Maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental leave
Under the Employment Contracts Act, an employee is entitled to a period of leave during which he or she can receive a maternity, special maternity, paternity or parental allowance.
Parents can take parental leave full- or part-time. Someone who is the spouse or partner of the parent of a child and who officially resides with him or her (registered relationship) is entitled to parental leave, if the child is born or the other partner has adopted a child under the age of seven after the two partners’ relationship has been officially registered.
Both parents can take full-time parental leave for a maximum of two leave periods. The minimum length of a period of leave is 12 working days. Parental leave may be taken part-time, with each of the parents agreeing with their employer to shorten their working hours and reduce their pay accordingly for at least two months.
Parents on partial parental leave may look after their child either on alternate days or in alternate weeks, or with one parent looking after the child in the mornings, and the other in the afternoons.
Following a period of parental leave, parents are entitled to take childcare leave and still keep their job. An employee is entitled to two full-time periods of childcare leave to look after a child under the age of three. The entitlement to childcare leave of the parent of an adopted child continues for at least two years following adoption, but not beyond the time when the child starts school. The minimum period for childcare leave is a month.
An employer and employee may, however, agree on a period of childcare leave lasting more than two months or less than a month. Childcare leave may only be taken by one of the parents or guardians of a child at a time. One of the parents may nevertheless take one period of childcare leave at the same time as the other is taking maternity or parental leave.
Partial childcare leave may be taken up until the end of the second school year (July), or, if the child has to start school one year earlier than normal, until the end of the third school year. For parents of children who are disabled or chronically ill and who are in need of special care and treatment, entitlement continues until the child is 18 years old.
An employee is entitled to a period of time off lasting a maximum of four working days to look after a child under the age of 10 residing in the same household who has suddenly become ill (temporary childcare leave). A child’s ’absent’ parent has the same entitlement.
An employee is also entitled to take time off from work for a short period of time if his or her immediate presence is necessary for any unforeseen and compelling family reason owing to illness or accident (absence for a compelling family reason).