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Maternity - Paternity benefits

Maternity - paternity benefits

The Act on Maternity/Paternity Leave and Parental Leave no 95/2000.

Who is entitled?
Parents, both the mother and father, are entitled to payments from the Maternity/Paternity Leave Fund, after he/she has been active in the domestic labour market for six consecutive months prior to the first day of the maternity/paternity leave. Parents who are studying or without attachment to the labour market are also entitled to benefits.
Parental Leave
Parents, both the mother and the father, have an independent right to maternity/paternity leave of up to three months due to a birth, adoption or the taking of a child into permanent foster care. The father's right however will gradually increase from one month up to three months from January 2001 to January 2003. In addition parents have a joint right to three additional months, which may either be taken entirely by one of the parents or else divided between them.  The parents can choose to take the leave at their convenience in an 18 months period following the birth.

The amount of benefit is 80% of gross average salary of the parent taking the leave. Salaries that are taken into account are salaries over a 12 months period that ends 2 months before the birth. While there is a minimum benefit, there is no upper ceiling on payments. Parents who are studying or without attachment to the labour market have a right to a standard rate maternity allowance paid over a 9 months period.

How to obtain benefits
To apply for parental benefits an application shall be sent to the pension department of the SSI or its offices around the country.  To receive benefits various certificates and forms need to be submitted.

The cost of the maternity/paternity insurance is borne by the Maternity/Paternity Leave Fund which is financed through the collection of insurance levy (cf. Insurance Levy Act).

In the event of disputes arising under the Act on Maternity/Paternity Leave and Parental Leave the applicant may submit a complaint in writing to a Complaints Board within three months from the time the party to the dispute was notified of the relevant decision.

The members of the three-man Complaints Board are appointed by the Minister of Social Affairs. One is appointed without nomination and two are nominated by the Supreme Court. 

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