From 1 September 2020, employees are exempted from the requirement to be available for work and from work for a maximum of ten working days per year during the period of preparation to adopt a child. This change was introduced by amendments of Act I of 2012 of the Labour Code (the ‘Labour Code’).
The pre-adoption phase provides an opportunity for parents intending to adopt and the child to be adopted to meet, introduce themselves and start to get to know each other before the adoption. During this period, the living conditions of the parents wishing to adopt will also be assessed, counselling will be provided by the child protection service and, if required, a free adoption course will be conducted.
As the procedure involves a number of tasks for the employee, the legislator considered it necessary to exempt the employee from his or her work obligations during this period.
The exemption is available to both prospective parents, who are entitled to an ‘absence fee’ for this period. The exemption also applies to executive employee, whose employment agreements cannot deviate from providing it.
The conditions for claiming the exemption are defined by the Labour Code as follows: