Maternity benefits

Maternity benefits in Croatia are regulated by the Act on Maternity and Parental Benefits (Official Gazette nos. 85/08, 110/08, 34/11, 54/13, 152/1459/17 and 37/20).

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.

Benefits are provided to the mother and the father of the child, adoptive parent, guardian, foster parent or other physical person to whom guardianship and upbringing of a minor child is entrusted by the decision of the competent authority.

The right to maternity leave is realised based on the Report on temporary disability/incapacity for work issued by an elected gynaecologist, in which the expected term of birth is indicated.

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

If your case includes at least two Member States of the EU, EEA or/and Switzerland, the Croatian Health Insurance Fund will check whether all the conditions prescribed by Croatian legislation are met but will also take into account the principles defined by the 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


Two Member States will be included, for example, if, before coming to Croatia, you worked or had a permanent residence in another Member State of the EU/EGP or Switzerland, or if your spouse already exercises the right regarding your child in another Member State or, for example, if the child is born in another Member State, etc.

According to the said principle, during decision making regarding your application, the facts that took place in another Member State of the EU/EEA or Switzerland will be taken into account as if they took place in Croatia.

Thus, for example, salaries, income or insurance periods realized in another Member State will be taken into account for employed persons and self-employed persons, and the period of residence in another state will be taken into account for unemployed persons and beneficiaries outside the work system.

The said principle implies that, during application processing, periods of health insurance, employment, self-employment or residence of the applicant in another Member State of the EU/EEA or Switzerland will be considered as if they were completed in Croatia and shall be added to such periods completed 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.