TALLINN - Amendments to the Family Benefits Act will be put to a final vote at the Estonian parliament on Wednesday seeking to grant parents the opportunity to use their parental leave at the same time and take care of their baby together.
The new system would also permit for parents to take turns staying at home with the baby as well as work part-time.
Chairman of the social affairs committee Helmen Kutt said that the more flexible rules for using parental benefits increase freedom of choice. "From now on, parents will be able to better decide how to share the duty of raising a child and more easily reconcile their family life and career. One of the purposes of the law is to support fatherhood and contribute to helping more fathers commit to raising their child," Kutt said.
Kutt pointed out that compared to a decade ago, fathers' willingness to stay home with their child for a while has significantly grown. "A father taking his small child for a walk or pushing a stroller is no rarity these days but a new normality which is lovely to see," Kutt added.
The law enables for both parents to take up to 60 days of simultaneous parental leave and concurrently receive parental benefits. Parental benefits can also be used one or several days at a time until the child reaches three years of age. The total amount of parental benefits does not depend on when the benefits are used.