Parents may have options to take off children's first day back at school

Welcome back to school ceremony at the Jõhvi High School in Ida-Viru County in 2022.
Welcome back to school ceremony at the Jõhvi High School in Ida-Viru County in 2022. Source: Government Office

Friday is September 1, traditionally the first day of school and a time when parents often want to attend with their children, which raises the perennial question as to whether they can take this day off or not.

While parents legally have rights that other employees do not, these do not stretch specifically to a day off in respect of a child's first day of school, weekly Maaleht reports (link in Estonian), citing Jaana Vaus Madureira Silva, consulting lawyer at the Labor Inspectorate (Tööinspektsioon), who added that this need not mean that a parent is barred from attending first day ceremonies.

Even if, as will be the case for many employees this year, the first day of school falls on a work day, plans can be put in place for getting time off work for this purpose.

Some employers in any case allow this day off to parents, as a benefit, but even if that is not the case, it is often viable to submit a request in advance for that day off, something which should be done 14 days in advance, depending on the type of work the employee is involved in.

In other cases, agreement from both parties can also be made in order to have September 1 partly or wholly off.

Unpaid leave may also be an option.

Under current law, each parent of a child has 10 working days of paid child leave per offspring to be used at any time until the child turns 14, so the more children, the more of this type of leave.

However, parental leave is capped at 30 calendar days per calendar year – if this limit has not been met, there may also be scope for utilizing it for September 1.

Parents of disabled children additionally get one working day's leave per month, to a total of 12 per year, until that child turns 18.

September 1 is usually taken up by an assembly and other ceremonies, in much the same way that the first day back at school is marked in other northern European nations.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Maaleht

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