Maternity leave and parental benefits

Living in Europe | Day care, schooling & family related issues | Czech Republic

Maternity leave

  • peněžitá pomoc v mateřství, a benefit more commonly known as maternity leave, is financial support in place of a parent's salary, and is paid for 28 weeks (or for twins, triplets, etc. 37 weeks) 
  • the maternity leave period begins at least six and at most eight weeks before the baby is due to be born
  • you may only claim this benefit if you have participated in sickness insurance (nemocenské pojištění, part of social security) for at least 270 days before the maternity leave begins, and you are employed at that time, or your employment ended within the past 180 days. 
  • self-employed parents (OSVČ) can also claim maternity leave if they have paid sickness insurance for 270 days before the leave begins, of which 180 days must have been within the year immediately preceding the maternity leave. 
  • if you are not eligible to claim maternity leave, then you may be able to claim paid parental leave as soon as your child is born, instead. 
  • maternity leave must be taken before your child is 1 year old. 
  • maternity leave amounts to 70% of your average gross salary, calculated based on the preceding year; for the self-employed the amount is established based on the level of sickness insurance contributions paid.
  • after the baby reaches 7 weeks of age, the father can take over the maternity leave instead of the mother, if he is eligible (based on the same conditions - sickness insurance). 
  • the application form for maternity leave is provided by the mother's gynaecologist during her pregnancy. If you are employed, you should then give this to your employer, who will send it to the Social Security authorities. If you are self-employed you should give the form directly to the Social Security office in the place where you live. 

Paid parental leave

  • paid parental leave is financial support for parents, which usually follows on after the end of maternity leave. You are eligible to take it if you are caring for your child at home (not taking him/her to a daycare/nursery/pre-school). 
  • paid parental leave consists of a maximum of 220 thousand crowns of benefit, which must be taken during the first four years of the child's life; the shortest period over which it may be taken is 19 months. 
  • if either parent has participated in sickness insurance prior to taking the parental leave, you can choose the rate at which you take it. The maximum amount is 70% of 30x your   "denního vyměřovací základ" (the average daily salary used to calculate maternity leave pay) on the day the child was born, but cannot be higher than 11 500 Kč. The minimium is 50 Kč per month. It is possible to change the rate once every three months. 
  • if neither parent paid sickness insurance before the child was born, you must take the parental leave at the slowest rate – meaning you will receive it monthly until the child's fourth birthday, at a rate of 7600 Kč per month until he/she is 9 months old, and then 3 800 Kč monthly thereafter. 
  • if you are expecting another child before you have completed your period of parental leave, you can change the rate at which you take the leave, so that you receive the maximum benefit before your second child is born. You can only take the leave while the child it applies to is the youngest in your family, meaning if you have not fully taken it before the second child is born, you will "lose" the amount you had left to receive. 
  • when submitting your application for paid parental leave at the Labour Office you will need the child's birth certificate, the parents' ID, and a confirmation from the Social Security authorities of your eligibility for maternity leave. 
  • paid parental leave is coordinated by the Úřad práce (Labour Office). 

Child Benefit

  • child benefit is paid as a basic benefit to families at the following rates: age up to 6 years - 500 Kč, 6 to 15 years - 610 Kč, 15 to 26 years - 700 Kč
  • if the family's income is greater than 2.4 x the living minimum then the family is not eligible for this benefit. 
  • if you are eligible you should apply for this benefit at the Labour Office with evidence of your income.