Reducing the working time on a childcare leave


An employee is entitled to paid maternity, parental and unpaid parental leave. The latter may last up to 36 months, and the employee who is on it may submit an application for a reduction in the working time on a parental leave and return to the position.

Childcare leave - on what terms it is granted

Parental leave may be granted to both the child's mother and father, who work for at least 6 months. Previous periods of employment are included in the six months mentioned above, but only if they resulted from the employment relationship.

Parental leave is granted for the care of a child under the age of 5. The maximum duration of this benefit is 36 months and, unlike maternity and parental leave, it is unpaid. Parents can decide for themselves when they will take the childcare leave, the only limitation is the age of the child. This leave can last for 36 months, but you do not have to take it continuously. The child's parent may divide it into no more than 5 parts. Parents or guardians of a child may simultaneously take a childcare leave for a period not exceeding 4 months. Importantly, one month is reserved for the father, so the mother can take a maximum of 35 months of childcare leave.

In order to be able to be on parental leave, one of the parents is required to submit an application for such leave. The application should be submitted no later than 2 weeks before the planned start of the holiday. The application should specify the period for which the employee intends to use the reduced working time, as well as the new working time. The letter should be accompanied by a written declaration of the other parent that they do not intend to use the parental leave, unless the parents have decided to divide it among themselves - then the statement must contain information about the duration of the parental leave used by the other parent.

Reducing the working time on a childcare leave

An employee on parental leave may decide to return to work and perform it part-time. For this purpose, it is required to submit an application for a reduction in the working time on parental leave, this is in accordance with art. 1867 of the Labor Code, and the employer is obliged to consent to the application.

Art. 1867 of the Labor Code

§ 1. An employee entitled to parental leave may submit a written request to the employer to reduce his working time to not less than half of the full-time working time during the period in which he could take such leave. The employer is obliged to accept the employee's request.

The consequence of reduced-time work is a proportional reduction in the employee's remuneration. In such a case, the general rule resulting from Art. 80 of the Labor Code, i.e. the employee is entitled to remuneration for the work performed.

Art. 80 of the Labor Code

The remuneration is due for the work performed. For the time of non-performance of work, the employee retains the right to remuneration only if the provisions of the labor law so provide.

Reducing the working time on parental leave and the contract and the annex

An employee who has decided to reduce the working time on parental leave only has to submit an application to the employer. The rule that the change in the working time should be documented with a relevant provision in the contract does not apply. In such a case, parental leave is a special form of a periodic change to the terms of the contract, and therefore it is enough for the employee to submit an application.

The employer does not have to prepare an annex to the contract, and this is due to the fact that the annex to the contract means an agreement between the parties, and in the case of a person on parental leave, there is the will of one person in this respect. If the employer nevertheless decides to conclude an annex to the employment contract, it will not be against the law.

Work during parental leave and a break for breastfeeding

An employee who is breastfeeding has the right to a breastfeeding break. If he has more than one child, he or she can take 2 breaks of 45 minutes each. Combined breaks are granted at the employee's request.

If the employee works less than 4 hours a day, she is not entitled to a break for breastfeeding. However, if he performs his duties resulting from the employment relationship for 4 - 6 hours, he may take one 30-minute break during the day. Only when working for more than 6 hours a day, the employee has the right to take 2 breaks.

Breastfeeding breaks do not appear in the work time records. They are included in the working time.