Childcare leave

Childcare leave

What is the purpose of a childcare leave?

The purpose of a childcare leave is to create conditions enabling parents or legal guardians of a child to look after their child personally. Only employees, both men and women on equal terms, are entitled to the childcare leave.

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.

The six-month period of employment also includes all the preceding periods of employment regardless of:

  • length of the breaks between the periods of employment,
  • work time basis,
  • employment contract termination.

The above mentioned period of employment includes also:

  • maternity leave,
  • periods of not performing work due to sickness,
  • other periods that are included according to the separate provisions (e.g. periods of receiving unemployment benefits, confirmed periods of employment abroad).

You have the right to the childcare leave regardless of the basis of concluding the contract of employment, type of employment contract, type of employer or work time basis.

You may divide you childcare leave into 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).

Persons not employed under an employment contract

If you work under civil (mandatory) contract, the agency contract, run a business or you are uninsured or insured in KRUS, starting from 1 September 2013 – you gain similar rights as the employees on parental leave, as their dues for persons looking after their children - are paid from the state budget.

The state budget pays the pension, disability and health insurance dues for persons who were insured at least 6 months.

For persons who are not insured or were insured less than six months – the state budget pays only the pension dues.


The leave (holiday) to which the employee acquired the right before the childcare leave is not going to be outdated. The leave (holiday) is not going to be proportionally decreased due to take the childcare leave in the same year of taking the childcare leave and returned to work afterwards.

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.