Pursuant to the current provisions of the Labour Code, employees are defined as persons employed on the basis of: employment contract, appointment, selection, nomination, cooperative employment contract and exactly such persons are entitled to take days off to care for a child with the right to remuneration, commonly known as Child Care Leave.
Pursuant to Art. 188 of the Labour Code, an employee raising at least one child up to 14 years of age is entitled per calendar year to 16 hours or 2 days of leave with right to remuneration. In case of having a higher number of children, the legislator did not stipulate that the child care leave should increase accordingly. When it comes to interpretation of the law regarding determination of the age of a child we should refer to the provisions of the Civil Code, according to which a person attains the age of 14 on the day of their 14th birthday and consequently the child care leave is granted to the child’s parent until the day preceding the child’s 14th birthday.
According to Article 1891of the the Labour Code, if both parents or guardians of the child are employed, the above entitlement is granted to one of them. As you can see the legislator has entitled not only the parents but also other persons taking care of the child to this leave. It does not matter whether these persons are married or not, and whether they are biological or adoptive parents. The leave cannot be taken by a parent who has been deprived of parental authority by the court.
How this time off will be used in a calendar year will be determined by the employee in the first request for such time off submitted in a calendar year. The employee does not have to justify the need for the days off and therefore does not have to prove to the employer that the child needs care at the time indicated in the application. An employee acquires the right to child care leave as of the date of commencement of employment, no matter how long the employee has been employed and regardless of the number of working hours at which the employee has been employed.
The leave granted on an hourly basis for a part-time employee is determined proportionally to the employee’s working hours. An incomplete hour of leave shall be counted up to a full hour.
Child care leave that is not used in full or in part during a calendar year does not carry over to the next year and is therefore forfeited. With the new year, however, the credit of hours/days of this leave is available for use all over again.