Last March, Tallinn introduced the first day sick leave benefit as a measure of limiting the spread of coronavirus and encouraging people with illness symptoms to stay home from work at once. This benefit will be applicable for sick leaves initiated until 31 May 2022.
"To limit the spread of the virus, it was crucial that people stayed at home as soon as the first signs of illness appeared. However, people often go to work when they are ill because the financial loss would have an incisive effect on their family budget. By reimbursing the first day of sick leave, Tallinn was able to offer people some support to make the decision to stay at home easier," said Tallinn Deputy Mayor Betina Beškina. "From March last year until now, the city has granted first day sick leave benefits to nearly 39,000 residents of Tallinn, spending over €1 million from the city budget."
The Deputy Mayor added that, as COVID-19 risks have now reduced, the city will continue to pay the first day sick leave benefits until the end of May. "But we will certainly monitor the situation in the autumn and, if necessary, reintroduce this measure," said Beškina.
Last year, nearly 14,000 people received first sick-day benefit and a total of more than €417,000 was paid as benefits. This year, as of April, nearly 25,000 people have received support, for which more than €740,000 has been spent. Between March 2021 and April 2022, the City of Tallinn has paid out €1,158,210 in first day sick leave benefits.
The amount of the first day sick leave benefit is €30. According to an amendment to the Tallinn City Council's regulation on the conditions and procedure for the payment of social benefits, a person who has been issued with a primary sick leave certificate between 1 September 2021 and 31 May 2022, as well as due to a quarantine or illness during pregnancy, will be entitled to receive this benefit. The application can be submitted in the city's e-service after the certificate of the sick leave has been ended by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund and the sick pay has been paid out. The benefit will be paid within 30 calendar days of the date of submission of a valid application.