Changes to childcare leave and allowance from 2023

The ordinance transposes a number of provisions adopted at European level, so the changes aim to share childcare responsibilities fairly between men and women.

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Emergency Ordinance No 164 of 2022 amending and supplementing Government Emergency Ordinance No 111/2010 on parental leave and monthly child-raising allowance, published in the Official Gazette No 1173 of 7.12.2022, makes changes to the granting of parental leave and allowance from 2023.

The ordinance transposes a number of provisions adopted at European level, so the changes aim to share childcare responsibilities fairly between men and women, ensure a work-life balance and increase the possibility for parents who did not initially request parental leave to exercise this right.

The main amendments and additions made by Emergency Ordinance No 164 of 29 November 2022 concern:

  • extending the non-transferable period of parental leave for a parent who did not initially request this right, from at least 1 month to at least 2 months of the total leave period, if both parents meet the legal conditions (in other words, the “father’s month” is doubled);
  • if both parents meet the requirements for parental leave as set out in this Emergency Ordinance, it shall be granted as follows:

a) at least 2 months of parental leave to be taken by the parent who did not initially apply for it;

b) if the parent referred to in point (a) does not apply for parental leave for at least two months, even though he or she meets the requirements laid down in this Emergency Ordinance, the other parent shall not be entitled to parental leave in his or her place

  • recalculation of the amount of the allowance in the case of additional income, in the period until the child reaches the age of 2 years, respectively 3 years in the case of a disabled child, from court rulings/certificates or acts of rectification of income;
  • suspension or termination of payment of child-raising allowance if the certificate of disability expires during the period of child-raising leave;
  • the introduction of a notice period of at least 10 days which the worker gives to the employer when exercising her entitlement to leave and benefit, before the end of maternity leave or before the estimated starting date of parental leave, by means of a request, on paper or electronically, specifying the period
    If the entitled person does not specify the expected period of parental leave in the application, the employer shall approve the application for the maximum period of parental leave,
  • in the case of an entitled person who is an employee and who returns to work, he or she must notify his or her employer in writing at least 30 days in advance of his or her intention to resume the employment or service relationship
  • maintaining, until the end of the parental leave, the employment conditions and salary rights acquired at the beginning of the leave or acquired during the leave;
  • the introduction of the leave and the accommodation allowance, granted to adoptive parents, as an assimilated period for acquiring entitlement to parental leave and child-raising allowance;
  • recognition of foreign income earned at the same time as domestic income (provided there is no overlap between periods of work and income during the same month);
  • 50% extra monthly allowance for children born of twins, triplets or multiplets, starting with the second child (i.e. 50% extra mother’s allowance for each child). The increase thus calculated may not be less than the minimum amount of child-raising allowance. The same will apply to overlapping pregnancies, i.e. mothers giving birth during childcare leave.
  • the child-raising allowance may be pursued and enforced regardless of the nature of the debt owed by the debtor, within the limits laid down by the relevant legal framework.

The new rules apply from 1 January 2023, except for the rules on increasing the period of non-transferability between parents from one month to two months, which apply both to applications submitted from 1 January 2023 and to those submitted earlier and not yet decided by that date.

Within 60 days from the date of entry into force of this Emergency Ordinance, the Government shall update the Methodological Norms for the application of the provisions of this Ordinance.