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. Maternity leave is 105 week days.

The paternity leave can last up to 54 week days. Fathers can choose to stay at home up to 18 weekdays at the same time as the child's mother and the rest of the paternity leave must be taken after the parental leave. Alternatively fathers can use their paternity leave (1-54 week days) after maternity and parental  leave. In both cases the paternity leave must be taken before the child turns two years. Parental leave is 158 week days.

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.