Pregnancy and mandatory contract
Work-based on civil law contracts (mandatory contract – umowa o dzieło, commission contract of performing a complete – umowa zlecenie), or own enterpeneurship does not provide as much social security as an employment relationship (employment contract), therefore a person planning a pregnancy should aim for employment based on an employment contract. Pregnant women and young mothers, regardless the employment status, can count on state aid. There are several social programs supporting mothers such as
- “kosiniakowe” (1000 zł per month for a year),
- maternity benefit,
- parental benefit,
- “becikowe” (one-time benefit of 1000 zł)
- 500+ (monthly benefit received until children reach 18 y.o.).
There are several possibilities for a pregnant working woman when the employer terminates a civil law contract. The best solution seems to be to pay the health insurance (ubezpieczenie chorobowe) and benefit from up to 270 days of sickness benefit. If the principal terminates the contract of a pregnant employee she may use the so-called “kosiniakowe” (and other social benefits calculated regardless of the employment status). These benefits are due only to foreigners legally residing in the Republic of Poland, with access to the labour market.
Mandatory contract and sickness benefit
A mandatory contract obliges the principal to pay the obligatory social contributions for the contractor, i.e. pension, social pension and accident insurance contributions.
Health insurance is voluntary. It allows a pregnant woman to benefit from sickness benefit at a time when she can’t work, but a contractor themself has to decide whether they want to pay it or not. In the case of pregnancy, the monthly sickness benefit is 100% of the base for the benefit, that is an average remuneration of the contractor from the last 12 months or the average of the last salaries if the contractor has not yet worked a year.
In the case of a mandatory contract, the contractor acquires the right to sickness benefit only after 90 days of uninterrupted sickness insurance contributions. This means that a pregnant woman is not entitled to benefit for the first three months after the start of insurance.
Mandatory contract termination, while the employee is on sick leave, does not exclude the right to receive this benefit. The maximum duration of the formal incapacity for work during pregnancy is 270 days, which in most cases coincides with the period of pregnancy. In conclusion, despite the termination of the mandatory contract, a pregnant employee on sick leave will still be able to benefit from sickness benefits.
Mandatory contract – termination of the contract during pregnancy
According to articles 746 § 1 and § 2 of the Civil Code the Principal and the Contractor may terminate the mandatory contract at the will of the party. The parties may determine the termination procedure. In such a case, the parties may specify a notice period (e.g. for such a period falling after the childbirth) or indicate the possibility of terminating the contract on the occurrence of certain conditions. You cannot waive your right to terminate a mandatory contract for important reasons in advance. A good solution could be to write a catalogue of important reasons in the contract. If the pregnancy is not in the catalogue, the contract can’t terminate because of it. If the parties did not agree on the termination conditions the mandatory contract may terminate at any time, without the need to justify this action.
Benefits in the event of the mandatory contract termination
However, if the employee was dismissed during pregnancy, after the birth of the child, she still has the opportunity to benefit form so-called “kosiniakowe”. This benefit is PLN 1000 per month (without the income criteria). The benefit is intended in particular for women working on the basis of mandatory contracts, unemployed, students, farmers.
“Kosiniakowe” is paid:
- for 52 weeks at the birth of one child,
- for 65 weeks at the birth of 2 children,
- for 67 weeks at the birth of 3 children.