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Working during maternity and parental leave

The arrival of a new member to the family can shake up the lives of all its members. Sometimes it’s a shock for a mum to suddenly leave her job and want to earn extra money while still on maternity leave. Or on a different note, what if you’re an employer and you find that replacing an employee on parental leave works better?

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Do you have somewhere to go back to after your parental leave?

Although employees do not always return to their jobs after parental leave, employers are obliged to keep their jobs for them. It can, of course, bring in a replacement, but it must always offer the employee who returns from parental leave the same job and workplace as before.

This can only be changed by a change of employment agreement. However, it is up to the employee to agree to such changes.

The employer may only give notice for reasons specified by law, with a notice period, and in some cases must provide the employee with severance pay, for example due to organisational changes, redundancy and other reasons. If, for example, there were organisational changes, such an employee would enter into a termination agreement upon his or her return or be given notice of termination on the grounds of redundancy.

However, if this is not a legal reason and the employer does not have the possibility to assign the employee to a job that corresponds to the employment contract and they do not conclude an agreement on the change of the employment relationship, a so-called obstacle to work on the part of the employer arises. The employer must then provide the employee with wage compensation equal to 100% of the average earnings until the end of the employment relationship.

If the employee no longer wants to take up the same job, he or she may agree with the employer to terminate the employment relationship by agreement or may resign. The employment relationship will then end at the end of the notice period, which is at least two months.

Maternity leave and its benefits are intended to allow the mother to concentrate on caring for herself and her child, so she cannot take the benefit and continue working. However, it is possible to earn extra money while on maternity leave in other ways. However, there are restrictions here too.

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Work during maternity leave

If you don’t want to lose your maternity pay, be careful when working for your current employer. You can only contract with them for other work. For example, an accountant will be able to take on a contract for “administrative work” but may not do accountancy work again, even if it is part-time. Although the work itself is not prohibited by law, its performance conflicts with entitlement to maternity pay.

However, you will not lose the benefit if you take up the same position with another employer. There is one catch: you must get written consent from your original employer. This restriction does not apply to scientific, teaching, journalistic, literary or artistic activities.

If you were running a business before you started your maternity leave and paid for your health insurance, you cannot continue your business personally. The only possible solution is to find an employee. However, if the business was only a sideline to employment, maternity leave will not affect this and so you can continue it without any restrictions.

Maternity leave should allow mothers to rest and recover after giving birth. But sometimes there is no time to spare and, for example, a financial situation, a promising career or an agreement with a dad who wants to stay at home with the baby will make a new mother return to work. We have discussed in detail how to earn extra maternity pay and what you can do to avoid losing your entitlement to maternity pay in our separate article.

Working while on parental leave

After the end of entitlement to maternity pay, the parental allowance is paid. If no claim for maternity pay has been made, it can be paid from the day the child is born. The parent can choose a payment period of between six months and four years. While receiving parental allowance, the mother or father can work without any restrictions, unlike during maternity leave. It is possible to work on a contract, full-time or as a self-employed person, but it is necessary to ensure adequate childcare. The child can be placed in a nursery or kindergarten. Children under the age of two can attend these institutions for up to 92 hours a month, while there is no time limit for older children. However, if you break the 92-hour rule, the allowance will not be cancelled but only suspended.

Theparental 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.

Overall, there are far fewer restrictions than for maternity leave, which should allow parents to work, for example, part-time even while caring for a child and to better build on their existing careers after parental leave.

Beware of one thing, though. The employer is only obliged to hold the parent’s job until the child’s 3rd birthday. After that, the employment contract can be terminated. Of course, other arrangements can be mutually agreed, but there is no entitlement to them.

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.

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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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