Maternity allowance (Peněžitý příspěvek v mateřství) is a benefit which is paid in connection with pregnancy, maternity and newborn care. It is paid from the first day of maternity leave, which starts six to eight weeks before the planned birth. When exactly the maternity leave starts is up to the mother-to-be, but no later than six weeks before the birth. If the pregnant woman starts it less than 6 weeks before the childbirth, the benefit is reduced.
Maternity benefit is covered by sickness insurance (a part of social insurance). You are eligible if you were participating in the sickness insurance for at least 270 calendar days during past 24 months, and:
- If you are employed (on full time, or part time, or “DPČ”, but usually not a “DPP” type of contract),
- If you are self-employed and voluntarily paying “sickness insurance” at least 180 days in the last 12 months,
- If you terminated one job and had not yet started a new one and find out that you are pregnant, then there is a so-called “protection period” of 180 days. It means that from the day you terminated your last job you have 180 days for entering maternity leave.
When the mother-to-be does not meet the requirements above, then the father can receive the allowance. The father can first take maternity leave after six weeks of childbirth, in which case he receives 21 weeks of maternity leave. Even fathers must meet the conditions regarding the insurance period to be entitled to maternity leave.
The request for Maternity allowance is issued by a gynecologist, and the woman hands it to her employer (self-employed persons at the Czech Social Security Office).
The benefit period begins with the start of maternity leave. The length of support is 28 weeks. For a woman who has given birth to two or more children at the same time the support is 37 weeks. The sum of money you are entitled to is based on your prior earnings, you can check the amount of benefits on the online calculator.