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Amendments to study leaves

The new law has a number of explanations and clarifications, but no large and fundamental changes in the field of study leaves. It is still allowed to take study leave for up to 30 calendar days in a year, on the request of the employee or the officials (hereinafter together the employee). Application for study leave of absence must be submitted within 14 calendar days in advance, except in cases where educational leave is already attached to a general holiday schedule.

Study leave application should be submitted by an employee. Content requirements are not set to the application, so the notification may contain information about studying only or lecture session exact dates.

! In the application for study leave, an employee shall determine whether s/he wishes to be granted a study leave - for participation in studies or for the completion of formal education.

Note of academic leave shall be indicated on the notice of an educational institution.

In practice has raised the issue whether a study leave may be taken, only for a training session or for an independent work as well. The explanatory memorandum of draft law AEA’s goal was to leave a flexibility and possibility for the employee based on individual needs. The basis for the training is curriculum, which sets out the content of training (plan of lectures, volume of independent work, apprenticeship, observation lessons, etc.). Thus, participation means participation in the training described in the curriculum of studies, including independent work and internship.

According to the former regulation, the employer was allowed to postpone the granting of study leave if more than 10 percent of employees or officials are on study leave at the same time.

In case of small company, up to 10 employees, employer always has a possibility to postpone the granting of study leave although there was no immediate need for the organization and routine of work was flexible and would allow it.

The peculiarities of new regime

Under the new regime, the employer has the right to cancel or postpone the study leave for unforeseeable emergencies, particularly in prevention of damage. The employer reimburses the employee the costs incurred due to the interruption or postponement of the study leave.

If the study leave was interrupted or postponed, the employee shall have the right to use the unused part of the study leave for participation in formal education or continuing education at a time suitable for her or him.

! An employer has the right to refuse to grant study leave, if the study leave day or consecutive days only coincide with employee’s days off.

Also, the employer has the right to refuse to grant study leave to complete the curriculum which is stopped for the academic leave of the studies.

During the leave for the participation in formal studies or in-service training for the purpose of professional development the employee should be paid an calendar day based average fee in accordance with the Government Regulation "Conditions and procedure for payment of average wages."

Need for the professional development should be assessed in accordance with job or post requirements.

! Study leave can only be taken for the purpose of studies organized by the continuing education institution.

If an employee wants to go to training, which could develop her/is professional skills (such as language training, records management courses, management training), the study leave is paid.

In order to decide whether a professional in-service training should be formalized, as a study leave or the participation in the training is a part of work hours, it needs to be assessed whether the training is an employee’s personal desire or required by employer.

Remuneration of study leave

Trainings accrued from employer’s interests are regulated by the Employment Contracts Act § 28 subsection 2 clause 5 or the Public Service Act, § 31. In summary the employer's duty is to ensure the trainings to develop the employee’s professional knowledge and skills in accordance with company’s interest, cover the training costs and pay an average salary. Also an official must be ensured with the possibility of development of professional knowledge and skills and maintain her/his salary.

For the completion of formal education – basic education, general secondary education, vocational education, professional higher education and bachelor's, master's and doctoral studies – additional study leave of fifteen calendar days shall be granted for which the employer shall be paid study leave pay calculated on the basis of the minimum wage established under section 29 clause 5 of the Employment Contracts Act.

! Upon calculation of the study leave pay, the number of study leave days shall be multiplied by one month’s average study leave pay rate per calendar day calculated on the basis of the minimum wage. 

In order to establish the month’s average study leave pay rate per calendar day, the minimum wage shall be divided by the number of calendar days in a year and divided by twelve. On 2016 the current minimum wage rate for full-time employment was 430 euros and there was 365 calendar days, which makes 430: (365: 12) = 14,14 euros.

An employer may refuse to grant study leave for the completion of formal education if s/he already granted a leave to the same employee for the completion of the same curriculum.

A study leave for the completion of formal education may be used in spring but in fall as well, if the student starts writing graduation work or participating on the preparatory courses for the exams.


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