Suspension of employment

The employer must register the suspension of employment within ten calendar days from the date of suspension of employment.

     

From 1 April 2022, there are two new grounds for suspension of employment in the employment register: parental leave and maternity leave
Entries of child care leave, the former ground for suspension, could be made until 31.03.2022.

In order to take maternity, paternity, parental leave or adoptive parents leave, an employee must submit an application in the self-service of the Social Insurance Board.
Employees can view the number of days of leave not taken in the self-service of the Social Insurance Board. If an employee has submitted an application for leave, the Social Insurance Board will automatically inform the employer thereof. The Social Insurance Board will also inform the employer of any changes to the days of maternity leave, paternity leave, child leave or child leave for parents of a disabled child which a parent makes in the self-service.

The Tax and Customs Board, in turn, will inform the employer when the Social Insurance Board has entered the leave in the register of employment.

  • Maternity and paternity leave are registered in the employment register by the Social Insurance Board. 
  • Parental leave is registered in the employment register by employers.
  • There can be only one valid or future suspension period in the employment register. 
  • Employer must not register parental leave before the end of maternity leave.  
  • If employment has been suspended on the basis of parental leave and the employee has another child during that time, the employer must end the suspension of employment.

From 1 April 2022, parental leave is the new name for child care leave.

Child care leave is renamed parental leave on 1 April 2022.

Employees must continue to apply for parental leave through their employer and the employer must enter the suspension of employment in the employment register.

There can be only one valid or future suspension period in the employment register.

Employer must not register parental leave before the end of maternity leave.

If employment has been suspended on the basis of parental leave and the employee has another child during that time, the employer must end the suspension of employment.

Read more about parental leave on the web page of the Social Insurance Board (in Estonian).

From 1 April 2022, maternity benefit will be replaced by mother’s parental benefit. A working mother is entitled to mother’s parental benefit before the birth of a child. A working mother’s parental benefit is always accompanied by maternity leave.

The mother’s parental benefit and maternity leave are an individual right of the mother, that is to say, only the mother is entitled to it, while the other parent is not entitled to it.

There can be only one valid or future suspension period in the employment register.

Employer must not register parental leave before the end of maternity leave.

Read more about maternity leave and mother’s parental benefit on the web page of the Social Insurance Board (in Estonian). 

The employer cannot make a paternal leave entry. The application for paternity leave is submitted by the applicant for paternity leave via the self-service portal of the Social Insurance Board.

If an employee submits an application for paternity leave to the Social Insurance Board, their employer will be notified by e-mail. The employer receives the second notification when the Social Insurance Board makes the paternity leave entry for an employee in the employment register.

Employment does not have to be stopped if the employee is participating in reservist training.

Unpaid leave must be marked if it lasts for a whole calendar month or more, on the grounds that the unemployment insurance premium shall not be paid for the person for this period and this period shall also not be calculated as part of the unemployment insurance period in the future.

During unpaid leave, social tax must be declared and paid for the employee at least at the monthly rate on which the minimum social tax obligation is based.

If the employee wishes to be absent from work for an extended period of time, and the employer agrees (for example, the employee goes abroad to study or for practical training), then it is worth terminating the performance of the employment contract by agreement with the employee, rather than formalising unpaid leave. In this case, the employer does not have to pay social tax for the employee.

If a person happens to work even one day in a calendar month and is paid for it, the unpaid leave does not have to be marked.

If an employee who is on unpaid leave wishes to receive the allowance for parents of children with special needs from the Social Insurance Board, a shorter unpaid leave must also be entered in the employment register. The prerequisite for receiving the allowance is being on unpaid leave or the suspension of the performance of a contract under the law of obligations, which means that the employee and the employer must reach an agreement on the taking of the unpaid leave (or the parties to the contract must suspend the employment) and this must be fixed by the employer or mandator in the employment register. To receive the allowance, the parent must request an entry from the employer (a person providing work in the case of a contract under the law of obligations) in the employment register.

The basis for suspension of employment named “Suspension of employment for another reason” is used in the employment register to suspend the employment or service relationship entered into on the basis of either the Employment Contracts Act or the Civil Service Act.

The suspension of employment or service relationship may have a legal basis (e.g. the employee is under preliminary investigation) or it may be the result of an agreement. For example, temporary suspension due to absence from work because the employee entered into an employment or service relationship with another organisation. Also, a situation where an employee does not show up for work, but the employer does not want to terminate the employment relationship immediately, as this is an important specialist for him/her and previous experience shows that the employee will still return to work after a while. There are therefore a number of circumstances that the registrar cannot foresee

While the grounds for termination of a service relationship are clearly defined within the meaning of the Civil Service Act, sections 88 and 91 of the Employment Contracts Act are, according to the explanation of the Act issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs, open lists where very many different circumstances caused by the employer or employee, i.e. unforeseeable by the legislator, may be included.
 
Employment must also be suspended if the employee moves temporarily (e.g. by rotation) to work with another employer. In this case, the reason for the suspension of employment is “Suspension of employment for another reason”.

The grounds for suspension of employment will be forwarded to the Health Insurance Fund.

Employment does not have to be suspended in the employment register when the employee is arrested.

Amendment, correction, and cancellation of data

The employer can electronically self-correct data that has been entered in the employment register within three months from the date of commencement, suspension, or termination of employment.

The entered dates can be changed by +/- 3 months from the date of the first entry, for both valid and expired registry entries.

If employment has been entered in the employment register, which for some reason does not begin, the employer may cancel the entry electronically within three months from the date indicated as the commencement of employment.

To cancel an entry in the employment register, click on the employment entry number on the employment search page. A detailed view of the entry then opens, and the ‘Cancel’ button must be clicked below the entry details page.

The data can be corrected three months after the entry only based on a reasoned request submitted to the Tax and Customs Board, which can be submitted via the e-MTA section Communication-Correspondence, digitally signed at the address emta@emta.ee, or in person at a Tax and Customs Board service office.

If the correction of data is not justified, the Tax and Customs Board may refuse to correct the data.

The Tax and Customs Board does not change the dates of commencement of employment with regard to the data transferred to the employment register from the EHIF, as it is not possible to verify the accuracy of the newly submitted data.

Before 1 July 2014, the determination of various social guarantees will be based on the payments declared in the TSD form. Registration of employment with the Tax and Customs Board began on 1 July 2014, and previous valid entries were transferred from the EHIF to the employment register to reduce the administrative burden on employers. The previous employment data of persons (until 1 July 2014) entered in the register is informative.

Questions and answers about amending and correcting employment entries

1. If the employee is registered but never appears for work, is it possible to delete the registered employee from the register? Can this only be done at a service office and not electronically, and beginning at what point is this possible?

In the case of employment that has been entered in the employment register which, for some reason, does not begin, the entry may be cancelled electronically within three months from the date marked as the commencement of employment.

If three or more months have passed since the entry was registered, you do not have to appear in person at the service office to make corrections; instead, we recommend that you submit an application to cancel the entry in the e-MTA, in the section ‘Communication’ – ‘Correspondence’ or by sending a digitally signed copy to emta@emta.ee.

To cancel the entry, you will need to click on the number of the entry on the job search page in the employment register, a detailed view of the entry will open, and under the entry data, you will need to click the ‘Cancel’ button.

2. The start date of employment transferred to the employment register from the Health Insurance Fund is incorrect. Does this need to be amended in the employment register?

The Tax and Customs Board does not change the dates of commencement of employment with respect to data transferred to the employment register from the Health Insurance Fund. This means that we are not correcting history, as most of the data is old and we have no way of verifying the accuracy of the newly submitted data.

The Tax and Customs Board generally changes data only on the basis of a reasoned application, if three (3) months have elapsed since the submission of the data.2

There is no reason to fear that the employee will fail to receive a benefit as a result of the starting date of his or her employment in the employment register failing to correspond to the contract, as the data in the register only have legal effect from 1 July 2014 onwards. Older data are only informative and may require the submission of various additional evidence and data to the competent authorities at a later stage. Data were submitted to the EHIF for only one purpose, the possibilities of the employment register are broader, and old EHIF data can in no way be used as a basis for making decisions other than those concerning health insurance. However, the employer must ensure that the entries in the employment register are correct from 1 July 2014.

If all taxes have been declared for a person before 1 July 2014, social guarantees will be calculated based on the payments made to the person.

The calculation of the unemployment insurance period is based on payments made until 30 June 2014 and is based on the period of employment as of 1 July 2014, with Eesti Töötukassa being able to check the data from the employment register.

3. Why is my start date for employment incorrect if it began before 1 July 2014?

Registration of employment with the Tax and Customs Board began on 1 July 2014, and the employment data was pre-filled with the data of persons insured by the EHIF, in order to reduce the administrative burden on employers. Thus, a start date of employment that began before 1 July 2014, which is pre-filled based on data transferred from the EHIF, does not always coincide with the actual start date of employment. As of 1 July 2014, the data in the employment register have a legal effect, which means that the employer must ensure that the entries made after 1 July 2014 are correct in the employment register.

Employers can make new entries and corrections retroactively for a period of up to 3 months, to avoid confusion regarding the cross-usage of data. If corrections need to be made in entries older than three months, then the employer must submit a reasoned application to the Tax and Customs Board, either using the e-MTA communication channel or by sending a digitally signed application, via e-mail, to the address emta@emta.ee.

1. Is working during the suspension of employment during parental leave permitted and, if so, is it required that the suspension be terminated during the period of employment, or can the suspended employment entry remain suspended, with a new employment record being registered alongside?

An employee can be either on parental leave or working for one employer, he or she cannot be doing both at the same time. However, if the employment relationship with one employer has been suspended due to parental leave, commencing work with another employer is not prohibited.

At the same time, the rights to parental and family benefits associated with the use of parental leave must always be taken into account, the amount of which may be affected by the receipt of additional income, i.e. the commencement of work.

You are allowed to earn income while receiving the parental benefit. In 2021, it will be EUR 1910.77. If the income for one month is less than this amount, the parental benefit will not decrease. If the income is higher, the parental benefit will be reduced.

For more information on the rights and obligations involved, see the Social Insurance Board webpage ’For the recipient of family benefits’.

2. Can I take a certificate for sick leave during parental leave? Does the employer end the suspension of parental leave for the duration of the certificate for sick leave and once again suspend the entry following the end of the certificate for sick leave?

An employee may apply for termination of parental leave if, on the day of returning to work, he or she becomes ill or the child becomes ill and, as a result, decides that he or she will continue to take parental leave and not return to work after the end of the certificate of incapacity for work.

An employee’s right to receive compensation for incapacity for work arises only if the entry on employment has been restored by the employer, i.e is active, by the time of the certificate of incapacity for work. If the employer does not amend the entry, the employee will not receive the compensation for incapacity for work.

Entries in the employment register must correspond to the actual situation, i.e. if a person wishes to return to work, the suspension of the employment entry is terminated or amended to be an active entry. And if the employee wishes to once again take parental leave, the corresponding entry will once again be made in the employment register.

3. What should be done to receive maternity leave if a woman on parental leave wishes to take new maternity leave in connection with the birth of a new child?

A woman on parental leave who wishes to take new maternity leave and receive maternity benefit must terminate the parental leave. To do this, an application must be submitted to the employer to terminate parental leave. If the date marked on the application for termination of parental leave is the day before the start of maternity leave, the woman does not have to go to work in the meantime. We recommend that the employer be notified well in advance of the start of maternity leave, to ensure that the employer is able to end the suspension of employment in the register in a timely manner.

1.The option of unpaid leave for one (1) month (from the first to the last day of the month) is made available to the employee in coordination with the employer. The employer registers the suspension of employment in the employment register, with the employee later submitting the part of the certificate of incapacity for work in regards to the leave. The employer makes the corresponding amendments in the employment register – cancels the entry. Is such an amendment a breach of the registration procedure?

It is not a breach, as the cancellation of the entry is justified. If the employer’s suspension entry is not cancelled, the employer will be unable to register the certificate for sick leave.

Last updated: 22.09.2022

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