Parental benefits in the Czech Republic

With the Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs releasing a press release last week indicating an increase in parental leave allowance, now is as a good a time as any to summarise Czech Republic’s maternity and parental benefits.

If you’re thinking of moving to the Czech Republic, or already live here, and plan to start a family, or an addition to it, here’s what you need to know about the economic side of family life.

Maternity Leave (peněžitá pomoc v mateřství)

Maternity leave lasts 28 weeks and starts 8 to 6 weeks before the mother’s due date. In the case that two or more children (twins, etc.) are expected, the maternity leave lasts for 37 weeks. The term may not be shorter than 14 weeks and may not be interrupted or ended before 6 weeks following childbirth.

For the entire duration of maternity leave, the employer is obliged to keep your job position vacant. On your return to work, the employer must give you the same job at the same workplace.

Currently, the maternity benefit amounts to 70% of the mother’s wage. The following criteria must be met in order to receive the maternity benefit:

  • On the day maternity leave starts, the mother is in legitimate employment and participates in sickness insurance
  • The mother must have been paying sickness insurance for at least 270 days in the 2 years prior to taking maternity leave

It is possible to alternate maternity leave with the father of the child after 6 weeks following childbirth.

Paternity Leave (dávka otcovské poporodní péče – otcovská)

As of February 2018, the father can now take 7 days maternity leave, within the first 6 weeks following the birth of their child. They are entitled to receive 70% of their wage, the same proportion as the mother, up to a maximum amount of 8,575 CZK. Freelancers who pay sickness insurance are also eligible, as long as they have been paying for insurance for at least 3 months prior to taking leave. The father must be registered in the Civil Register, as the child’s father, but does not have to live with the child or be married to the child’s mother.

Parental Leave (rodičovský příspěvek)

Parental leave is intended for parents to care of their child following maternity leave, up until the child is 3 years of age. During the term of parental leave, the employer is obliged to find a suitable job position on your return to work. However, it does not have to be the same job position as before.

The parental leave period can be taken up until the child is 4 years of age, on agreement with the employer.

Parental leave can be taken by either the mother or father of the child, and this can be alternated during the parental leave term. However, only one parent can take parental leave at any one time.

Currently, the parental leave allowance stands at 220,000 CZK, 330,000 CZK for two or more children. This can be drawn over a period of up to four years, with a monthly cap of 40,080 CZK (currently the majority of parents choose to draw 6,000-7,600 per month). The chosen monthly amount of parental allowance can be changed a maximum of once every three months.

The government has proposed an increase in the parental leave allowance to 300,000 CZK, which should take effect from January 2020. It is believed that all families will be eligible for the extra cash assuming their child is under four years of age when the policy takes effect.

NB EU citizens have the same access, subject to the criteria above, as Czech citizens.

NB Non-EU citizens are eligible to receive all of the above benefits if they reach the criteria listed above and have been resident in the Czech Republic, paying tax and social contributions, for a minimum of 1 year.

For more information about types of parental leave and other benefits available to new parents in the Czech Republic, be sure to check out the following webpages.

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