Care allowances

The care allowance is payable to an insured person during a period of leave resulting from the necessity to take personal care of:

  • a healthy child under 8 years of age in cases of:
    • unforeseen closure of a crèche, nursery school or infant/primary school, and a children’s club,
    • childbirth or illness of the insured person’s spouse or parent who provides the child’s constant care, if the confinement or illness prevents this parent from exercising due care,
    • the admittance of this parent to hospital,
    • illness of the nanny with whom parents have signed an activating agreement or the child’s daily caregiver;
  • a sick child under 14 years of age;
  • other sick member of the family.

The care allowance is payable for a period of:

  • no longer than 60 days in a calendar year – in the case of the care of a healthy child under 8 years of age or a sick child under 14 years of age;
  • not more than 14 days in a calendar year – in the case of the care of a sick child aged more than 14 years or another sick member of the family.

The total allowance period in respect of the care of children and other family members may not exceed 60 days in a calendar year.

The following are considered as children: the biological children of the insured or his/her spouse and adopted children, as well as other children who have been taken in to be brought up and maintained. The term ‘family members’ means: a spouse, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and children above 14 years of age – if within the period of taking care – they live in the same household with the insured person.

The right to a care allowance is acquired by the insured person from the first day of the sickness insurance coverage. Both the child’s mother and father are entitled to a care allowance, however the allowance is payable only to one of them – depending on who takes care of the child and who has claimed the allowance for a given period.

All persons covered by the sickness insurance, both on a compulsory and voluntary basis, are entitled to a care allowance.

The insured person is awarded the allowance only in a situation whereby other persons of the common household are unable to take care of the child or another family member. While during a period of personal care for a sick child under 2 years of age a care allowance is granted even when other members of family are able to provide such care.

The following persons living in a common household who could provide care are not considered as family members:

  • a person completely incapable of work,
  • a sick person or a person who due to age is physically or mentally disabled,
  • a person running a farm or non-agricultural business activity, who has no flexibility in regulating his or her hours of work.

The insured father of a child has also the additional eight weeks care allowance, i.e. 56 days aft er the birth of a child, if he exercises the personal care over the newborn child and the child’s mother during her maternity leave (up to eight weeks) is in hospital or has a decision about inability to an independent existence, and her health makes it impossible to provide personal care for a child, or a certificate of disability in a significant way.

In determining entitlement and the amount of care allowance in respect of care of a sick child over 14 years of age or other sick family member the proof to certify temporary incapacity for work is determined in the same way as in establishing the right to sickness allowance.

An additional care allowance is also awarded to an insured member of the immediate family (e.g. the child’s grandmother) who ceases employment to take personal care of the child.

The allowance is payable at a rate of 80% of the sickness allowance calculati on basis.

The care allowance basis is calculated in the same way as the basis for sickness allowance.

The expenditure on care allowances in 2016 amounted to PLN 790.1 million.

ZUS pays care allowance to employees in companies employing up to 20 employees. In workplaces employing more than 20 workers care allowance is paid by the employer. In both cases, care allowance is financed from the Social Insurance Fund.

(Note: 1 EUR = ca 4.26 PLN)