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The described situation does not have a clear answer, i.e. yes or no. Itis always necessary to specify the conditions under which the allowance is payable. It is important whether the woman comes from an EU country, then she can expect similar rights as Czech citizens. In the case of non-EU women, she must deal with an employment or blue card, which also entitles her to stay.
An employment card is a type of long-term residence permit in the Czech Republic, in case a foreigner or a foreign woman comes here for employment. If he or she receives such a card, he or she may:
- stay in the Czech Republic and at the same time,
- work in the position for which the employment card was issued, or
- work in a job for which she has been granted consent or which the foreigner has duly notified (in the context of a change of employer, job assignment or employment in another job with the same or another employer).
The Blue Card is a permit for long-term residence in the Czech Republic for the purpose of employment requiring high qualifications.
Let’s take a closer look at the different situations related to maternity.
Tip: Parental leave can bring you not only the joy of caring for your child, but perhaps paradoxically, also opportunities for professional growth. When does your entitlement to parental leave start and how long does it last? How can it be combined with a job or trade? This is the subject of our separate article.
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Working foreign women and entitlement to maternity leave
If a foreign woman works and pays taxes here in the Czech Republic, she is entitled to maternity leave for 28 weeks (37 weeks for two or more children). Maternity leave can start 6 to 8 weeks before the expected date of birth and cannot end before 6 weeks after the birth.
To take maternity leave, you just need to see a doctor, who will set an official date for the birth and the date on which you can start maternity leave. He or she will also give the mother-to-be a form to hand in to the employer.
The condition is that she has been insured as an employee for at least 270 calendar days in the last two years before taking maternity leave, or that she has paid sickness insurance as an entrepreneur. You are also entitled to maternity pay (or maternity allowance) after the end of your insurance (i.e. if your employment ended during your pregnancy) if you take maternity leave within the so-called protection period. This is 180 calendar days. However, if the woman has been employed for a shorter period, the protection period lasts for as many days as she was employed in the Czech Republic.
The amount is calculated on the basis of previous earnings and a number of calculators can be found on the internet to calculate the exact amount.
If a woman is not entitled to maternity assistance, for example because she has worked in the Czech Republic for a short period of time, she may still be able to claim sick pay. A doctor will decide whether she is unable to work (sick leave) from the 6th week before the expected date of childbirth.
As an employed woman, the foreigner is also insured by the Czech insurance company and is entitled to proper medical care. A foreign woman who is here only as a family member must take out comprehensive insurance to cover all medical expenses.
Tip: The arrival of a new member in the family can shake up the lives of all the members. Sometimes it’s a shock for a mum to suddenly leave her job and would like to earn extra money while still on maternity leave. What are the conditions of working while on parental leave.
Parental and permanent residence
Parental allowance is classified as a state social support benefit. According to the Act on State Social Support, in addition to Czechs who meet the conditions, a foreigner (foreign woman) who has permanent residence in the Czech Republic and is domiciled there is also entitled to state social support benefits. Foreigners who do not have permanent residence in the Czech Republic are eligible after 365 days from the date of reporting their residence. The period of 365 days of residence in the territory of the Czech Republic does not include the time when the asylum seeker is accommodated in a residence centre of the Ministry of the Interior. State social support benefits are also due to other persons listed in the Act on State Social Support who do not have permanent residence in the Czech Republic, provided that they reside there. European Union citizens are also always eligible.
Entitlement of foreign women to parental leave
Parental leave, i.e. leave with entitlement to parental allowance, starts under normal conditions (i.e. typically for Czech women) immediately after the end of maternity leave, after 28 weeks from the birth of the child. It follows on smoothly and can last for three or even four years. Unlike maternity leave, both mothers and fathers can apply for parental leave and can take turns caring for the child.
Parental allowance can be paid until a total of CZK 300,000 (CZK 450,000 for twins and multiples) has been paid in parental allowance. However, the maximum is until the child is 4 years old. However, above the age of 3, the employer must be asked to take time off work to care for the child. The allowance is always payable in respect of the youngest child in the family. If another child is born during the course of the child’s entitlement and the entitlement is also met, the allowance for the first child will end and the allowance for the second child will begin.
Foreigners are entitled to this benefit if they have been registered to reside in the Czech Republic for more than 1 year and have a valid residence in the Czech Republic. Foreigners with an employment card have an exception.
Application for payment of parental allowance
Czech and foreign citizens submit an application to the Labour Office according to their place of residence at the moment when the maternity pay ends or when they are not entitled to it (or to sick leave). To apply, you must fill in all forms (including the questionnaire on residence), submit the child’s birth certificate and a certificate of authorised residence in the Czech Republic. The Asylum and Migration Policy Department of the Ministry of the Interior can help you with this or with the history of your residence. The Labour Office may also require other documents, such as a certificate from the Social Security Agency (ČSSZ) on the amount of income that affects entitlement to parental allowance.
Entitlement to benefits for foreign women who have lost their jobs
If a woman loses her job before she announces her pregnancy, she has basically three options:
- She can find another job so that her employee card continues to pay. This must be done within 60 days.
- Go back to her country of origin and deal with social benefits in that country.
- change your purpose of residence – it is assumed that the baby has a dad in the Czech Republic, so you can change your reason for being in the Czech Republic from work and apply for a so-called family reunification, which will transfer the purpose of residence to your partner.