The five most common questions about maternity leave

We come across questions about maternity leave quite often. We’ve selected the five most common topics you’re interested in and prepared answers to save you time in the future.

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5 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

  1. How can I take maternity leave?
  2. How much is maternity leave and can I influence the amount?
  3. When do I start maternity leave and what is its length?
  4. Ordinary leave after maternity leave
  5. Is a self-employed person entitled to maternity leave?

How can I take maternity leave?

Maternity leave is paid by the Czech Social Security Administration. The application for maternity leave is made on a form issued to you by your attending gy naecologist. He or she will also fill in Part A of the form with the expected date of delivery, which will determine the possible start of your maternity leave. You then fill in the required information in Part B.

You can then hand the form to your employer, who will forward it to the relevant district social security office. the self-employed person can apply for maternity leave at the relevant district social security office, both in person and electronically.
The application for the benefit is submitted on the prescribed form Application for Maternity Benefit. However, do not look for a template on the internet. The form is only available in printed form at the district social security office.

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How much is maternity pay and can I influence the amount?

You are entitled to 70% of the reduced daily assessment base per calendar day while caring for your baby. The daily reference amount is calculated as the sum of your gross income divided by the number of calendar days (usually calculated on the last 12 months’ income, taking into account excluded days such as sickness etc.). As with ordinary sickness benefit, income is then reduced using three reduction thresholds.

In 2024, we will see an increase in maternity pay as the reduction thresholds and the length of maternity leave will increase as follows:

  • 100 % reduction up to CZK 1 466,
  • above CZK 1 466 to CZK 2 199, a reduction of 60%,
  • above CZK 2 199 to CZK 4 397, a reduction of 30%,
  • above CZK 4 397 is not taken into account.

It is then possibleto influence the amount of maternity leave provided you are able to influence your income. Theoretically, you can apply for a higher salary before or during pregnancy or get another well-paid position that you have avoided so far for some reason. In reality, however, it is probably not so easy to purposefully influence the salary and consequently the amount of maternity pay, and it is more likely to stay with the theory.

Tip: We have discussed the calculation of maternity leave in detail in a separate article.

When to start maternity leave and what is its length?

The start of your maternity leave is based on your doctor’s date of birth. You can go on maternity leave six to eight weeks before this date. It is then up to you to start your maternity leave within this period.

The length of maternity leave has remained unchanged for years, so in 2024 it will continue to be 28 weeks for the birth of one child. Only mothers of two or more children can have their maternity leave extended. In this case, maternity leave is 37 weeks. In order to determine the date on which maternity leave ends, it is therefore sufficient to add the relevant number of weeks to the date on which maternity leave begins.

If the child is born prematurely, before the official legal start date, maternity leave starts at that point.The start of maternity leave is the start of the so-called “support period”, during which you are also entitled to cash assistance.

Because of the frequent confusion between maternity and parental leave, we also see questions about ‘three years’ maternity leave’ and ‘four years’ maternity leave’. In this case, however, it may be exclusively parental leave following maternity leave. It is indeed possible to choose the length of time you stay at home with your child, either one, two, three or four years.

Ordinary leave after maternity leave

Maternity leave (as opposed to parental leave) is treated as work for the purposes of holiday entitlement. If you are employed before taking leave, your maternity leave counts towards your days worked and you are also entitled to ordinary leave. This can be taken before you start parental leave if you plan to do so.

You must ask for it yourself as a prerequisite. You do not need to find a special template to apply for it. You just need to comply with a few requirements. The application must be in writing and addressed to your employer and must include the date, place and your signature.

The request must be made before you start your regular leave, i.e. no later than the date your maternity leave ends, in which case your employer must comply with your request. However, if you do not apply on time, you will not lose your leave, but you cannot determine when it will be taken.

Tip: If you are interested in the possibility of earning extra money while on maternity leave, we recommend our article on this topic.

Is a self-employed person entitled to maternity leave?

Maternity leave is covered by sickness insurance benefits. However, its payment is not compulsory for self-employed. However, any entrepreneur can volunteer to pay sickness insurance.

Entrepreneurial mothers are entitled to maternity pay if they have paid sickness insurance for at least 270 days (nine months) in the two years prior to taking maternity leave, including at least 180 days (six months) in the last year. This length of payment is intended to prevent the expectant mother from paying sick pay on purpose only when she finds out she is pregnant. She may do so, of course, because she is worried about a common illness, but even then she will not be entitled to sick pay until three months after the payments begin.

A female entrepreneur who satisfies the above condition for sick pay payments can draw cash assistance, like an employee, from the eighth week (and no later than the sixth week) before the due date of childbirth. Here too, the entitlement to payment is 28 weeks (or 37 weeks in the case of more than one child).

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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