#LifeInCzechia Maternity leave is a crucial aspect of employment policies worldwide, designed to support and protect the rights of working mothers during the period surrounding childbirth. In the Czech Republic, the government has implemented a comprehensive maternity leave system to ensure the well-being of both mother and child. Find out about the duration, eligibility, benefits, and legal framework.
How does maternity leave work?
To qualify for maternity leave benefits, a woman must meet the legal conditions, which differ for employees and self-employed persons. The most important is to have been covered by sickness insurance for at least 270 calendar days in the two years preceding the date of taking up maternity leave.
However, you do not have to meet this condition with the same employer, so you can add up the days worked in different jobs.
NOTE: Did your insurance end during pregnancy? There is a basic protection period of 180 calendar days from the date of termination of insurance (leaving employment).
Anyone who does not meet the above conditions can ask for a parental allowance immediately after birth.
In the Czech Republic, maternity leave is regulated by the Act No. 187/2006 Coll. on Sickness Insurance, as amended. Pregnant employees are entitled to maternity leave lasting a total of 28 weeks (or 37 weeks with 2+ children). This period is divided into two segments:
- the prenatal leave, which starts 6-8 weeks before the expected due date,
- the postnatal leave, which covers the remaining 20-22 weeks.
However, the postnatal leave can be extended in the case of multiple births or complications.
How much is maternity leave?
During the maternity leave period, eligible mothers are entitled to receive maternity benefits. These benefits are provided by the state social security system and are calculated based on the mother’s average earnings.
The benefit is 70% of the reduced average daily income. The average daily income is calculated by multiplying the gross monthly salary by 12 and then dividing the total by 365. This sum needs to be reduced according to the 3 reduction thresholds – note that these change every year.
The Czech Republic prioritizes the protection of working mothers, and employers are prohibited from terminating an employment contract during maternity leave. Plus, mothers returning from maternity leave are entitled to resume their previous job or a comparable position with the same or similar working conditions.
The Czech Social Security Administration (CSSA) takes care of maternity pay. In order to receive the benefit, you must first fill in a form called the Application for Maternity Benefit issued by the attending doctor (gynecologist) with the expected date of childbirth. Your employer forwards this document to the relevant CSSA.
If you want to feel at home, check out our categories of “Health” and “Practical tips for expats” where you will find interesting information about the Czech Republic and recommendations on how to make your life here easier.
Sources: Sickness insurance,