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What can parents count on? Review of family benefits


New expenses appear with the children. What cash benefits can parents receive from the state, and what additional support can the employer provide? It's worth knowing to use them.

Government support

Becikowe

During the first year of the child's birth, parents can apply for so-called becikowe, i.e. one-time support in the amount of PLN 1,000. Parents or legal guardians can apply for the benefit, they must apply to the appropriate institution (in each municipality in another) to receive it. Becikowe is intended for families in which income per person does not exceed 1922 PLN net. An additional condition is that the child's mother remains under medical care from the 10th week of pregnancy until delivery.

Parental leave

Young mothers are entitled to compulsory maternity leave, which may last 20 weeks. 14 weeks are used by the child's mother, the remaining 6 may be chosen by the insured father of the child. Maternity leave may start six weeks before delivery. In exceptional cases, the father may use 100% maternity leave.

Maternity leave is payable and the amount of the benefit varies, depending on whether the mother worked before pregnancy and how much her earnings were.

After maternity leave, one or both parents may take advantage of parental leave. It lasts up to 32 weeks, which can be used by one parent or two - alternately, sharing weeks, or simultaneously using 16 weeks. This leave is payable, the amount is calculated similarly to maternity leave, but it is 100% paid only for the first 6 weeks, then 60% of the amount is paid.
* Maternity and parental leave may be longer if more than one child is born at a time.

The father of the child is also entitled 2 weeks paternity leave, 100% paid, which he can use in the first two years of a child's life. Vacation can be selected once in its entirety or divided into two parts.

Parents are also entitled unpaid parental leave, which lasts up to 36 months. It can be divided into 5 parts and used until the child is 6 years old.

Nursery and kindergarten care

The state provides parents access to day care centers and kindergartens, however, it does not affect the fees for using the facilities and does not guarantee admission to the selected facility. Children under the age of 6 are required to attend kindergarten, so the municipality or city office must provide them a place in the facility.
Parents can also apply for government subsidy for employing a nanny for children aged 20 weeks - 3 years, and in exceptional circumstances up to 4 years.

Family 500+ program

The new government program is to be a permanent support for raising children, especially for poorer or large families. The program is intended for parents and guardians children up to 18 years old. The awarding of benefits and its amount is influenced by many factors, including number of children, their age, income per person in the family. In the case of families with an income below PLN 800 net of tax per person, the support is already intended for the first or only child, in other cases the benefit covers the second and subsequent children. The minimum support granted to families eligible for the program is PLN 500 per month for one child.

The application for benefits is submitted annually at the institution indicated by the city in the place of residence or via the Internet.

Other benefits

Parents and children can also use other solutions that primarily reduce their expenses, e.g.

  • from tax reliefs for children during annual property settlements,
  • from the Large Family Card, intended for families in which parents have at least three children to support,
  • from co-financing for the purchase of school textbooks under the "School Layette" program,
  • from childcare allowance for the care of a sick child or a healthy child up to 8 years old.

Exact information on these programs is available at www.obywatel.gov.pl and www.rodzina.gov.pl

Employer support

Government programs are widely known, however, not all parents know that they can also receive support at their workplace. Of course, every company approaches these issues differently, but it's good to know the possibilities. It is worth noting that on the richest benefit packages can be counted on by employees in industries where there is a shortage of specialists - among others in IT. - As an employer, we not only meet all government recommendations, such as reduced working time for nursing mothers, but we also give more - we provide young parents with flexible working hours, medical care for the whole family, as well as financial support. We want to have satisfied employees who will stay with us for years - says Aneta Raczek, HR Site Manager from the Wroclaw branch of Nokia, which employs over 3,000 people in Poland.

In many international companies, including Nokia, employees who start a family can count on special bonuses. In the office buildings, feeding rooms for children, company crèches and kindergartens, events for whole families and other special actions directed at children are organized.

Private companies can subsidize the child's stay in a care facility - up to PLN 400 per month for a nursery or children's club and up to PLN 200 for kindergarten. However, not every parent knows this, and not every employer wants to provide such support. - Of course, we provide Nokia co-financing for childcare in a nursery, kindergarten or nanny, but it is not everything. The company can also subsidize school layette or independent rest of the child. However, from our perspective, not only financial support is important - above all parents at Nokia can count on forbearance from managersif the child suddenly becomes ill or an appointment with a specialist will be possible only during working hours. We want our employees to be able to to combine work and family life and have kept balance in it, that's why we try to respond to their needs and facilitate what we can - adds Martyna Kosiorek, Recruitment Manager from Nokia.

As you can see, the parent's place and working conditions affect the functioning of the whole family. Therefore, when deciding to change employer, it is worth remembering to check how the company views its parents and what it offers to them.