Family & pregnancy

Living in Europe | Day care, schooling & family related issues | Poland

Obstetrics, Medical University of Bialystok


Pregnant foreigners residing on the territory of Poland are entitled to certain rights and forms of care. The exact type of assistance depends on their legal status and the agreement with the employer; though some services are payable for all patients (foreign as well as Polish ones). Therefore, ask the appropriate hospital unit to find out about the cost of the service.

  • Expectant mothers who hold either a long-term EU-residence or a permanent residence permit have the right to receive all services free of charge concerning prenatal care in public hospitals.

  • Those who are granted a temporary residence permit or possess only a visa, have to be insured in order to get free access to the mentioned services.


Students of Nursing and Obstetrics, author: Medical University of Bialystok (UMB)

Foreigners who have the right to stay on the territory of Poland and work on the basis of the regular employment contract (PL umowa o pracę) are entitled to maternity leave. It means that women employed on the civil-law contracts, such as the fee-for-task agreement (PL umowa zlecenie) or the specific-task contract (PL umowa o dzieło) do not have the right to the leave.

The duration of the maternity leave concerning the birth of one child amounts to 20 weeks. Afterward, there is a possibility to take 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 childcare leave.



  • 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.