Maternity allowance for the self-employed - changes from 2016

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At the beginning of 2016, new regulations came into force, amending the Act on cash benefits from social insurance in the event of sickness and maternity. These changes will make it impossible to use a legal loophole that would allow to receive a higher maternity allowance for future mothers who start running a business before the birth.

Maternity allowance for an entrepreneurial mother - exploiting a legal loophole

The current legal regulations make it possible to receive a high allowance for pregnant women who set up a company at least one month before the date of childbirth and pay for themselves the voluntary sickness contribution on the highest declared basis. In the case of business activity, the calculation basis for sickness insurance contributions is independent of the income earned. Currently, the contribution base for voluntary sickness insurance cannot exceed 250% of the forecast average salary, currently it is PLN 10,137.50. Also, the same could do people who have been running a business for a long time and have not previously been registered for voluntary sickness insurance. There is no waiting period for Maternity Benefit and it is paid after the first full insurance premium has been paid. After the end of paid maternity leave, which can last up to a year, enterprising mothers either quit their activities or changed the amount of contributions.

Recently, the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) inspected cases based on the above scheme more and more often, and in situations where it considered the assumed activity to be fictitious, entrepreneurs were threatened with consequences in the form of reimbursement of the amount of the allowance paid, and even referring cases to the prosecutor's office.

Maternity allowance for entrepreneurs - changes

From 2016, the amount of the maternity allowance for running a business will depend on the time of payment of contributions and their amount. In order to obtain a high maternity allowance for the self-employed, at the maximum level, you will have to pay ZUS contributions for at least one year, also on the maximum contribution basis. In the case of an insured person whose calculation basis for sickness insurance contributions is the declared amount, who is subject to sickness insurance for less than 12 calendar months, the allowance calculation basis (including maternity allowance) will be the sum of:

a) the average monthly lowest calculation basis for sickness insurance contributions, after deduction of the amount corresponding to 13.71% of the calculation basis for sickness insurance contributions, for full calendar months of insurance, the income from which is included in the allowance calculation basis (currently PLN 2,433.00) and

b) an amount being the product of 1/12 of the average amount declared as the basis for the calculation of sickness insurance contributions, in the part exceeding the lowest calculation basis for sickness insurance contributions, after adding an amount corresponding to 13.71% of the calculation basis for sickness insurance contributions, for full calendar months of insurance the income from which is included in the allowance calculation basis and the number of these months.

The basic amount of sickness insurance premium will therefore be increased by 1/12 of the amount that the business operator paid in excess of the required minimum rate for one of the twelve months in which the increased premiums were paid before the birth of the child. You will therefore have to pay the higher insurance premium for the 12 months before the birth to get the full benefit for the higher premium. In the event of a shorter insurance period, the maternity allowance will be correspondingly lower.