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Longer maternity leave and parental leave from 1 September 2013

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Longer maternity leave and parental leave from 1 September 2013

From 1 September 2013 a maternity leave will extend. The extension will take place through the possibility to use a half-year parental leave immediately after the maternity leave. What are the details of the changes to maternity leave in 2013?

According to the amendment of the Labour Code, a maternity leave will amount to six months, that is 20 basic weeks and additional six weeks. Then the leave might be extended by another six months, that is 26 weeks, whereas both parents may benefit from this leave (hence, the name a parental leave).

To use a parental leave one must first use the additional maternity leave (six weeks, and in case of the birth of more than one child - eight weeks) and within 14 days before the commencement of the leave submit a written request to the employer (note: so far this term was 7 days) or in the case of other persons entitled to those rights – directly to the Social Security (ZUS). It is significant that the additional maternity leave may be also use by the father - employee, provided that it is not used by the mother.

However, the right to parental leave will acquire all those who gave a birth (or adopt) a child after 31 December 2012 (remember, that this was originally a right to those who would be entitled to maternity leave on 1 September, but the so-called mothers of the first quarter fought for change expending this right).

Parental leave will not be on 100% charge. If the employee, not later than 14 days after the birth, submits a written request for parental leave, then the entire period of maternity leave, additional maternity leave and parental leave will be entitled to the amount of 80% of the basic allowance. In the case of an application at a later date will be entitled to 100% of the allowance for maternity leave and additional maternity leave and for the period of parental leave - 60%. In other words - the amount of the benefit will be either 80% of the basic allowance (determined separately for each person, depending on the amount of the premiums paid) for the whole year or 100% for the half year and 60% over the next half.

The second half year of the maternity leave will be able to be used in a several ways. There will be the opportunity to use the second half of the maternity leave in three parts, each may not be shorter than eight weeks, falling directly one after the other. This is possible, but only until the child's first birthday. It is important that from the 20 weeks of the leave it will be possible to combine a maternity grant with the part-time work – then, the half of the allowance will be paid. There is also the possibility of exchanging the parental leave between parents.

Arrangements for maternity benefits apply to both employees and other persons who are subject to compulsory sickness insurance or who have acceded to the insurance voluntarily. This means not only employed under an employment agreement, but also under agreement of order and the self-employed, if they only pay for health insurance. The right to benefits is acquired after a month of premium payments.

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