Parenthood in Europe - comparison of basic conditions for employees

Contributed by Accace, 28 January, 2020

Parenthood is a natural part of humanity, hence labour codes across Europe are highlighting and protecting the right of employees to establish a family. In general, a special paid leave is granted to parents, while its length differs from country to country. The basic categorization of parenthood-related absence for mothers is defined as maternity leave, for fathers as paternity leave, while parental leave may be applicable to both parents and defines a longer time off work dedicated to the child. In this article, we are focusing on general conditions from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Maternity leave

Maternity leave granted for future mothers begins during the last phases of pregnancy and usually lasts a couple of months after the child is born. In some countries, a specific part of the leave is considered as compulsory for female employees, while the non-compulsory part may be taken by the father of the child, splitting the leave among both parents. Hence, in those countries, the paternity leave equals the remaining, non-compulsory part of the maternity leave.

The most generous country, Slovakia, provides 34 weeks for mothers, followed by the Czech Republic with 28 weeks. 24 weeks are granted in Hungary, 20 weeks in Poland and Russia, 18 in Romania, 15 in Slovenia, 14 in Croatia, 13 in Serbia, 12 weeks in the Republic of Srpska and 6 weeks in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Paternity leave

The paternity leave plays less significance in most countries as the maternity leave, however, as mentioned above, in some countries the non-compulsory part of the leave granted for mothers may be overtaken by the fathers. These countries are, for instance, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

As for the other locations, the most generous is once again Slovakia with 6 weeks of paternity leave, followed by Slovenia with 4 weeks. 2 weeks is granted for fathers in Poland, while the labour law in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Serbia specifies only 1 week for male employees.

Parental leave

Parental leave is a non-compulsory absence related to parenthood, usually lasting a couple of years, however, the length may depend on various conditions, such as:

In Slovenia, the length of the leave depends on whether both parents are taking it, or only one of them. Therefore, it can last either 130 or 260 days. As for the other countries, the Croatian labour law provides 8 years of parental leave, the Czech Republic and Russia grants 3 years and Romania 2 years. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the length of parental leave is not specified.

Special contributions to parenthood

While some countries describe only the necessary matters related to parenthood in their labour code, others take a step further and contribute to it in a more advanced way. For example, pregnant employees are granted a paid leave for medical examination related to their pregnancy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Naturally, the paid leave is granted upon a valid certificate from the examination, proving the visit. Furthermore, employees in Romania have the right to 3 additional paid days spent off work in case they follow an in vitro fertilization procedure.

Tags: Working Abroad | Europe | Work | Working Abroad | Working Abroad | European Union (EU) | Croatia | Czech Republic | Poland | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Hungary | Slovenia | Russia | Romania | Serbia | Slovakia |



Articles Archive