Sick days, certificates for care leave

In case of temporary incapacity for work, it is necessary to contact the family doctor in order to open a certificate for sick leave or care leave and get the benefits. The sickness benefits are paid during a temporary leave, for instance in case of sickness, an occupational accident, a traffic injury or a domestic injury. A care allowance is paid to a person who is nursing a sick child or family member.
Restrictions in force

In order to avoid the spread of the virus and getting infected, to protect the life and health of the people and to ensure the functioning of the society, it is necessary to follow the enacted restrictions and guidelines.

Restrictions in force
The meters of risk level

The main meters are the number on people infected with COVID-19 and the number of people hospitalised. The Government reviews the risk level once a week.

Instructions for how to behave at different risk levels

When is a person entitled to a certificate for sick leave and sickness benefit?

  • Kui sul on haigustunnused või oled haigestunud, jää koju ja võta ühendust perearstiga ravisoovituste saamiseks ning haiguslehe vormistamiseks. 

  • If you are symptomatic or have fallen ill, stay home and contact your family doctor for treatment instructions and a certificate for sick leave.
  • The family doctor can issue a certificate for sick leave to a person who is covered by health insurance.
  • The doctor decides about issuing or not issuing it based on the health condition of the person.
  • On the basis of the certificate for sick leave, the employer and the Health Insurance Fund pay a sickness benefit, the objective of which is to partially compensate the wages not received during sickness.
  • A sickness benefit is paid for up to 30 calendar days from the moment the correctly formalised certificate for sick leave reaches the Health Insurance Fund.
  • You can review the data forwarded by the doctor, add a bank account number and see the information related to your benefit payments at the state portal www.eesti.ee under the service “My certificates of temporary incapacity for work”

In order to reduce the risk of going to work while sick and the own liability of employees, and thus to limit the spread of COVID-19, the order of paying sickness benefits was amended up until the end of 2021.

  • Benefits are not paid for the first sickness day; that falls under the employee’s own liability.
  • From the second to the fifth day of sickness, the benefits are paid by the employer according to the average wages of the employee.
  • Starting from the sixth day, the benefits are paid by the Health Insurance Fund according to the daily income of the employee. The calculation is based on the data received from the Tax and Customs Board on the social tax calculated or paid in the calendar year that preceded the starting date of the leave noted on the person’s certificate for sick leave.

You can see the data that the calculation is based on in the state portal eesti.ee after the benefits have been transferred to you.

When is a person entitled to a certificate for care leave and care allowance?

If you have to nurse a sick child or family member, the doctor issues a certificate for care leave based on which a benefit for a temporary incapacity for work, i.e. care allowance, is paid.

Care allowance is paid to a person covered by health insurance:

  • For up to 14 days to a person who is nursing a child under the age of 12 or a disabled person under the age of 19;
  • For up to 60 consecutive days to a person nursing a child under the age of 12 if the reason for the sickness is a malignant tumour and the treatment of the child begins in the hospital;
  • For up to 7 consecutive days to a person nursing a sick family member at home;
  • If a person taking care of a child under the age of 3 or a disabled child under the age of 16 is sick herself or receiving obstetrical care. In these cases, care allowance is paid for up to 10 consecutive days.

A doctor can issue a certificate for care leave for longer as well but the period for care allowance payments is limited.

A sick child, a disabled child or a family member can also be nursed by several people. In that case, the doctor will issue them all separate certificates for care leave.

On the basis of a certificate for care leave, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund pays care allowance for the first

  • 14 sickness days to a parent who has a sick child under the age of 12 or a disabled child under the age of 19;
  • 7 sickness days to those who are nursing other family members.

The amount of the allowance is 80% of the average wages of the person to whom the certificate for care leave is issued. Income tax is withheld from the allowance.

Different rules apply to paying care allowance in cases of severe illness (tumours etc.)

Unemployment insurance benefit

The unemployment insurance benefit ensures a replacement income during a time of unemployment, to support the search for work and offer support to the employer during economic reorganisation.

You can register yourself as unemployed and apply for the unemployment insurance benefit or unemployment benefit in the e-töötukassa (online self-service of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund).

If you send the application by e-mail, sign in digitally first.

The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund takes the decision about paying the allowance no later than 14 days after the application was submitted.

A person is entitled to an unemployment insurance benefit if:

  • they have registered themselves as unemployed;
  • they have submitted an application for the unemployment insurance benefit;
  • they have worked and paid the unemployment insurance premiums for at least 12 months during the 36 months that preceded registering as unemployed;
  • the employment relationship has ended on a basis that would entitle them to the benefit.

For instance, an employee is entitled to the unemployment insurance benefit:

  • if they were made redundant;
  • if the organisation was liquidated;
  • if their employment contract ended during the trial period;
  • if the employer terminated the employment contract due to the employee’s long term incapacity for work;
  • if the employee’s fixed term employment contract ended etc.

Last updated: 15.11.2021