The Saeima on Thursday, 15 September, adopted in the final reading the amendments to the Law on Maternity and Sickness Insurance. With them, the procedure for using the parental benefit has been changed.
The amendments provide that each of a child's parents, until the day the child reaches the age of eight, will have the right to a paid two-month parental leave that cannot be used by the other parent (non-transferable part).
"The changes in the Law are a step in strengthening the balance between work and private life for parents, in order to involve both parents as much as possible in the upbringing of the child", was stated earlier by Andris Skride, Chair of the Saeima Social and Employment Matters Committee, which was responsible for the Draft Law.
To care for the same child, parents will have the right to choose the total period for receiving the parental benefit, which consists of a regular part and a non-transferable part. It will be possible to choose one of the two periods for receiving the benefit: 1) 19 months, of which 15 months from the day of the child's birth can be used until the child is one and a half years old, while the non-transferable part can be used by each parent until the child is eight years old; 2) 13 months, of which nine months from the day of the child's birth can be used until the child is one year old, while the non-transferable part can be used by each parent until the child is eight years old.
The amendments make it possible to use the non-transferable part of the parental benefit even while the other parent is receiving the maternity benefit, thus enabling both parents to be more involved in the child's early care period.
For each parent, the two-month parental benefit will be calculated based on the average contribution salary and will be paid during the period selected by the parent.
The Law also provides for the cases where one parent will still be able to use the non-transferable part designated for the other parent. These are cases with the child's paternity not recognised or established, the other parent being dead or having their custody rights terminated.
The possibility of using the other parent's non-transferable part will also apply to one of the adoptive parents to whose care and supervision the adoptable child was placed before the adoption was approved by the decision of a family court. It also applies to a member of a foster family who has entered into an agreement with the municipality, a guardian, or another person actually caring for and raising the child in line with the decision of a family court, if they claim the parental benefit, states the explanatory note to the Draft Law.
The amendments enter into force on January 1 of the next year.
Saeima Press Service