All pregnant employees who work under a contract of employment in Poland are entitled to maternity leave (urlop macierzyński) of twenty weeks, six of which can be taken before the due date. In the case of a multiple birth, the leave is extended to:
• 31 weeks – if two children are born
• 33 weeks – if three children are born
• 35 weeks – if four children are born
• 37 weeks – if five and more children are born
If the mother wishes to return to work earlier, she can use only the compulsory minimum of 14 weeks’ leave. The rest of the leave can be then taken by the child's father.
During the period of pregnancy, maternity leave and parental leave, the employee is protected from dismissal by labour law and their contract can only be terminated in limited circumstances, such as gross misconduct on the part of the employee.
Additionally, new mothers are entitled to 32 weeks (or 34 weeks in the case of a multiple birth) of parental leave (urlop rodzicielski) once maternity leave ends. Parental leave, which can be split between parents, is taken by the employee upon written request, no later than 21 days after the child’s birth.
In total, the employee is granted at least 52 weeks of paid leave in order to take care of their newborn child. They can receive maternity pay (zasiłek macierzyński) in the amount of:
• 100 per cent of their salary during maternity leave if they have not applied for parental leave
• 80 per cent of the salary for the duration of both maternity leave and parental leave if the application is submitted no later than 21 days after the child's birth
• 100 per cent of the salary during maternity leave and 60 per cent during parental leave if the application has not been submitted within the 21-day limit.
Parental leave and work
It is possible to work half-time while being on parental leave, with the employer's consent. The allowance is then reduced accordingly and the leave gets extended to a maximum of 64 or 68 weeks.
All insured fathers are entitled to two weeks of paid paternity leave (urlop ojcowski), which can be used until the child is 24 months old. Paternity leave is granted upon written request of the employee and paid in the amount of 100 per cent of the salary.