Chapters of the article
Parental allowance is a state social welfare benefit. Unlike this, maternity pay falls under the health care system.
Tip: Parental leave is an important period of time to deepen your childcare. The employee is entitled to take it until the child is 3 years old. We have written everything about parental leave in our separate article.
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How to apply for parental allowance?
The application for parental allowance, or the allowance that accompanies it, is submitted to the relevant Social Support Department under the Labour Office. You can apply for it as early as three months before the end of your maternity leave, and if you don’t make it in time, you won’t lose the allowance. You can also apply for it retrospectively. If you receive maternity pay, you should also bring a certificate from the Social Security Administration that pays it.
You can also apply online, just use a data box or an electronic signature.
However, only the parent who is caring for the child full-time is eligible. This is somewhat compatible with a child attending a nursery or kindergarten until the age of two, but the number of hours spent in these facilities is limited by law. If a parent provides a nanny or a babysitter, the condition for entitlement to parental allowance is considered to be maintained. From the age of two, whether the child attends a nursery or kindergarten is no longer monitored.
Tip: Maternity leave and parental leave are two completely different institutes. They differ in everything – in the legislation on which they are based, in the length, the amount of the allowance and, to some extent, in the range of people who are entitled to it. We have discussed everything concerning maternity leave in our separate article.
Amount of parental allowance
The allowance is designed by the state as a certain amount of money (currently CZK 300 000 for one child), which a parent can gradually draw over several years. A higher amount of parental allowance is available for twins and multiples. It is up to the parent to decide whether to stay at home with the child for 2, 3 or 4 years. In practice, most parents opt for a shorter duration in order to increase the family’s monthly income.
The amount of the monthly allowance usually corresponds to the length of parental leave chosen. Thus, you will receive significantly more money for the two-year form than for the three-year form. However, it is also influenced to some extent by the amount of the parent’s income before taking parental leave. The maximum amount of parental allowance is calculated on the basis of the amount of maternity allowance received, which is set at 70% of the daily assessment base. This, in turn, is based on the amount of income from which social security and health insurance were paid before the start of maternity leave.
Parents have the option of changing the amount of their parental allowance every three months. In general, parents can withdraw the entire parental allowance no earlier than seven months after the birth of the child. In 2023, the maximum monthly parental allowance for one child is CZK 49 440.
However, as we have indicated above, if a woman received a maternity allowance of less than CZK 13,000 per month before taking parental leave, or if she was not entitled to it at all, the monthly allowance is capped at CZK 13,000.
In practice, it may happen that a recipient of parental allowance will exhaust the entire benefit before the end of the parental leave he or she originally decided to take. This happens in particular if he or she has taken an increased monthly amount. If he decides to stay on parental leave after the benefit has been exhausted, he will still be covered by the state’s health insurance, because parental leave is still ongoing and can continue until the child is three years old. His employer should hold his job during this period.
There is no limit on the amount of earnings during parental allowance, and the income earned does not affect the monthly amount of parental allowance. It is not necessary to give notice to quit your job and return to it after the parental leave. It is also possible to work for your original employer.
You can use various online calculators to work out your parental allowance.
Both Ms Lucie and Ms Zdena have the same average gross salary of CZK 42 500.Ms Lucie decides to receive parental allowance for three years, so the monthly amount of parental allowance will be CZK 8 333. However, Ms Zdena wants to receive parental allowance for two years only, the monthly amount of which will be CZK 12 500.
Unused parental allowance
The situation of families receiving parental allowance who have had an additional child during this period has changed for the better since 2021. Until then, the remainder of the parental allowance that parents had not been able to use because of the birth of another child was forfeited.
Now the Labour Office will pay the remaining amount at once. However, one important condition must be fulfilled: at least one of the parents may be assessed at the time of the birth of the second child for 70 per cent of thirty times the daily assessment base in an amount exceeding CZK 7 600. This condition is met by the second parent if he or she is duly employed.
What changes does the State plan to make to parental assistance?
In recent years, the state has come out in favour of new parents in a number of respects: whether it is the choice of the length of parental allowance and, in relation to it, the amount of the allowance or the possibility of topping up unused parental allowance for the first child in the situation when a second child is born.
Nevertheless, there are still a number of reserves in the system. Currently, politicians point in particular to the fact that the last increase in parental allowance was three years ago. Its amount is not linked to average wages or any other economic indicator, and there is no automatic indexation, such as pensions. Although parental allowance accounted for about two-thirds of the normal pension in 2011, today the ratio is about half of the normal pension. The comparison between the income of pensioners and parents of young children is appropriate because these are typically the groups most affected by poverty.
In contrast to this finding, however, we can see that food, housing and energy prices are still going up. There is now a demand from the government coalition for an increase in the total amount of the allowance by at least CZK 50 000. One of the possible conditions for drawing such an increase in the parental allowance is that the parents take turns in caring for the child, at least for a short period of time. We will see the specific form of the increase and its possible conditionality later this year.
Further financial support for new parents
In addition to the aforementioned maternity and parental allowance, other financial support parents can receive from the state includes:
- childbirth allowance,
- child benefit and
- housing allowance.
These benefits depend on your income and you apply for them at the Job Centre.