Parental leave: everything you need to know about starting, duration and earnings

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 employment or a trade? That’s what we look at in our article.

maminka s dítětem na rodičovské dovolené
7 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

When does parental leave become payable?

Parental leave starts immediately after the end of maternity leave, i.e. 28 weeks after the birth of the child. It follows on smoothly and can last for three or up to four years. Unlike maternity leave, both mothers and fathers can apply for parental leave and can take it in turns to care for the child. In the future, alternating between both parents could even be a condition for receiving a higher amount of parental allowance. This is at least what the government is now debating. Adoptive parents are also entitled to parental allowance.

In some cases, parental allowance can follow immediately after the birth of the child if entitlement to maternity assistance has not arisen, for example for mothers who are self-employed and have not paid their sickness insurance. By law, the employer is obliged to grant parental leave until the child is 3 years old. If a parent wants to take parental leave until the child is 4 years old, they must agree this with their employer.

However, it is important to distinguish between entitlement to parental leave in the sense of time off work and entitlement to parental allowance. It is payable to a parent who personally cares for the youngest child in the family on a full-time and proper basis for a whole calendar month until the total amount of CZK 300 000 is exhausted, up to a maximum of 4 years of age. The specific amount of the monthly allowance then depends on several circumstances, but primarily on how you set the total duration of the allowance. So, in certain circumstances, you can withdraw the whole amount in one year and have a monthly income of 25,000, but spread over three years you have a third of that amount per month. However, taking the full amount in one year does not mean that you have to go back to your original job afterwards. You can start a business or get a job.

However, there is one more milestone that is important, and that is the child’s third birthday. This is when your employer’s obligations to you as an employee continue. First of all, to keep your job. If you decide to stay on parental leave longer, you may lose your job.

The parental allowance, paid during parental leave, is state support for parents caring for their youngest children. What are the conditions of this benefit this year and what changes are planned for the future? This is the focus of our article.

Are you dealing with a problem related to parental leave?

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Working while on parental leave

For many families, the parental allowance alone is not enough to cover all their costs, and no wonder. With standard payments spread over three years, a caring parent receives CZK 8333 per month. For most people, this represents a dramatic drop in their standard of living compared to their previous income from employment. Moreover, at the same time as costs have risen significantly. The solution may, of course, be to use savings, to reduce the length of parental leave to one year, for example, or to use the possibility of earning extra money during parental leave. Employees can work virtually unlimited hours during parental leave, both for their current employer and for a completely different one. However, there are differences.

Unlike maternity leave, you are allowed to return to your original job under your original contract of employment during the period of parental leave. However, this means that you de facto lose your parental leave and you are not even in the protection period that would protect you from dismissal.

Thus, employment within the same employer is usually dealt with by means of one of the agreements, i.e. a work activity agreement or a work performance agreement, under the conditions defined for them by the Labour Code. An amendment to the Labour Code is currently being prepared which would bring these arrangements more closely into line with the traditional employment relationship, for example by introducing holiday entitlement, etc.

The basic limitation for this type of cooperation lies in the type of work performed. You must not perform work for the same employer in a subsequent employment relationship that is of the same type as the work in the original employment contract. You can therefore only do different work.

Example: Mrs Tereza worked as a lawyer in the office. She had a varied agenda which consisted of preparing litigation decisions, various legal opinions, etc. When, during her parental leave, she arranged with her employer to earn extra income on a work arrangement, it was not possible under current legislation for her to continue to prepare decisions as before. However, to their mutual satisfaction, they agreed to cooperate with the press department, for which she prepared information on important changes in legislation or key decisions of the authority for the regular newsletter.

If you work for another employer, you are no longer limited by the type of work. Of course, you don’t have to give notice in your current job, where the job is held. The only essential condition is that you obtain written consent from your current employer. Such a restriction does not only apply to scientific, teaching, journalistic, literary and artistic activities. So if you want to give a lecture or write a book while you are a parent, you should not be prevented from taking off.

The only thing you need to ensure that you do not lose your parental allowance is proper supervision of your child. There is one more condition, namely full-time care of the child. If the parent arranges for a nanny, nursery or babysitter, the condition for entitlement to parental allowance is maintained. However, children under the age of two can spend a maximum of 92 hours per month in a nursery or kindergarten. From the age of two, whether a child attends a nursery or kindergarten is no longer monitored.

Tip: Your employer offers you a work agreement. Is it a good deal for them in particular or can it bring benefits to you as well? In our article, we will also look at the possible alternatives and summarise the tax treatment of this type of contract. Another option is to conclude a work performance agreement. What to look out for when entering into one and what are its advantages? We have looked at both types of agreements in our articles.

Trade during parental leave

There is no problem with a trade while on parental leave either. There is no restriction on its operation during this period. You must, of course, comply with all of the ná’s allowed. A parent who receives parental allowance and is also running a business can carry out her trade without restrictions. In this case, he or she is classified as self-employed (self-employed) for a secondary activity. During the first year of the business, there is no need to pay insurance contributions. In the following years, the insurance contributions are determined according to the amount of the tax base.

Even if you are self-employed, the above-mentioned full-time childcare requirement applies.

Tip: If your trade is considered secondary because of parental leave, you can benefit from many advantages. These include lower pension and health insurance contributions. We have described the various benefits of being a sideline business in more detail in our article.

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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.

Education
  • 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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