Maternity and parental benefits

Benefits are provided to the mother and the father of the child, adoptive parent, guardian, foster parent or other natural person to whom guardianship and upbringing of an underage child is entrusted by a decision of the competent authority

The Act on Maternity and Parental Benefits equally applies to married couples and consensual unions.
The system of maternity and parental benefits is regulated by the Act on Maternity and Parental Benefits which prescribes the right of parents and persons of equal status raising a child to cash benefits and time off, requirements for and manner of its exercise and funding and the authorities competent to implement the Act, all with the aim of protecting motherhood, caring for newborns and their upbringing, as well as balancing family life and employment.

Please note!
  • The rights prescribed by the Act on Maternity and Parental Benefits can only be exercised by those persons who have a valid status of an insured person in mandatory health insurance regulated by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (CHIF).
  • “A month” is a unit of time equal to 30 calendar days which is used to calculate the duration of a right
 The following three categories of beneficiaries have these rights:
  1. Employed and self-employed parents
  2. Unemployed parents, “other income” earners and farmers
  3. Parents outside the labour system—retirees, beneficiaries of the right to occupational rehabilitation, beneficiaries of the right to a disability pension due to occupational inability to work, persons unable to work, regular students and pupils... and all other persons insured with the CHIF who cannot exercise their right as employed or self-employed parents or unemployed parents, “other income” earners and farmers, etc.
 Employed and self-employed parents are entitled to:
  • Maternity leave
  • Parental leave
  • Part-time work
  • Part-time work if the child requires more care
  • Breaks for breastfeeding
  • Leave for employees who are pregnant, have given birth or are breastfeeding
  • Days off for prenatal check-ups
  • Leave or part-time work to care for a child with severe developmental disabilities.
 
Employed parents are also entitled to suspension of employment until the child turns 3 years of age.
 

Maternity leave

Maternity leave is used until the child turns 6 months, while parental leave may be used after the child has turned 6 months.
Employed and self-employed pregnant women have to take maternity leave 28 days prior to the expected date of birth and may take it (no earlier than) 45 days prior to the expected date of birth. Maternity leave lasts until the baby is 6 months old, with the mandatory part of it covering the period between 28 days prior to the expected date of birth until 70 days after the child’s birth (a total of 98 days without interruptions).
Additional maternity leaves covers the period after the expiry of mandatory part of maternity leave (from the 71st day from the child’s birth) until the baby turns 6 months old.
While using maternity leave, the beneficiary is entitled to salary compensation equal to 100% of the salary compensation base determined pursuant to the regulations on mandatory health insurance (unlimited).
 

Parental leave

An employed or self-employed parent has the right to parental leave after the child is 6 months old and can use it until the child is 8 years old. The right to parental leave is the personal right of both parents and can be used for:
  • 8 months (for the first and second child)
  • 30 months (for twins, third and each subsequent child).
As a rule, both parents may use parental leave in equal duration; that is, each may use 4 or 15 months (depending on the number of children), with 2 months being non-transferable.
This occurs in situations in which only one of the parents uses parental leave; in this case, parental leave lasts for 6 or 30 months.
 

Unemployed parents

Unemployed parents, “other income” earners and farmers are entitled to maternity and parental exemption from work.
The mother has to use maternity exemption from work from the child’s birth until the child is 70 days old and may use it, without interruptions, until the child turns 6 months of age.
Once the right to maternity exemption from work expires, the beneficiary is entitled to parental exemption from work until the first year of the child’s life for the first and second child; that is, until the third year of the child’s life for twins, third and each subsequent child.
While they are exercising their right to maternity and parental exemption from work, beneficiaries are entitled to a cash benefit equal to 70% of the budget base per month (HRK 2,328.20).
 

Parents outside the labour system

Parents outside the labour system are entitled to maternity and parental child care.
Maternity child care means the period from the child’s birth until it turns 6 months of age.
Parental child care means the period from 6 months until the child turns one year of age for the first and second child; that is, until the third year of the child’s life for twins, third and each subsequent child.
Mothers outside the labour system are entitled to a cash benefit equal to 70% of the budget base (HRK 2,328.20) in the course of maternity and parental child care.
 

One-time allowance for the birth of a child

The Croatian Health Insurance Fund gives one-time allowances for the birth of a child in the amount of HRK 2,328.20, and all persons who have health insurance and meet the prescribed requirements are entitled to it.

The Croatian Health Insurance Fund is competent for the implementation of rights under this Act.
The rights from the Act are exercised pursuant to a decision of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund adopted based on a beneficiary’s application.
The implementation of the Act on Maternity and Parental Benefits is supervised by the Central State Office for Demography and Youth.


All additional information about the rights and how to exercise them can be found on the website of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund.
On this website, you can find the contact information of the Directorate of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund and a list of all of CHIF regional and branch offices in the Republic of Croatia.