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First, let’s summarise very briefly what is meant by the word paternity leave. It is a leave with wage compensation that allows fathers to help their wives or girlfriends care for their newborn babies. The father of the child is entitled to fourteen days of leave within six weeks of the birth (or later if the child had to be hospitalised after birth). The father can choose the specific start date himself. However, paternity leave should not be confused with long-term care for a young child up to the age of three or four. In that case, it is parental leave.
Another option for entitlement to this allowance is if the insured person has taken the child into care in lieu of parental care (typically adoption), if the child has not yet reached the age of seven. It is also payable to a father whose child is stillborn or dies within 6 weeks of the date of birth. Even in these cases, paternity pay is available within six weeks of the events giving rise to entitlement.
The amount of paternity allowance is the same even if the mother has twins or more children. The same principle applies in the case of adoption or death of a newborn child.
Tip: We have discussed the exact definition of paternity leave and entitlement to it in a separate article.
Where can I apply for paternity leave?
The competent authority for this benefit is the District Social Security Administration. If you are a classic employee, you must apply through your employer. If you work as a self-employed person, you should contact the Social Security Administration directly.
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What do you need to submit with your application?
First of all, you must complete the Application for Paternity Allowance form. Here you fill in details of the newborn child, including the birth number, in addition to information about yourself and your employer, if applicable. The baby’s father must be on the baby’s birth certificate. If you are applying for paternity pay when you take the child into adoptive or foster care, you must also provide the court order giving custody of the child.
The basic condition for entitlement is that you have been on sickness insurance (typically employment) for at least three months before you start parental leave.
The time limit for processing and payment of the benefit is one month from the date on which the district administration receives the application for paternity leave.
How to calculate the paternity allowance for employees?
As a father, you are entitled to 70% of the reduced daily assessment base per calendar day for the care of your baby . Your daily assessment base is the decisive factor for calculating the final amount. This is calculated as the sum of your gross income divided by the number of calendar days (the calculation is usually based 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 2023, the following reduction thresholds apply:
- The first reduction limit is CZK 1 345
- The second reduction threshold is CZK 2 017
- The third reduction threshold is CZK 4 033
The amount of CZK 1,345 is counted 100% for paternity pay, the amount of CZK 2,017 is counted 60% and the amount of CZK 4,033 is counted 30%.
Thewage replacement for working days is set at 70% of the reduced earnings.
Example calculation: Mr Běhal has an average gross monthly income of CZK 50 000 for the last 12 months. The unreduced daily assessment base is 1 643,84 (annual total income divided by 365 days)
We then reduce the daily assessment base:
- First reduction limit: up to CZK 1 345, the reduction is applied at 100%, i.e. CZK 1 345
- Second reduction limit (not used in full): (1 643,84 – 1 345) x 60% = CZK 178,8
- The third reduction threshold does not apply in this case
The reduced average daily earnings will be CZK 1,525 and the wage replacement for the 14 days of paternity leave will be CZK 21,360. Consequently, 70% of this amount will be CZK 14 952 and the daily paternity allowance will be CZK 1 068.
The maximum amount of the fortnightly paternity allowance may be CZK 20 874 in 2023. The amount is always paid back into a bank account.
However, you do not need to remember the formulas, reduction thresholds or percentage amounts. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’ calculatorcan help you calculate the amount of paternity allowance.
How do they calculate paternity pay for self-employed workers?
Men who are self-employed are entitled to this benefit provided they have paid sickness insurance for at least three months before taking paternity leave.
Theminimum contribution to sickness insurance for self-employed workers in 2023 is CZK 168. This is the amount you must pay as a sole trader, even if your calculated average is lower. If you only pay this amount in advance for three months, your father will only get parental leave of 2,335 crowns.
If you do not normally pay sick pay advances and would consider paying solely to claim paternity pay, it is certainly worth calculating in advance whether it would be worthwhile for you. Take into account the paperwork involved and the fact that as a self-employed person, you must not be gainfully employed while on paternity leave.