4 Maternity and Family Leave Rights
4.1 How long does maternity leave last?
Valid legislation differs between maternity leave and child care leave. A mother (in certain cases, also the father) has the right to maternity leave for the duration of 105 days, which shall commence 28 days before the envisaged date of birth determined by the gynaecologist. Should the mother not commence maternity leave within the above period, she cannot claim the unused part of maternity leave after the childbirth unless the birth took place before the envisaged date. Child care leave (which can also be taken by the father) begins immediately after the expiration of the maternity leave and lasts for 260 days (a mother is entitled to additional days in case of giving birth to more than one child).
4.2 What rights, including rights to pay and benefits, does a woman have during maternity leave?
During maternity leave and child care leave, parents are entitled to maternity leave compensation (this amounts to 100% of the base amount from which the social contributions have been calculated in the last 12 months, and cannot be lower than 55% of the minimum wage in the Republic of Slovenia), which also includes the payment of social contributions and, during the child care leave, to the child care compensation (which follows the same basis for calculation, however the amount of child care compensation cannot exceed 2.5 times the average monthly salary in the Republic of Slovenia).
4.3 What rights does a woman have upon her return to work from maternity leave?
A parent (mothers are usually the ones who exercise this right) who nurses and cares for a child until the child’s third year of age is entitled to part-time work (a minimum of half the usual weekly hours; whereby the employer shall ensure the employee the right to the salary on the basis of actual working hours, while the state shall ensure the payment of social security contributions for the difference to full-time work on the basis of a proportional share of the minimum wage). Also, during maternity and child care leave, and for a month following her/his return to work, or throughout the period of breastfeeding, the employee enjoys special protection and the employer may not terminate such employee’s employment contract, except in case of extraordinary termination with the preliminary consent by the Labour Inspector. Also there are certain restrictions regarding overtime work and night work of such employees.
4.4 Do fathers have the right to take paternity leave?
Fathers are entitled to paternity leave upon the event of childbirth for the duration of 90 days. The father must use 15 days of his paternity leave by the time the child is six months old in the form of full absence from work (the father is not entitled to that right if he exercises the right to maternity leave). The remaining 75 days of paternity leave may be used in the form of full absence from work before the child is 3 years old.
4.5 Are there any other parental leave rights that employers have to observe?
See question 4.3.
4.6 Are employees entitled to work flexibly if they have responsibility for caring for dependents?
Yes, there is certain flexibility regarding the work of such employees. A female employee, who breastfeeds a child and works full-time, shall have the right to a breastfeeding break during working hours, which shall take not less than one hour a day. An employee, who takes care of a child under the age of three, may be ordered to work overtime or at night only upon his/her written consent. A female worker may not carry out overtime work or night work during pregnancy and another year after she has given birth and/or throughout the breastfeeding period if the risk assessment of such work indicates risk to her and her child’s health (similar protection goes to parents of a child under seven or a child who is severely ill or of a severely physically or mentally disabled child, living alone with a child and caring for the child).
SOURCE: Employment & Labour Law 2012, ICLG
Authors: Miha Mušič, Vladka Plohl