How to Open Sick Leave in Estonia

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Riin Rehemaa
Social Media & Community Manager

Nobody plans to get sick, it comes without a warning and sometimes might take a course where you are forced to stay home. Thankfully, we have an option in Estonia to get financial support during those times. It is important and helpful to know beforehand how to go about a situation like that and what are your options for opening a sick leave. Especially when you are in a foreign country.

What is sick leave?

With the pandemic, we learned firsthand that you should stay home from work when you have symptoms of a cold or a virus. Cough, sniffles, stomach ache – you will know when you are feeling under the weather. It’s important to protect your own health and others from getting infected. A body that is dealing with an illness is immune compromised and won’t respond well to any extra stressors. Your main concern needs to be how to get better and healthier. Staying at home, focusing on resting, and following a protocol provided by your doctor will help you recover faster.

To remove the worry of losing money because of health problems, you have the option to open sick leave. Sick leave is a compensated time off from work due to health needs and reasons. It’s an option that can be used when your medical condition doesn’t allow you to work, so you won’t have to lose a part of your income because of that. It’s a good support system for employees when facing health issues, so you can take the time needed, without the extra stress from work responsibilities or having to go to the office and risk infecting others.

Due to rain, temperature drops and lack of sunlight that come along with the colder seasons in Estonia, our immune system’s performance lowers. This makes us more open to different health problems. Let’s look at the most common autumn/winter illnesses.

When can you open sick leave in Estonia?

You can open a sick leave on the same day as you contact your family doctor. Your primary medical service provider is the one that can assign you a certification for sick leave. It is ultimately decided based on your health conditions, whether or not you should stay at home.

Sick leave in Estonia can be opened for a person who is covered by health insurance. On the basis of that, the employer is obligated to pay the sickness benefit for 5 days, starting from the second day of your sick leave. On the 6th day the Health Insurance Fund takes over the payment plan. It is paid for up to 30 calendar days, depending on how long the sick leave lasts.

Day 2-5


Day 6-30

Estonian Health Insurance Fund
Who covers the sickness benefit?Paid up to 30 calendar days.

Contact your family doctor for further instructions and a certificate for sick leave. If you are not registered with a physician yet or you can’t get a hold of your family doctor – then there is an option to get assistance from an online healthcare provider, like Salu. There won’t be a need, unless your symptoms require otherwise, to leave your home. You will be assisted over the Internet from your phone or computer. Salu’s medical team will help you with opening an online sick leave as well.

What if my child gets sick?

Sick leave can also be opened in case you need to take care of someone else. You will be paid a care allowance for the temporary inability to work. Care allowance is entitled in terms of:

  • The person getting it has to be covered by health insurance.
  • In the length of up to 14 days, if you are taking care of a child under the age of 12 or a person with disabilities under the age of 19.
  • In the length of 7 days if you are taking care of a sick family member at home.
  • The amount paid is 80% of your average wage, while income tax is withheld.

If the person in need of care has several people nursing him/her, the doctor will have to issue a certificate separate for each of them. Keep in mind that different rules and guidelines apply in cases of severe illnesses. You can find out more information from your doctor about that.

Stay healthy, stay supported

Life can throw unexpected challenges, even a simple cold can disrupt our routine negatively. Having the option to open sick leave provides a valuable safety net in emergencies or illnesses. Understanding your rights and options is essential, and finding a trustworthy healthcare provider who can provide detailed information and assistance is crucial. Whether you choose to open sick leave online, over the phone, or in-person, opt for the option that works best for you and your needs.

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