Parents of both sexes are eligible to all care-related leaves and benefits, except those specifically related to a certain sex, i.e., maternity and paternity leaves and benefits. In 2005 a new parental leave policy was introduced which entitles one of the parents to receive a benefit in amount of 70% of persons previous salary (but not more than 396 Latvian Lats) up to the child's 1st birthday. Previously persons were eligible to receive the benefit only if they were not employed during the parental leave. Since 8 March, 2006 this norm has been changed allowing persons to work during the parental leave and receive 50% of the benefit, but not less, than 56 Lats. After lawsuit in constitutional court, further changes in national policy and benefit system were indispensable. Accordingly the ceiling was abolished and since 2008 employed persons are entitled to full amount of the benefit. This has led to a situation were child care leave is no more a prerequisite for the benefit. Thereby due to economical reasons families take the decision (i.e. men have higher salary and corresponding benefit) and mothers are the ones taking care of infants, but fathers receive full benefit (in amount of 70% of persons previous salary) while continuing work full time.


A relatively recent important policy change to promote reconciliation of work and family life was the introduction of a paid paternity leave since 2004 (unpaid leave was available since 2002). The 10 day long leave must be taken within the first two months of a child's life. The benefit amounted to 80 % of the person's previous social insurance contributions since 2004, and 100% since 2008.