Family & pregnancy
- Expectant mothers who hold either a long-term EU-residence or a permanent residence permit have the right to receive all services concerning prenatal care free of charge.
- Women with permanent residence permit have the right to free health care during and after pregnancy, even if they are not insured.
- On the other hand, those who are granted a temporary residence permit or possess only a visa, have to be insured in order to get the free access to the mentioned services.
Right after the birth, you should sort out the legal status of your baby. There can be the following cases:
- one of the baby’s parents is a Pole – the newborn is automatically given the Polish citizenship; remember to write down the parent’s details in the birth certificate; then the baby does not need the permit to stay on the territory of Poland. If they want their child to have the citizenship of the other parent, then they have to file a citizenship selection declaration at the right Voivodship Office within 3 months from the date of the birth. At that time the baby needs to have the permit to stay in Poland,
- one of the baby’s parents has a Polish Card or another document confirming their Polish origin – in such case the newborn may be granted the same legal status (including permanent residence permit),
- neither of the baby’s parents is a Pole but one of them has a permanent residence permit on the territory of Poland – the newborn should be granted the same type of permission if only it was born while the parents owed the permit or had a valid temporary permit; otherwise they can apply for the temporary residence permit on the basis of family relations,
- one of the baby’s parents has a visa or a temporary residence permit – the baby can be granted the same type of permission, if it was born while the visa or permit was valid; here the parent is required to have health insurance or a confirmation of healthcare cost coverage as well as a regular and stable source of income.
The duration of the maternity leave concerning the birth of one child amounts to 20 weeks. Afterwards, there is a possibility to take an additional maternity leave for another 6 weeks. You can also make use of 26 weeks of parental leave. So in total, the length of the paid leaves concerning the birth of one child amounts to 52 weeks. If the pregnancy is plural, the leave is lengthened.
Maternity leave may be divided between the parents of the new-born child. However, the first 14 weeks belong only to the mother and cannot be given to her partner.
Paternity leave may be taken by fathers who work on the basis of the employment contract or the fee-for-task agreement as well as if they run their own business activities as long as they pay the sickness insurance contribution. Fathers have 2 weeks of the paternity leave which can be used within 2 years.
The above-mentioned leaves are paid. You can choose between two possibilities:
- 100% of the remuneration for the period of the first 26 weeks of the leave and 60% for the next 26 weeks (parental leave),
- 80% of the pay for the period of 52 weeks.
The employee cannot be made redundant from the day of applying for a childcare leave till the last day of the leave.
An unpaid extended post-maternity leave is an option for women who intend to spend time with their children for a longer period. The maximum length of it amounts to 3 years and it has to be used until the child is 6 years old.
Parents of children aged up to 14 years have the right to 2 paid days off (or 16 hours) for family reasons during a calendar year, due to an occasional chldcare leave.
MOTHER'S RIGHTS AT WORK
- Nursing breaks - the Polish law has established the right to breastfeeding within two 30-minute breaks per day. They are counted as regular paid hours. Breastfeeding more than one child enables to two 45-minute breaks. However, the breaks do not belong to mothers who work less than 4 hours daily. Those who are at work from 4 to 6 hours a day, have the right to one single break.
- Occasional childcare leave - parents of children aged up to 14 years have the right to 2 paid days off (or 16 hours) for family reasons during a calendar year.
Transferring unemployment benefits (European Economic Area + Switzerland)
Unemployment benefit is one of the social assistance benefits which enables to receive financial support while searching for a job. Many people think that emigration within the EU causes the loss of the right to the benefit, though, there is still the possibility of receiving it after meeting certain conditions.
Due to the European coordination of social security schemes, unemployment benefits may be transferred to a different country; it means that you have the possibility of keeping the right to the benefit from the country where you have been registered as an unemployed jobseeker for at least 4 weeks after becoming unemployed. The unemployed is entitled to the benefit for the period of 3 months, however, it may be extended up to a maximum of 6 months. Since there are some exceptions, for more information, go to the regulation on the coordination of social security systems.
Family benefits (świadczenia rodzinne) apply to the following foreigners:
- EU and EEA citizens,
- if it results from bilateral agreements concerning social security,
- who stay on the territory of Poland on the basis of a permanent residence permit, long-term EU-resident permit, or temporary residence permit (the latter under some additional conditions),
- have the residence card stating “access to the labour market”, excluding third-country nationals who received the permit for work in an EU member state for a period not exceeding 6 months, as well as those who arrived in Poland in order to undertake studies or those who have the right to work on the basis of their visas.
Family benefits are granted to foreigners who stay on the territory of Poland during the period in which they receive the benefits, unless bilateral regulations or regulations concerning the coordination of social security schemes provide otherwise.
The benefits include two main forms of assistance:
- becikowe, which is an allowance of 1000 PLN for the birth of a child,
- ‘Family 500+’ programme, a monthly allowance that is granted to families which have 2 or more children for each child. Families with one child are not entitled to receive the allowance unless the income in a family per capita is 800 PLN or less.
Family tax relief is the most popular and beneficial tool of tax deduction. In principle, it is granted to those who raise minor children (up to 18 years old); these are parents and foster parents, as well as legal guardians, but only if the child has lived with them during the tax year. Raising a child above 18 years old does not reclaim the right to the relief; however, in this case, some additional conditions have to be met. The right to the relief belongs to those who tax their income using the Polish tax scale.
If the annual income does not exceed the amount of 112,000 PLN, the yearly relief is:
- 1112,04 PLN in case of bringing up 1 child,
- 1112,04 PLN for each child when bringing up 2 of them,
- in case of bringing up 3 children, the amount of the deduction concerning the first and the second child is 1112,04 PLN for each of them, while the deduction applying to the third child amounts to 2000,04 PLN.
The relief is not obligatory, but is, of course, very beneficial.