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Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in Estonia

Holiday leave

In Estonia, the Employment Contracts Act (ECA) ensures that all employees are entitled to paid vacation leave for rest and recovery.

Minimum Vacation Entitlement

Employees are entitled to a standard minimum of 28 calendar days of paid vacation leave per year.

Accrual and Eligibility

Vacation leave accrues on a monthly basis, with employees earning 2.33 days for each fully worked month. Employees become eligible to take vacation leave after completing at least six months of continuous service with the same employer.

Carryover and Compensation

Employees are required to use their earned vacation leave within the same calendar year, unless explicitly agreed otherwise. In exceptional cases, vacation leave may be carried over to the next year with the employer's consent. If the employment relationship ends before the employee takes their full leave entitlement, the employer must compensate for unused leave days.

Compensation During Leave

During vacation periods, employees are entitled to receive their average regular salary.

Public holidays

Estonia celebrates a variety of national, historical, and religious holidays throughout the year. These holidays are officially recognized and observed across the country.

Fixed Date Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1st): This day marks the beginning of the calendar year.
  • Independence Day (February 24th): This day is a commemoration of the Estonian Declaration of Independence from Russia in 1918.
  • Good Friday (March/April): This Christian holiday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The exact date changes every year.
  • Spring Day (May 1st): This day is similar to a May Day celebration.
  • Victory Day (June 23rd): This day celebrates a significant victory during the Estonian War of Independence in 1919.
  • Restoration of Independence Day (August 20th): This day commemorates the restoration of Estonian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • Christmas Eve (December 24th): This is the day before Christmas Day.
  • Christmas Day (December 25th): This Christian holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • St Stephen's Day (December 26th): This is the day after Christmas Day.

Holidays With Variable Dates

  • Easter Sunday (March/April): This Christian holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The exact date changes every year.
  • Pentecost Sunday (Whit Sunday) (May/June): This day celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. The exact date changes every year.

Types of leave

In Estonia, labor laws provide employees with various types of leave to cater to personal circumstances, health issues, and family responsibilities.

Vacation Leave

Employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 calendar days of paid annual leave as per the Employment Contracts Act (ECA). During this leave, employees receive their average regular salary.

Sick Leave

After completing three months of service with the employer, employees become eligible for paid sick leave. The duration of this leave varies depending on the length of service with the employer. Compensation for sick leave is often provided by social insurance or a combination of employer/social insurance, and it varies based on the length of employment.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 140 days of paid maternity leave, typically split into 70 days before and 70 days after childbirth. Maternity benefits are covered by social insurance.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to 10 working days of fully paid paternity leave following the birth of a child.

Parental Leave

Each parent is entitled to parental leave until the child reaches the age of three years. This leave is primarily unpaid, but Estonia provides a modest parental allowance during this period, administered by social insurance.

Study Leave

Employees may be eligible for paid or unpaid study leave for educational purposes. The specific conditions and duration of this leave are usually determined by individual employment contracts or collective agreements.

Other Types of Leave

Employees may be entitled to short-term paid leave in the case of the death of a close family member, known as bereavement leave. Additionally, employees may be entitled to short-term unpaid leave for urgent and unforeseen family matters, known as leave for urgent family reasons.

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