One of the most current topics for quite a few employees is ☝️ maternity leave and benefits. It is quite a complicated topic, so the UHR team decided to clarify it.
Maternity leave is a compulsory leave to which every employee who has given birth is entitled, regardless of the type of employment contract under which she is employed. In addition to this, maternity leave is also due to an employee who is employed on the basis of a contract of mandate if she pays sickness contributions – as sickness insurance is voluntary in the case of a contract of mandate. In this case, it is necessary to submit an application to the Employer for voluntary sickness insurance coverage. The application cannot be rejected and the Employer is obliged to pay the relevant contribution to the Social Insurance Institution [ZUS].
☑️ The length of maternity leave depends on the number of children born:
👉 1 child – 20 weeks
👉 2 – 31 weeks
👉 3 – 33 weeks
👉 4 – 35 weeks
👉 5 – 37 weeks
The law provides for the possibility to take 6 weeks of maternity leave even before giving birth, although most women start their maternity leave from the day of the child’s birth.
In the case of the birth of one child, it is mandatory for the mother to take a total of at least 14 weeks of maternity leave. The remaining six weeks can be taken by the father, who is employed under a contract of employment. In such a situation, the woman should submit a written request to her employer to opt out of taking part of the maternity leave no less than seven days before starting work. The father of the child, on the other hand, should submit a request to his employer to use the days off to which he is entitled in exchange for the mother of the child who has resigned.
☑️Protection against dismissal
An employee on maternity leave is particularly protected against dismissal ☝️ – she can only be dismissed if there are circumstances that allow her to be dismissed without notice through the fault of the employee and with the consent of the union representing her.
After maternity leave, the employer is obliged to offer the mother the same job position as before the leave, or an equivalent position.
☑️ Maternity allowance
Maternity allowance, is the amount paid to an employee who gives birth while subject to sickness insurance.
☑️ Entitlement to benefit and type of contract:
For an employee on an employment contract, such insurance is compulsory. For a contractor, such insurance is voluntary and she must express her wish to be insured when signing the contract.
☑️ The insured father of the child or another insured family member can also benefit from the maternity benefit if:
👉 the mother of the child dies or abandons the child and
👉 they interrupt their employment or other gainful activity to care for the child.
☑️ Maternity benefit base:
The basis of assessment for maternity benefit is equal to the average monthly salary paid for the 12 calendar months preceding the onset of incapacity for work. The income constituting the basis for the sickness insurance contribution is used to determine the assessment basis.
That is, the amount of benefit is based on the officially declared salary.
If the company in which the woman works employs fewer than 21 people, the benefit will be paid by the Social Insurance Office. In the case of a company that employs a larger number of people, the benefit will be paid by the employer (who will directly settle with the Social Insurance Institution).
The amount of maternity leave benefit is 100 % of the benefit base – for an average of 12 months (year) worked. If the employee has been employed for less than 12 months, then the pay will be calculated on the basis of the average of the full months worked. On the other hand, the amount of allowance for the period set as parental leave is 60 per cent of the allowance base. If it is requested in writing within 14 days after childbirth, immediately after maternity leave, the allowance for the entire period of maternity leave and parental leave will be 80 per cent of the base.
☑️ Sources and extensions of the topic:
☑️ Benefit amount calculator: