No agreement yet on days off in lieu where state holidays fall on weekends

Estonian flag on Pikk Hermann tower.
Estonian flag on Pikk Hermann tower. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The government did not agree on whether to grant an additional day off for the weekend, as provided in the bill initiated by the Social Democratic Party (SDE).

According to the bill, the Public Holidays and Days of National Importance Act would be amended to provide an additional day off if and when a national or public holiday falls on a weekend, as happens four more times in 2022 (and already happened on New Year's Day - ed.).

On Thursday, the government decided not to issue an opinion since ministries have differing views on the bill.

ERR wrote on Monday that the Minister of Justice Maris Lauri (Reform) proposed the cabinet not support the bill.

The Ministry of Education and Research is also proposing that the government not support the bill, the government's communications bureau said.

There is still no analysis of the effects of adopting the draft.

Arguments in favor include the rather obvious effective loss of a holiday for most working people, not to mention schoolchildren, as well as bringing practices in line with other EU states.

Arguments against as presented by Lauri include unequal treatment for those people who do work on a weekend, and the fact that a state holiday's main purpose - to allow people to gather with families and friends on national days - is fulfilled if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

The next national holiday, Independence Day, is not affected by the calendar for 2022. February 24 is a Thursday this year.

The major state holidays are also heralded by a half-day off on the afternoon of the preceding day, meaning next Wednesday, February 23, is a half-day.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Andrew Whyte

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