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Childcare leave

This article is written according to the legal status current as of: 2017-01-05

Childcare leave

What is the purpose of the childcare leave?

The purpose of the leave is to create conditions enabling parents or guardians to provide personal care for a small child. The right to take advantage of this leave may be granted only to employees (to woman and man on an equal terms).

How long may the childcare leave last and who is entitled to it?

If you have been employed for the period of at least six months, you are entitled to the childcare leave that may last up to three years, but not beyond the end of calendar year when the child is six.

To the 6-month period of employment are included previous periods of employment, regardless of:

  • the length of breaks between periods of employment,
  • the working time,
  • the way the employment contracts were terminated.

To the period of employment are also included:

  • maternity leave,
  • work inactivity due to illness,
  • and the periods included in seniority on the basis of special regulations:
    • the period of receiving the unemployment allowance,
    • documented periods of abroad employment.

You are entitled to the leave regardless of the basis of an employment relationship, type of employment contract, the type of an employer, and working time.

You are not entitled to the childcare leave if you:

  • perform work on a basis other than an employment relationship, for example, on the basis of mandatory agreement, contract for specific work or agency agreement,
  • are self-employed (if you conduct your own business)

Childcare leave can be divided maximally in five parts.

Your employer grants you the childcare leave at your written request, where you indicate when you start and finish your leave, if she submits the application for the childcare leave at least 21 days before the start of your leave.
The employer is obliged to grant you the childcare leave.

It is vital that you decide when you take your childcare leave, how you divide it and how long every part will continue. Both if the parents can take the childcare leave at the same time.

During the childcare leave you do not perform work, however, it is included in the seniority that entitles you to the special employee’s rights.

During your childcare leave you are protected from the termination of the employment contract (article 1861 of the Labour Code).

Family and childcare allowance

If you decide to take advantage of the childcare leave you may also simultaneously receive the family and childcare allowance. However, certain conditions must be fulfilled.

You are entitled to the childcare allowance during childcare leave yet no longer than:

  • 24 calendar months,
  • 36 calendar months, if you look after more than one baby born at one birth,
  • 72 calendar months, if you look after a child with disabilities or severe disabilities

You do not receive the childcare allowance if you:

  • have not worked for over a six month period directly before starting the childcare leave,
  • have undertaken or continued employment or other paid work which makes impossible for you to take personal care for a child during the childcare leave,
  • have placed the child in the facility that provides round the clock care, including a special purpose school and educational center, and used it with full time care for more than five days a week; in a crèche or kindergarten, with the exception of a child staying in a health care institution;
  • in the period of the childcare leave you have taken advantage of the maternity allowance.

Remember! All the materials posted on the portal www.zielonalinia.gov.pl have been drawn up by the editorial group and are for your information. The editors have put a considerable effort to make the provided information accurate and reliable. However, the information does not constitute a binding interpretation of the law.