LEXTAL Partner and Attorney at Law Kristi Sild is an expert who has been working in the field of employment law for decades and provides detailed explanations regarding the planning of vacations.

What should be done when an employee submits a vacation request that includes a public holiday, and the last day of the vacation falls on a Friday? Can the vacation be extended to Saturday and Sunday since it cannot end on a Friday?

Various factors may come into play in different situations, but the general rule is that the employee takes the entire main vacation at once. If the employee prefers to take a vacation in separate parts, it can only be done by prior agreement with the employer. In this case, one part of it has to be at least 14 consecutive days, and the employer is not obligated to divide the remaining main vacation into parts shorter than seven days (Employment Contracts Act § 68 (5)). In this case, the question is whether the employer will allow vacation periods and their duration. There is no explicit prohibition in the law stating that the vacation cannot end on a Friday.

Are employees required to plan and schedule all their vacation days in advance, or can it be done continuously? How far in advance should the employer be notified?

Vacation scheduling is the employer’s responsibility (Employment Contracts Act § 69 (2)). If it has not been done on time or if some vacation days have not been entered into the schedule, the employer must provide the employee with a vacation at the time requested by the employee, who must give written notice at least 14 calendar days in advance.

Is submitting a vacation request always mandatory, regardless of whether it has been planned in advance or arises at the last minute?

If the vacation is already entered into the vacation schedule, there is no legal obligation to submit a vacation request. A vacation request (in paper or digital form) should be submitted if the vacation has not been entered into the vacation schedule.

If an employee has entered vacation into the schedule but decides to change or cancel it, should the request still be submitted in paper or digital form?

If an employee has entered vacation into the vacation schedule but later decides to change or cancel it, the respective request should be submitted in either paper or digital form. The vacation schedule can only be changed by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee. Under the Employment Contracts Act § 69 (6), the employee has the right to interrupt, postpone, or prematurely terminate vacation due to significant personal reasons, mainly temporary incapacity for work, maternity leave, or participation in a strike.

If one vacation period must be 14 days long (continuous), can the remaining vacation days be divided into no less than 7-day periods?

One part of the vacation must be 14 days long (continuous). Regarding the remaining main vacation days, the employer can refuse to divide the vacation into parts shorter than seven days. However, shorter vacation periods are allowed by mutual agreement between the parties.

Source: Äripäeva teabevara nõuandekeskus: https://teabevara.ee/nouandekeskus