This chapter will explain your parental entitlements.
Entitlement to maternity and parental leave (rodiljni i roditeljski dopust) and cash benefits (novčane naknade) are regulated by the maternity and parental support system.
In this chapter we cover the time and cash benefits available to beneficiaries:
- maternity and parental leave;
- right to work half your working hours in order to provide your child with more care;
- leave for caring for a child with severe development disabilities;
- adoptive parent leave;
- cash assistance (income-replacement benefit, lower cash benefit, cash assistance).
In what situation can I claim?
Support for parents, mothers and fathers is regulated in several ways in Croatia. The key social benefits are maternity and parental leave, income-replacement benefit and lower cash benefits, while parenting is supported by a range of other rights.
Employed and self-employed parents, farmers and parents who earn other income are entitled to maternity and parental support. You are also entitled (if you meet special conditions) if you are outside the labour system, retired or a student.
Entitlement to maternity and parental assistance is the same for adoptive parents, caregivers of a minor child and foster parents as it is for parents of a child (married or cohabitating). Foreign nationals with permanent residence in Croatia, asylum grantees and persons under subsidiary protection have the same rights as Croatian nationals.
What conditions do I need to meet?
If you are an employed or self-employed parent, in order to claim income-replacement benefit while on maternity or parental leave, you must have at least 12 months pensionable service (see Jargon busters) or at least 18 months in the last 2 years if you had interruptions in your career. If you fail to meet this condition, you are entitled to a reduced amount of income-replacement benefit.
If you are a parent with other income or a farmer outside of the value added tax or income tax system, you must have been permanently residing in Croatia for at least 3 years, or have had a permanent residence permit for at least 3 years if you are a foreign national.
If you are a parent outside of the labour system, you must have Croatian citizenship and have permanently resided in Croatia for at least 5 years. Foreign nationals must have had a permanent residence permit for at least 5 years.
All categories of parent must be insured under the mandatory health insurance scheme.
If you are an unemployed parent, you must also have been registered with the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) for at least 9 months without interruption or 12 months with interruptions in the past 2 years prior to the birth of the child. The time of registration as unemployed in case of termination of employment contract, completion or interruption of education is regulated differently.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
You claim maternity leave based on a certificate on the expected date of birth issued by your personal gynaecologist. As a rule, cash benefits are claimed from the local office of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO).
Maternity leave (rodilji dopust)
Employed and self-employed pregnant women are entitled to maternity leave 28 days prior to the expected date of birth (in case of complications, it may be taken 45 days prior to the expected date of birth) up to 70 days after the birth of the child. This is mandatory leave used by the mother, and in special circumstances it may also be used by the father (for example, if the mother dies).
Additional maternity leaves lasts until the baby is 6 months old. The mother can return to work in this period and transfer it, in full or partially, to the father.
Parental leave (roditeljski dopust)
An employed or self-employed parent is entitled to parental leave after the child reaches the age of 6 months, and they may use it until the child turns 8 (for the first and second child). This is the personal right of both parents and they may take it for 8 (for the first and second child) or 30 months (for twins, third and every subsequent child).
As a rule, both parents use parental leave, each for 4 or 15 months (depending on the number of children born). But, if this right is used by only one parent, then leave can last 6 or 30 months.
Farmers who are parents, parents who earn other income and unemployed parents are entitled to maternity exemption from work (rodiljna pošteda od rada) until the child reaches 6 months old. After this, they are entitled to parental exemption from work (roditeljska pošteda od rada) until the first or third year of the child's life.
Parents outside the labour system are entitled to maternity and parental childcare (rodiljna I roditeljska briga o djetetu).
Right to work half your working hours in order to provide your child with more care (pravo na rad s polovicom radnog vremena radi pojačane njege djeteta)
One of the employed or self-employed parents, after using paternity leave, may work half their working hours in order to provide their child with more care until the child turns 3 years old. This right is exercised if the child requires more care and nursing due to its health or development.
Leave for caring for a child with severe developmental disabilities (dopust radi njege djeteta s težim smetnjama u razvoju)
Leave for caring for a child with severe developmental disabilities is used by one of the employed or self-employed parents. This right is exercised until the child turns 8 years old on condition that both parents were employed or self-employed before claiming and for the entire duration of the leave.
Adoptive parent leave (posvojiteljski dopust)
Employed or self-employed adoptive parents are entitled to take adoptive parent leave as of the day the adoption becomes legally valid and may last for 6 months for children up to the age of 18. However, an additional 6 months of adoptive parent leave is granted for an adopted child who is under 8 years of age.
Adoptive parent leave can be extended for 60 days in certain situations.
Cash assistance (income-replacement benefit, lower cash benefits, cash assistance) (novčana potpora)
- Maternity leave: for an employed or self-employed mother who meets the insurance period conditions, it stands at 100% of the base of her wage. If these conditions are not met, the cash benefit is HRK 2,328.20 (EUR 310.00);
- Parental leave: the income-replacement benefit is limited by the calculation base (see Jargon busters). The rate is 100% of the remuneration base with a ceiling of HRK 3,991.20 (EUR 531.00) for parental leave of 6 or 8 months and a minimum of HRK 2,328.20 (EUR 310).
- For the remaining parental leave, the income-replacement benefit is HRK 2,328.20 (EUR 310.00);
- Maternity and parental exemption from work: the lower cash benefit is HRK 2,328.20 (EUR 310.00) a month.
- Maternity and parental child care: the cash benefit is HRK 2,328.20 (EUR 310.00) a month;
- Right to work half your working hours in order to provide more care for your child: the cash benefit to which the parent is entitled stands at HRK 2.328,00 (EUR 310.00);
- Leave for taking care of a child with severe developmental disabilities: the cash benefit for the parent is HRK 2,328.20 (EUR 310.00);
Adoptive parent leave: The cash benefit paid during adoptive leave is 100% of the base of the adoptive parent's wage (no with no ceiling. During parental leave, it is limited to 120% of the budget base, i.e. HRK 3,991.20 (€ 531) Parents, mothers and fathers may also exercise other rights such as breastfeeding breaks, leave for death of the child and suspension of employment until the child turns 3 years old.
Women, before and during pregnancy and after birth are entitled to healthcare under mandatory health insurance (see the topic Health).
- Pensionable service - the period for which your employer, or you yourself as a self-employed person, has paid mandatory contributions for health and pension insurance.
- Calculation base is the base for calculating assistance, benefits and severance pay.
- Permanent residence is the place and address in Croatia at which a person has permanently settled for the purpose of exercising their rights and obligations associated with their life interests, such as family, professional, economic, social, cultural and other interests. Habitual residence is the term applying to people who are using the right of freedom of movement of workers in EU countries. It conveys permanence - you have been living in an EU country for some time and intend to stay there for the foreseeable future.
- Temporary residence is the place and address in Croatia where a person is temporarily residing, but has not permanently settled at the address. It is registered if it will last longer than 3 months.
Forms you may need to fill in
Know your rights
You can find out about your legal rights at the links below. They are not European Commission websites and do not represent the views of the Commission:
- Maternity and Parental Assistance Act;
- Outline of the maternity and parental assistance system;
- Family Act ;
- Mandatory Health Insurance Act.
Commission publications and websites:
Who do I need to contact?
Croatian Health Insurance Fund
Tel. +385 800 7979 (mandatory health insurance)
Tel. +385 800 7989 (supplementary health insurance)
Ministry for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy
Trg NevenkeTopalusic 1
Tel. +385 15557111