Expectant mothers in Austria must observe the so-called maternity protection period (Mutterschutz), which means not working during the last 8 weeks before and after birth. Under certain circumstances, women are entitled to a minimum of twelve weeks. The maternity leave certificate should be presented to the employer. As the employer does not pay a salary during the maternity protection period, women receive a maternity allowance from the respective social insurance authority.
Parents are legally entitled to parental leave (Karenz), which is unpaid time off work. This is possible until the end of the child’s second birthday, provided the child lives in the same household. Parental leave begins at the end of the maternity protection period for the parent who decides to take this leave first. It is recommended to notify the employer of parental leave in a verifiable form, e.g. by registered letter. The employer must provide a confirmation based on this, which also serves as confirmation that both parents are not simultaneously taking parental leave. As parental leave is unpaid time off work, a childcare allowance can be applied for.
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To allow both parents to care for the newborn child together, the option of a so-called father month or paternity leave is available. >> Please find more information online
Parents also have the option of shared parental leave. >> Please find more information online
Parents have the possibility of taking up to two weeks care leave each to care for sick children. However, the details of the leave should be agreed with the employer.
Married parents have shared custody of the child. For unmarried parents, the mother usually has custody unless the parents opt for shared custody. The custody agreement can be registered at the local civil registry office responsible for the place of birth once the acknowledgement of paternity has been confirmed.
Independent of whether private or public childcare is desired, it is highly recommended to research local childcare options directly after childbirth and to register as soon as possible.
Normally the child should visit the local childcare facility, although it is sometimes possible to find a place further afield depending on availability or on request. Under certain circumstances (e.g. new place of residence), it is possible to enroll at the childcare facility during the year.
From the 30th month after birth until the child starts school, kindergartens and nurseries can be attended free of charge in Upper Austria. For childcare before or after this date, a fee is payable. In addition, a material fee is payable to the facility itself. A food contribution must also be paid for lunch. The amount is set by the facility. Fees for all-day schools depend on the income of the parents and the extent of the childcare offered. In general, the costs of care differ according to the form of childcare. Information is available directly from the facility or from the local or municipal authorities.
The father month also gives men, as new and proud fathers, the opportunity to spend the first few days close to their child and support their partner. How great that young dads get the chance to spend this wonderful and special time with their babies!
From the age of 5, attending a kindergarten is compulsory. Contact information for nurseries, kindergartens and afternoon care centres are available here: www.ooe-kindernet.at