Parental leave split between parents will be mandatory in Latvia

On Thursday, September 15, the Saeima adopted amendments to the Law On Maternity and Sickness Insurance, which will introduce compulsory parental leave sharing between parents, informed Parliament.

The amendments provide that each of the parents of a child will be entitled to a period of parental leave of at least two calendar months prior to the date on which the child turns eight, which cannot be used by the other parent (non-negotiable part).

Parents will be able to choose the total period for receiving parental leave between two periods: 

  • 19 months, of which 15 months from the date of birth of the child must be used until the child is 1.5 years old, while the non-negotiable part must be used by each parent up to the child turning 8;
  • 13 months, of which 9 months from the date of birth of the child must be used before the child turns one year old, but the non-negotiable part must be used by each parent up to the child turning 8.

The amendments provide that the non-negotiable part will also be available at a time when the other parent receives maternity benefits, thereby enabling both parents to become more involved in the early childcare period.

Exceptions are cases where the child's paternity has not been recognized or determined, the other parent is dead or the other parent has been deprived of or suspended from custody. Then, one parent will be able to use the other parent's non-negotiable share.

The conditions apply also to adoptive parents.

The amendments will enter into force on January 1 of the following year.

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