Ministry sends reworked parental sick pay policy for approval

Sleeping baby.
Sleeping baby. Source: sima dimitric/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Newly returned-to-work parents claiming sick leave will no longer be paid minimum wage as compensation under new plans proposed by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The changes will benefit parents who have recently returned to work after parental leave.

The current regulations see mothers and fathers paid minimum wage for any sick leave they take. This also includes taking time off work to look after ill children.

The rules leave working parents in a significantly worse-off position during their first year back in the office, the ministry said. Especially considering that small children in kindergarten are often sick, the draft text pointed out.

Under the proposed new system, compensation will be based on taxed income or the shared allowance paid during parental leave — whichever is more favorable.

The policy is expected to cost €4.5 million per year after its introduction in January 2024.

It will affect approximately 11,900 people each year — 89 percent of whom are women. Compensation will be paid by the Health Insurance Fund.


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Editor: Huko Aaspollu, Helen Wright

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