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How is maternity pay calculated?

Are you expecting offspring? You may be thinking about what will be different and how much your financial situation will change after giving birth. But luckily, everything can be calculated in advance so that nothing surprises you. Our guide will show you how to calculate your maternity pay and when to start it, as well as who pays it and when.

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Do not confuse maternity leave with parental leave. They are sometimes confused. Maternity leave means time off work and a cash allowance for women who have given birth to a child. It lasts 28 weeks by law (37 weeks if you have two or more children). The amount of benefit you receive during this time is based on the amount of your salary to date (or your sickness insurance payments for self-employed) and does not usually represent a significant financial drop.

Tip: To learn more about maternity leave, read our in-depth article on the subject.

Need help calculating maternity leave?

You can contact us with any questions related to the legal aspects of maternity leave. Our experts will respond within two working days.

Parental leave is the following period, which can last even up to the fourth year of the child. The allowance during parental leave is uniform throughout the country, totalling CZK 300,000, and it is up to you whether you divide it into one, two, three or four years. This also determines the amount of the allowance, which amounts to just under CZK 7,000 when spread over the longest possible period and just over CZK 24,000 when taken over the shortest possible period.

Calculation of maternity leave for female employees

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

In 2023, the following reduction thresholds apply:

  • The first reduction threshold is CZK 1 345
  • The second reduction threshold is CZK 2 017
  • The third reduction threshold is CZK 4 033

100 % of the amount of CZK 1 345 will be counted towards the maternity allowance, 60 % will be counted towards the amount of CZK 2 017 and 30 % will be counted towards the amount of CZK 4 033. Amounts higher than the third reduction threshold are no longer taken into account.

Thewage replacement for working days is set at 70 % of the reduced earnings.

Example calculation: Mrs Sedláková has an average gross monthly income of CZK 60 000 for the last 12 months. The unreduced daily assessment base is 1 972,6 (annual total income divided by 365 days).

The daily assessment base is then reduced:

  • First reduction threshold: up to CZK 1 182, the reduction is applied at 100%, i.e. CZK 1 345,
  • Second reduction limit: (2 017 – 1345) x 60% = CZK 354.6,
  • Third reduction threshold: (1972.6 – 2 017) x 30% = CZK 59.88.

The maternity allowance for one day will be CZK 1 118 and the maternity leave allowance for Mrs Sedláková will be CZK 36 180 per month, for a total of CZK 219 128.

In 2024, the reduction thresholds and the length of maternity leave will increase as follows:

  • 100 % reduction up to CZK 1 466,
  • above CZK 1 466 and up 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.

In the above example, Mrs Sedláková would receive a maternity allowance of CZK 37 170 in 2024.

However, you do not need to remember the formulas, reduction thresholds or percentage amounts. The MLSA calculator can help you calculate the amount of wage replacement during maternity leave .

Tip: In 2023, the government approved an increase in the parental allowance by CZK 50 000, up to CZK 350 000 from the current CZK 300 000. At the same time, however, the maximum duration of its use will be reduced to three years from the current four. The allowance for multiple children will increase by 75 thousand to 525 thousand.

How do self-employed workers calculate maternity pay?

Businesswomen are entitled to maternity pay if they have paid sickness insurance for at least 270 days (i.e. 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 of concerns about common illness, but even then she will not be entitled to sick pay until three months after the payments have begun.

Theminimum advance payment for sickness insurance for self-employed in 2021 is CZK 168. This is the amount you must pay as a sole trader, even if your calculated average is lower. If you pay advances of this amount , you will receive a total contribution of CZK 36,260 (this is not a monthly payment, but a total payment).

If you do not normally pay sick pay advances and you would consider making a future payment solely for the purpose of claiming maternity pay, it is certainly worth calculating in advance whether it would be worthwhile for you. Take into account the necessary administration around this.

Inorder to qualify for the maximum maternity allowance, you need a monthly health insurance payment of CZK 3,269. But that doesn’t mean you can start paying this much in advance when you plan to become pregnant. The maximum possible amount of sickness insurance is 2.1% of the assessment base, i.e. one half of your net profit.

A self-employed person can apply for maternity pay at the relevant district social security office, both in person and electronically. The basis for the application for maternity allowance is issued to the self-employed person by her gynaecologist.

What to do if your maternity pay is not paid?

For self-employed persons, as a rule, even ordinary sick leave and subsequent maternity pay is not paid. If you don’t pay the advances and get pregnant, you don’t need to worry. You won’t be out of pocket. There are two scenarios:

  • You can start receiving parental leave straight after the birth.
  • Alternatively, you can start paying sick pay during your pregnancy. After you have paid three advances, you will be entitled to regular sick pay instead of maternity pay. This can be used in the event of a high-risk pregnancy, or for the period from six weeks before the due date to six weeks after the due date. You will then take ordinary parental leave.

Who pays maternity leave and when?

Maternity leave is one of the sickness benefits applied for and then paid by the Czech Social Security Administration (CSSA ). Again, there are regular payment dates for these sickness benefits. Maternity pay is always paid retrospectively for the previous month. It applies that the benefit must be paid to you at the end of the following month at the latest. You must contact your district social security office for the specific payment date.

Sickness benefits also include paternity pay ( paid leave for fathers after childbirth) and nursing allowance ( for a child or other family member).

When does maternity pay start and end?

Maternity leave starts on the date of birth set by your doctor. You can go on maternity leave six to eight weeks before this date. It is up to you to start within the period so defined.

Calculating the length of your maternity leave is then easy. Maternity leave lasts 28 weeks, or 37 weeks if you have two or more children. So you just need to add the appropriate number of weeks to the date you start your maternity leave.

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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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