3.12.2021 Labour law

[Poland] A child in quarantine – when is an allowance payable?

The right to childcare allowance applies to holders of sickness insurance, even if a child is quarantined, isolated or the institution the child attends has been unexpectedly closed. However, the new guidelines change slightly the rules that have applied until now.

On 29 November 2021, the new guidelines defining the rules for granting childcare allowance were published on the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) website. The main change relates to the allowance payable for caring for a healthy child up to the age of 8, especially in situations of a closure of a school, kindergarten or a nursery.

Caring for a healthy child and closure of an institution or quarantine

According to the most recent guidance, childcare allowance is available to parents of children under the age of 8 for a maximum of 60 calendar days in a situation in which they learn in less than 7 days about

  • unexpected closure of a nursery, children’s club, kindergarten, school, including not only the closure of the entire institution but also, for example, of the class or group the child is in.

A further condition for receiving the childcare allowance in this case is that there are no other persons living in the same household who are able to care for the child at that time.

Parents whose children have been placed in quarantine or home isolation, also due to COVID-19, are also entitled to childcare allowance. Such isolation or quarantine is treated by ZUS as equal to the child’s illness, so the dimension of the allowance in such a case is the same as in the case of caring for a sick child and depends on the child’s age and/or degree of disability.

Allowance for caring for a sick child

The right to childcare allowance is also granted to parents who have to take care of a sick child. The prerequisite for this is that the doctor has issued a medical certificate.

The sick child care allowance can be received in a given calendar year for a maximum of:

  • 60 days – if care is required for a sick child up to the age of 14 (also with a disability),
  • 14 days – if care is required for a sick child over to the age of 14,
  • 30 days – if care is required for a sick child with a disability aged 14-18.

Moreover, an important condition for parents to claim an allowance for the care of a sick child up to the age of 2 is that the allowance is payable even if other family members could provide care for the child, and other family members are defined as persons remaining in the common household, but not including:

  • people with illnesses;
  • persons who are physically or mentally incapacitated due to their age;
  • persons who run a farm;
  • workers resting after working the night shift;
  • persons who run a non-agricultural business;
  • persons not obliged to take care under the Family and Guardianship Code if they refuse to do so.

Learn more: Changes to benefits from January 2022

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