Maternity allowance and economic activity


When employed under a contract of employment, a pregnant or planning pregnancy worker does not have to worry about whether she will receive a maternity benefit. Doubts, on the other hand, arise when a woman runs a business, as well as when she is employed under an employment contract and at the same time has a business.

When is an entrepreneur entitled to unemployment benefit?

People running a business are obligatory to pay contributions to the old-age and disability pension insurance and health insurance. You do not have to be covered by sickness insurance, it is voluntary and depends on the entrepreneur's decision.

A woman who runs a business is subject to voluntary sickness insurance.

Sickness benefit for a self-employed person

In order to receive sickness benefits, you must be registered for sickness insurance and pay contributions in a timely manner for a continuous period of 90 days. Contributions must be paid on time, as late payment will result in the loss of entitlement to sickness insurance benefits.

In the event of pregnancy, the maximum period of sickness benefit is 270 days, and the benefit is paid at 100% of the calculation basis.

Maternity allowance in the case of running a business

Maternity allowance is granted to a woman who, during the period of sickness insurance or parental leave:

  • born child,
  • adopted a child - up to the age of 7, and in the case of a child whose compulsory education was postponed, up to the age of 10 - for upbringing and applied to the guardianship court regarding his adoption,
  • adopted a child - up to the age of 7, and in the case of a child whose compulsory education was postponed, up to the age of 10 - for upbringing in a foster family, with the exception of a professional foster family.

Principles for calculating the basis of the allowance for entrepreneurs

After the amendment to the act on social insurance in case of sickness and maternity, the rules for calculating the basis of the allowance for self-employed persons (and others for which the declared amount are the basis for the contribution) who are subject to sickness insurance for less than 12 months have changed. Until now, it was enough to pay only one sickness contribution to obtain a declared amount maternity benefit. After the changes, a woman running a business activity for less than 12 months and paying contributions in excess of the statutory minimum will initially be granted a minimum allowance, which will be increased by 1/12 for each month of paying contributions prior to becoming eligible for the benefit. Thus, a mother who ran the business for 3 months and paid the increased premiums, will receive an allowance of 60% of the average forecasted wage and 3/12 of the increased premium. In order to qualify for the full benefit corresponding to the increased premium, she will have to pay the higher insurance premium for the 12 months before giving birth.

A mother who is only insured for the activity she conducts may indirectly decide herself about the amount of the premiums to be paid. The higher the contributions, the relatively higher the calculation basis for the allowance. However, there is a limitation in regulating the amount of contributions - for 2021 the maximum amount of the contribution base for voluntary sickness insurance is PLN 13,147.50 per month. The amendment also exempts insured mothers who receive maternity allowance in the amount not exceeding the amount of parental benefit in the amount of PLN 1,000.00, who are also running a business, from the obligation to pay health insurance contributions.

A woman is obliged to receive maternity allowance for 14 weeks from the day of giving birth, because it is a period intended for the regeneration of her body. After this period, the child's mother has the right to completely withdraw from receiving the allowance and return to work or transfer the right to the child's insured father. Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!

Maternity allowance for business activity and employment under an employment contract

A person employed under an employment contract is obligatorily subject to retirement, disability, sickness, accident and health insurance.

Regardless of the number of full-time jobs and the amount of remuneration, contributions must be paid by the employer (contribution payer).

At the confluence of employment and business insurance, the obligation to pay contributions depends on the amount of remuneration specified in the employment contract. If a person running a business receives at least the minimum wage for employment (PLN 2,800 gross in 2021), the payment of social contributions for running a business is voluntary, only the health insurance contribution is mandatory. In the presented situation, even if a pregnant woman running a business decides to voluntarily pay social contributions for her business, she will be entitled to sickness and maternity benefits only on the basis of an employment contract.

This is due to the fact that, in the described case, retirement and disability pension insurance is voluntary, while sickness insurance can only be paid for compulsory pension insurance.

This position is supported by the judgment of the Supreme Court of October 3, 2008, file ref. act: II UK 32/08: "If a woman is subject to compulsory sickness insurance under the employment relationship and obtains the right to maternity allowance, it excludes simultaneous coverage of voluntary sickness insurance for non-agricultural activities and obtaining the right to a second maternity allowance."

However, if a woman is employed on a part-time basis and her income does not exceed PLN 2,800 gross (minimum wage in 20201), she is compulsorily subject to insurance under both the employment contract and the activity conducted. In such a situation, they may decide to pay higher than the obligatory contributions for voluntary sickness insurance and obtain maternity and sickness benefits from two sources.