Social Counselling

Social Security of Mothers/Foreigners

SOCIAL SECURITY AND LEGAL PROTECTION of Employed Female Foreigners and Their Families

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1. ARE YOU AN EMPLOYED FOREIGNER EXPECTING A CHILD? DO YOU KNOW WHAT MATERNITY LEAVE IS?

  • As an employee you are entitled to go on maternity leave. Maternity leave is your legal right to be absent from work due to birth giving and care of your newborn baby. It lasts 28 weeks (in case of multiple births 37 weeks).
  • You can start your maternity leave 6 to 8 weeks before the date your baby is due and must not finish earlier than 6 weeks after the birth.
  • Maternity leave must not be shorter than 14 days.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Visit your medical doctor (gynecologist) who will estimate the date when your baby is due and when you are supposed to start your maternity leave. Your gynecologist will fill in an official form, which you will submit to your employer. As an employee you are entitled to go on maternity leave.

2. DO YOU KNOW THAT DURING YOUR MATERNITY LEAVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE ONE OF TWO TYPES OF FINANCIAL BENEFITS: MATERNITY BENEFIT (MB, PENĚŽITÁ POMOC V MATEŘSTVÍ) OR SICKNESS BENEFIT (NEMOCENSKÁ)?

  • Female foreigners employed in the Czech Republic are entitled to these benefits too, if they meet the conditions to get the maternity benefits.
  • Men can also be entitled to maternity benefit if certain conditions are met.
  • You can receive the maternity benefit during the entire period of time when you are on maternity leave (28 or 37 weeks).

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS?

  1. You were participating as an employee in the sickness insurance plan for at least 270 calendar days over the last two years before the starting day of your maternity leave or you paid the insurance yourself as an entrepreneur (Notice: it is not tested if your employer paid the insurance correctly.)
  2. You are still entitled to the maternity benefit if your insurance plan expired under the condition that you are going to start your maternity leave in so called protection period. This protection period lasts 180 days. If you were employed for a shorter period of time, the protection period lasts for the same amount of days as your last employment.

HOW MUCH IS IT?

The amount of money you will receive is based on your prior earnings (e.g. if your salary was 19 000 CZK, in 2018 you will receive approx. 13 140 CZK a month).

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Apply for the maternity benefit at your employer (even if your employment ended and you are in protection period) and bring him the form from your gynecologist.

WHAT IF YOU DON NOT MEET THE CONDITIONS TO RECEIVE THE MATERNITY BENEFITS?

If you are not entitled to the maternity benefit, it is possible that you are entitled to get the sickness benefit. The sick leave starts from the 6th week before your baby is due. (The doctor will end the sickenss slip 6 weeks after delivery).

Note: If you are on sick leave due to a risky pregnancy, you will switch to maternity leave according to doctor’s decision 8-6 weeks before the birth. If you are not entitled to get the maternity benefits, you will stay on sick leave which will end 6 weeks after the birth.  

3. DO YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS ALSO A PARENTAL LEAVE?

  • Parental leave is a legal right to be absent from work. It is granted to you by your employer after you finish your maternity leave. It may also be granted to the father of the child from the date of the child’s birth. According to the Labor Code (Zákoník práce) employers must provide a mother or a father time off from work if requested.
  • Parental leave lasts until the child is 3 years old. If your child is older than 3 years of age and you want to stay home with him/her, you must apply for approved absence from work in order to take care of your child (pracovní volno z důvodů péče o dítě). This absence from work is not your right, it depends on your employer´s decision.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

Before the end of your maternity leave, you must submit a written request to your employer. Write how long your paternal leave is going to be.

4. DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN RECEIVE PARENTAL BENEFIT (RODIČOVSKÝ PŘÍSPĚVEK)?

  • Parental benefits are one of the benefits provided by the State Social Support (Státní sociální podpora, SSP)
  • Parental benefits are intended for parents who take care, properly and during the whole day, of a child under 4 years of age (the youngest child). Parents can take turns after some time in taking care of their child. (Attention! Father can apply for this benefit only as long as he is included in the child’s birth certificate.)
  • After fulfilling certain conditions, you can plan your parental benefits and to choose the length and amount of the benefit.
  • Parental benefits can be provided the longest until the child reaches the age of 4 and shortest until the total of a benefit reaches 220 000 CZK (330 000 with twins/multiple birth).
  • As a foreigner, you are entitled to this benefit if you have had residence permit for longer than one year and both you and your child have a valid residence permit in the Czech Republic.

Does it matter whether I was employed and how much did I earn? How is the amount of parental benefits decided?

  • For having the parental benefits granted, it does not matter how much do you earn in your family. The income determines only the amount of money you will receive every month.
  • The amount is decided according to your income or income of the child’s father. If your income or income of the child’s father is higher than given limit, you can choose how long do you wish to get the benefits – and according to the time, you will receive the monthly allowance.
  • Your parental allowance may reach the threshold of your PPM if you were entitled to it.
  • During the time you are getting the parental benefits, you can decide to change the length (and therefore the amount of money) once in three months and to take turns in taking care of the child.

When you cannot choose length and the amountly payment?

You do not have choice in case you did not have sickness insurance before and therefore you are not entitled to maternity benefit. The same applies in case you were an entrepreneur and you did not pay your sickness insurance.

Currently, also the father’s income and sickness insurance can be used. If none of the parents meet the conditions, the monthly payment is 7 600 CZK. 

Can the child still go to nursery school or kindergarten?

For children under 2 years of age, there is a limit of 46 hours per month to spend in nursery or kindergarten. If you need to work or run your business to some extent, you have to provide another adult responsible person to take care of your child. There are no limits for children above 2 years of age.

What to do? Where and when apply for the parental benefits?

You have to apply at the State Social Support (Státní sociální podpora, SSP) at labour offices (Úřad práce) according to your place of residence, after:

  • You have finished getting maternity benefits (peněžitá pomoc v mateřství, PPM).
  • You did not get maternity benefits, but you were on sick leave due to pregnancy and giving birth.
  • You did not get neither maternity benefits nor sick pay.
  • You got maternity benefits, but it was decided to be lower than are the parental benefits (7 600 CZK). You can apply to get the difference also during the time you are getting your maternity benefits.

The application consists of a child’s birth certificate, filled form, confirmation whether you have or not maternity benefits issued by a regional social support office (okresní/pražská správa sociálního zabezpečení), confirmation of your income, confirmation that you have a valid residence permit in the Czech Republic (or history of your stay – issued by OAMP MV), filled questionnaire about your place of residence and other attachments.  

5. DO YOU KNOW THAT OTHER TYPES OF STATE SOCIAL SUPPORT ARE AVAILABLE AS WELL?

  • BIRTH GRANT (porodné). A “birth grant” is a one-time payment given to low-income families (households) to help with expenses in connection with a first child. A woman who gives birth to her first or second child (born within the Czech Republic, i.e., prior children born outside the Czech Republic do not affect eligibility) and her family income is less than 2.7-times the subsistence minimum is eligible for this payment. The one-time payment is 13 000 CZK for the first child and 10 000 for the second child.
  • If the family (household) income is low, you can apply for child welfare support (přídavek na dítě) or housing support (příspěvek na bydlení). However, it depends on your residence permit.

6. DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE YOU ARE PROTECTED BY LAW? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR EMPLOYEE RIGHTS ARE?

► TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT BY RECEIVING NOTICE

  • The Labor Code guarantees so called protection period during your pregnancy, maternity and parental leave. It means that you cannot be given notice (with the exception of some structural changes) or dismissed by your employer during the protected period.
  • Note! Be aware, that the protection period does not apply in case your employment was terminated during probation period, or if the employment ended by mutual agreement and also in case your contract was only for limited time.

► RETURN TO WORK

If you return to work after the end of your maternity leave, you are entitled to the same position and work place you had had prior to maternity leave. If you return after parental leave when your child is up to three years of age, you are entitled to any position and workplace which is in terms with your contract.

► TRANSITION TO A DIFFERENT POSITION

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding employees and mothers of children who are up to 9 months old are prohibited to perform dangerous types of work and work in dangerous type of workplaces (where they are exposed to radiation, toxics, lifting heavy loads…)
  • If you have any type of work like this, your employer must transfer you to a different position.
  • If in this case your income is reduced, you are entitled to receive compensatory benefit in pregnancy and maternity (vyrovnávací příspěvek v těhotenství a mateřství, type of sickness insurance benefit).
  • The Labor Code also provides further protection for caretakers of children – the adjustment of working conditions.

Useful links:

While the content of this text is believed to be correct as of the date of issue it should only be considered informational in nature. For further information you can inquire at the counselling centres of the Centre for Integration of Foreigners.

This  text was issued as part of a project supported by European Fund for the Integration of Third Countries Nationals.

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