The average monthly parental benefit paid to men in 2019 was a third higher than that paid to women, state agency Statistics Estonia reports. The numbers of men taking parental leave has also been rising in recent years.
A total of 27,989 women and 3,920 men received parental benefit in Estonia in 2019.
Kaire Raasik, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said women earned on average €1,133 in parental benefit, 34 percent less than men, though the gap is narrowing.
Men accounted for 12 percent of parental benefit recipients in 2019, with an average of €1,728 in 2019.
"The data show that the gap between men's and women's parental benefit is decreasing slowly, as it has been even larger in the past," said Raasik.
Occupation-based sex segregation, referring to the concentration of females and males in different occupations, has been falling in Estonia since 2006, the agency says.
At the same time, economic activity-based sex segregation, which refers to the concentration of females and males in different economic activities, has risen.
"The sex segregation indicator shows that there would be an equal number of men and women in all occupations, if 34.5 percent of men or women changed occupation," Raasik continued.
"In economic activities, there would be an equal number of men and women, if 36.9 percent of men or women moved into other economic activities."
More men work in construction, transportation and storage, while more women work in education, and human health and social work activities.
Significantly more plant and machine operators are men, with more women in the service sector, Statistics Estonia says.
In 2019, 58 percent of new fathers used the ten-working-day paternity leave offered by the state – 19 percentage points more than in 2014, the agency says.
Paternity leave use has been on the rise since 2013 when the father's pay for this period started to be calculated based on their average wages. On average, fathers use nine-and-a-half days of paternity leave.
Editor: Andrew Whyte