they’ll be given leave in proportion to time worked.

Paying Out Leave

Employees in Estonia cannot take a cash payment instead of taking their annual leave, except for any unused leave at the time their employment is terminated.

Sick Leave/Medical Leave in Estonia

Employees in Estonia can take sick leave from work. In the case of falling ill or being unable to work, the employee can be compensated via a sickness benefit from the fourth day of the sickness.

The first three days are not covered, so are in effect unpaid sick leave. Days 4 to 8 are covered by the employer, while from day 9, the national health insurance fund covers.

The sickness benefit is 70% of the worker’s average wage (calculated over the last 6 months).

There are certain situations where the sickness benefit applies earlier (from the 2nd day of illness/injury), such as workplace accidents, or injuries or illnesses to pregnant women.

Employees can receive sickness benefits for up to 182 consecutive calendar days, should they be incapable of working during this time.

Maternity Leave in Estonia

A woman is entitled to pregnancy and maternity leave of 140 calendar days. During this period they can receive a maternity benefit, from the nation’s Health Insurance Fund, equal to their average rate of pay prior to going on leave.

Maternity leave can be taken 30-70 days prior to the date of birth. If the mother begins her maternity leave later than this, those days are taken away from the 140 calendar days of maternity leave.

For example, if one mother takes maternity leave starting 30 days before delivery, she will receive 140 days of maternity leave.

If another mother begins her maternity leave 20 days before delivery, she will receive only 130 days of maternity leave.

Paternity Leave Estonia

Fathers can take up to 30 days of paternity leave. This can be taken any time between 30 days prior to the child’s birth, and when the child turns three years old. It can be taken all at once or in parts, and employers have the right to refuse paternity leave for periods shorter than 7 days.

Parental Leave, Caregiver Leave

There are special leave allowances for parents and caregivers of children or people with disabilities.

Parents (and official guardians) have the right to 10 days of unpaid parental leave each year, while they are raising a child up to 14 years of age, or a child with special needs up to 18 years of age.

In addition, both parents can use up to 10 days of childcare leave per child, until children reach 14 years of age. This is paid leave, paid by the state, at 50% of their regular salary (but not less than minimum wage).

Caregivers of an adult person with a profound disability are entitled to 5 days of paid caregiver leave each year. This is on top of their regular annual leave, and cannot be transferred to the next year.

Additional Leave Types in Estonia

Bereavement Leave Estonia

There is no legal requirement to provide bereavement leave in Estonia.

Academic Leave

Employees are entitled to up to 30 calendar days of academic leave each year. This is for attending trainings, and must come with a notice from an educational and training provider.

Relevant Official Resources

Official Government Website

Public Holidays and Days of National Importance Act

Receiving Sickness Benefits

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.

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