Maternity allowances

Maternity allowance is granted to an insured woman who within the period of sickness insurance or within the period of child-care leave:

  • gave birth to a child,
  • took a child under seven years of age to be brought up and applied to the guardian court for its adoption,
  • took a child under seven years of age to be brought up in a foster family, with the exception of a professional foster family.

The allowance is also payable in the event of a decision being issued on the postponing school obligation of a child under ten years of age who was taken to be brought up.

The maternity allowance is also payable to an insured man who takes a child to be brought up, under the same principles as to an insured woman. If the insured woman dies or abandons her child, the maternity allowance is awarded to the insured father of the child or another insured member of the immediate family who ceases employment or other gainful activity to take personal care of the child.

Maternity allowance is also granted if the child is born after the termination of insurance, in the case whereby employment ceased during pregnancy as a result of bankruptcy or liquidation of the employer, or due to a violation of the law, if this was confirmed by a final court judgement. If the employment was terminated during pregnancy as a result of bankruptcy or liquidation of the employer and the woman was not provided with other employment, she is entitled to an allowance payable until the childbirth at the rate of maternity allowance.

Maternity allowance is granted without any qualifying period.

The period of payment of the maternity allowance in respect of childbirth or in respect of taking a child to be brought up depends on the number of children born in one confinement or taken to be brought up and equals:

  • 20 weeks – in the case of a single birth or one child taken to be brought up,
  • 31 weeks – if two children have been born in one confinement or have been simultaneously taken,
  • 33 weeks – if three children have been born in one confinement or have been simultaneously taken,
  • 35 weeks – if four children have been born in one confinement or have been simultaneously taken,
  • 37 weeks – if five or more children have been born in one confinement or have been simultaneously taken, however for not longer than until the child reaches the age of 7 or 10 years (with regard to a child in relation to whom a decision was issued on postponing school obligation).

The minimum period of a maternity allowance payment in respect of taking a child aged up to 7 or 10 years respectively equals 9 weeks.

When a female employee who gave birth to a child requires hospital care and cannot take care of the child in this period, after taking advantage of 8 weeks of the maternity allowance period following confinement she may interrupt the leave. During this period, the insured father of the child may take advantage of the maternity allowance. The total maternity allowance period cannot exceed the full period of the maternity allowance payment.

An insured woman who gave birth to a child is also entitled to a maternity allowance for the period of additional maternity leave, with the following duration:

  • no longer than 6 weeks – in the case of a single birth,
  • no longer than 8 weeks – in the case of a multiple birth.

The insured woman who took a child to bring up is also entitled to a maternity allowance for the period of additional maternity leave under the principles of the maternity leave, with the following duration:

  • no longer than 6 weeks – in the case of taking one child,
  • no longer than 8 weeks – in the case of taking more than one child simultaneously,
  • not longer than 3 weeks – if she has the right to minimum leave under the principles of the maternity leave, of a 9-week duration.

The maternity allowance for the period of additional maternity leave or additional maternity leave under the principles of the maternity leave may be used once or in two parts falling directly one after the other, at the rate of one week or a multiple thereof. Within the framework of the above given rate of maternity allowance parents may share these entitlements.

In respect of child birth or taking a child under the age of 7 or 10 years to bring up there is also granted a maternity allowance for a period of parental leave at the rate of up to 26 weeks regardless of the number of children born in one confinement or taken for upbringing. Both of the child’s parents are eligible for maternity allowance at the same time, but at a rate not exceeding 26 weeks.
The maternity allowance for the period of parental leave may be also used in parts, up to three, and each part may be granted in multiple weeks, but may not be shorter than 8 weeks. Parts of the parental leave and the maternity allowance must accrue directly one after the other.

An insured father bringing up a child is entitled to a maternity allowance in the course of paternity leave, which is payable for a period of two weeks, however for no longer than until the child has reached the age of 12 months, and in the case of a child taken to be brought up – for no longer than until the lapse of 12 months after the decision on adoption becomes final and no longer than until the child has reached the age of 7 or 10 years respectively.

The maternity allowance is payable at the rate of:

  • 100% of the assessment basis for a period corresponding to the maternity leave, leave upon the principles of maternity leave, additional maternity leave, additional leave upon the principles of maternity leave and paternity leave,
  • 80% of the assessment basis – if an application for full rates of maternity allowance for periods corresponding to these periods of leave is filed within 14 days after childbirth or after the child was taken to be brought up, and the application was filed with a court responsible for the initiating of child adoption proceedings, or after the child was taken to be brought up in a foster family,
  • 60% of the assessment basis – for the period of parental leave.

If the maternity allowance was payable at the rate of 80% of the assessment basis and the child’s mother wavers additional maternity leave or additional leave upon the principles of maternity leave in a whole or in part and parental leave in a whole, the child’s mother is entitled to a lump-sum payment in lieu of the maternity leave of up to 100% of the assessment basis for a period corresponding to the maternity leave itself, leave upon the principles of maternity leave, additional maternity leave and additional leave upon the principles of maternity leave, provided that the insured child’s father does not apply for the maternity allowance for the parental leave period not taken up by the child’s mother.

The rate of the maternity allowance is reduced in proportion to the working time of the employee during additional maternity leave, additional leave upon the principles of maternity leave or parental leave.
The basis for maternity allowance assessment is calculated in the same way as the basis for sickness allowance assessment.

The expenditure on maternity allowances in 2014 amounted to PLN 6,735.9 million.
The maternity allowance is payable by the employer (employing more than 20 persons) or by the Social Insurance Institution, and is financed from the Social Insurance Fund.


(Note: 1 EUR = ca 4.32 PLN)