Parental Leave: How does parental leave and pay work in Poland?

Article author
Wioleta MIodowska
  • Updated

In Poland there are two types of parental leave dedicated to both mothers and fathers:

  • Parental leave (urlop rodzicielski) - the condition for an employee to take parental leave, regardless of which of the parents of the child will use it, is the earlier use of maternity leave
  • Extended Parental Leave (urlop wychowawczy) - to qualify for this leave, the employee must have been employed for a minimum of 6 months, including any previous periods of work.

In this article we cover:

How does parental leave work?

Duration of parental leave
Parental leave is granted for a period up to:

  • up to 41 weeks - in the case of giving birth to one child in one delivery
  • up to 43 weeks - in the case of multiple births
  • up to 65 weeks (in the case of giving birth to one child) or up to 67 weeks (in the case of giving birth to twins) - for seriously ill/disabled children

When can I start my parental leave?

Parental leave may start once the maternity leave ends and it may be used:

  • entirely by the mother or the father, however 9 weeks of parental leave is at the exclusive disposal of the other parent, it cannot be transferred to the mother, for example, if the father does not want to use it), so in fact mother is entitled to 32 weeks of parental leave and father to 9 weeks, together 41.
  • alternately by both parents who divide the leave between them
  • simultaneously by both mother and father - in this case the periods of using this leave by the mother and father sum up and may not exceed the statutory amount provided.

Parental leave may be used once or not more than 4 parts and not later than the end of the calendar year in which the child turns 6 years of age. One part of leave should be a period of at least 8 weeks.

Will I be paid during my parental leave?
Employees are entitled to allowance during parental leave. It amounts to: 

  • 70% for the entire period of parental leave or
  • 81.5% for the basic period of parental leave - however, this solution will be applied if, within 21 days after giving birth, the mother submits an application to ZUS or the employer for payment of the benefit for the period of maternity and parental leave. However, then for the additional 9 weeks of leave entitled to the other parent, the benefit will be due in the amount of 70%.

How does extended parental leave work?

Duration of extended parental leave

The leave is granted for a period of up to 36 months, in a period not longer than the end of the calendar year in which the child turns 6 years of age. Parents of a disabled child may use an additional 36 months of leave until the child reaches 18 years of age.

When can I start my extended parental leave?
Within the 36-month period of parental leave, 1 month is intended only for the other parent. For example: mother takes 35 months and father takes 1 month or vice versa. If the entitlement is exercised by only one of the parents or guardians, the duration of the leave may not exceed 35 months. One parent can take the entire 36 months of leave if: the other parent died, does not have parental rights ot has had their parental rights restricted or suspended. 

Will I be paid during my extended parental leave?
The period of extended parental leave is unpaid, parents may apply for a childcare allowance from the government duration of this leave.

Disclaimer: Please be advised that the information provided is for general guidance only and should not be considered legal advice. Clients are strongly encouraged to contact the Lifecycle - Time & Attendance team for expert guidance and assistance in navigating the intricate landscape of time off requirements in Poland. Consulting with our team is imperative to ensure compliance with local employment standards legislation and clearly understand the stipulated time off and attendance related requirements. Your proactive engagement with the Time & Attendance team is vital to making informed decisions and adhering to all relevant regulations.

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