Maternity benefits

Maternity benefits in Croatia are regulated by the Act on Maternity and Parental Benefits (Official Gazette nos.  152/22).

The right to maternity and parental benefits can only be realised if you have compulsory health insurance regulated by the Croatian Health Insurance Fund (HZZO) and if you also meet other prescribed conditions.

Maternity and parental benefits are provided to the mother and father of the child and other persons who, on the basis of a decision of the competent authority, exercise parental care, the adoptive parent of the child, guardian, foster parent or other natural person to whom the minor has been entrusted for daily care by a decision of the competent authority, under the conditions and in the manner determined by the said Act.

The right to maternity leave is exercised on the basis of the Report on temporary incapacity/inability to work issued by an elected gynaecologist / obstetrician practicing within the compulsory health insurance system, which indicates only the initial date of the established temporary incapacity or inability to work for the purpose of taking maternity leave.

For other rights, it is necessary to submit an application to the regional service or branch office of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund.

If you are insured with the Croatian Health Insurance Institute (HZZO), and your case involves, in addition to the Republic of Croatia, another Member State of the European Union (EU), a Member State of the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), the HZZO will check whether all the conditions prescribed by Croatian regulations are met but will also take into account the principles prescribed by European legal regulations.

The principles are as follows:

  • Principle of assimilation of facts
  • Principle of aggregation of periods, and
  • Principle of possibility to export the rights / Principle of derogation from the rules on residence


MORE – Maternity and parental benefits | HZZO


For example, two Member States will be involved in your case, if, prior to coming to Croatia, you worked, or had a place of residence in another EU / EEA Member State / in Switzerland / the UK, or if your spouse is already exercising a right for the same child in one of these countries, etc.

In accordance with the above principle, when processing your application, the facts that have occurred in another EU / EEA Member State / Switzerland / the UK will also be taken into account, as if they had occurred in Croatia. Thus, for example, for employed and self-employed beneficiaries, the salary, income or insurance period earned in another Member State will be taken into account, and for unemployed and beneficiaries outside the work system, the period of residence in another country will be taken into account.

The same principle means that the periods of compulsory health insurance, employment, self-employment, or residence of the applicant in another EU / EEA Member State / Switzerland / the UK will be taken into account in the processing of the application as if they occurred in Croatia, and will be added to such periods in Croatia.

According to the said principle, monetary benefits paid on the basis of the legislation of one or more Member States are not subject to any reduction, alteration, suspension, termination or confiscation due to the fact that the beneficiary or members of his or her family are residents of a Member State other than the state in which the institution responsible for providing benefits is located.

A person who realised a certain right in Croatia may exercise the same right if he or she leaves to another Member State only if he or she stays within the compulsory health insurance system in the Republic of Croatia.