Parental leave - for whom?
Since June 2013, extensive changes have been introduced in parental leave, which have brought parents the possibility of longer home childcare. The new regulations gave fathers two weeks of leave and the right to take maternity leave (basic, additional and parental) from the mother 14 weeks after giving birth. After the amendment, parental leave may be used by the mother and father at the same time.
Parental leave may be used when the basic and additional maternity leave is exhausted. The right to it is granted after the following conditions are met:
- parental leave must fall directly after the additional maternity leave,
- basic and additional maternity leave are to be fully used,
- a written application must be submitted no later than 14 days before the start of parental leave,
- parents must be in an employment relationship.
Parental leave lasts 26 weeks and its length remains the same - unlike maternity leave, the length of which depends on the number of children born. Parental leave is granted either in full or in a maximum of three parts - where none of the installments may be shorter than 8 weeks and should fall one after the other. Parents may use the leave tranches alternately. For example, it could look like this: father's leave - mother's leave - father's leave. It is up to the parents to decide how they will use the parental leave they have been granted.
Parental leave may be used by parents at the same time. Then the length of leave is reduced by half - to 13 weeks.
Parental leave is voluntary - the choice is made by the parent, whose decision must be respected by the employer. The application for parental leave should contain:
- the end date of the additional maternity leave, and if the application concerns the use of the next part of the parental leave - the end date of the previous part,
- a declaration of the other parent that they do not intend to use the right - or if they will use it at the same time, indicate the date on which it will take place.
Employment on parental leave
The new law gives a parent taking parental leave a chance to combine professional work with caring for a child. In such a situation, you can work for a maximum of half-time - the employer must grant leave for the rest of the time, as long as it does not disturb the organization and is possible at all in a specific type of employment. If the employer refuses, he must justify it.The amount of parental leave in the case of starting work does not change - it is always 26 weeks. In this case, the application must be submitted no later than 14 days before the commencement of work - it should include the working time and the period in which it is intended to reconcile parental leave with work.
Maternity allowance - amount
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During the leave related to the birth of a child, parents are entitled to maternity allowance paid by ZUS. The amount of such benefit depends on the choices made by the parents:
- up to the 14th day after the child's birth, parents decide to use all possible leaves in full (basic and additional maternity leave and parental leave) - the allowance amounts to 80% of the calculation basis for the entire period;
- parents do not immediately apply for all leaves - during the basic and additional maternity leave, the amount of the allowance is 100% of the length of the maternity leave, but if the parents later decide to take parental leave, the allowance will amount to 60% of the maternity leave.
It sometimes happens that the decision to use a given leave is a hard nut to crack - it is mainly about the need to predict a few months ahead. To facilitate the selection, the legislator provided for the possibility of resigning from the previously taken decision to use all leaves. The benefit is then equalized - from 80% to the full calculation basis.