Who pays maternity leave – the state or the employer?

Who pays maternity leave – the state or the employer? Payments can be made by both the employer and the government agency. But the source of these funds is usually the same. Who calculates and pays maternity leave? Who finances the benefit payment? When does the SFR pay the allowance? Let’s consider the procedure for paying maternity leave in more detail.

Where does the money for maternity payments come from

To understand who – the state or the employer – pays maternity leave, let’s find out where the funds for their payment are generated and how they are used.

Maternity allowance is one of the social benefits funded from the State Extra-budgetary Social Fund of Russia (SFR). Until 2023, this function was performed by the FSS.

Learn more about the activities of the new foundation from the thematic publication.

Funds in the SFR are formed from insurance premiums paid by employers with mandatory income of employees and by other persons voluntarily. Therefore, at the expense of the SFR, maternity payments are made only to persons receiving income subject to contributions as required by law, or paying contributions on a voluntary basis. However, in addition to the officially accrued maternity leave, some employers pay employees extra at their own expense.

Who pays maternity payments? The one who actually pays them. And who pays maternity payments? In 2024, the SFR does this directly (the FSS started in 2021). The employer only sends information to the fund for calculating and assigning benefits.

Who accrued and paid maternity benefits to an employee until 2021

Until 2021, employers accrued and paid maternity benefits to their employees. And then we compensated these expenses from the funds of the Federal Tax Service.

The total amount of contributions accrued during the reporting period decreased by the amount of the maternity amounts. And if the amount of current contributions was insufficient to cover the costs of paying for the decree, then the uncovered amount:

  • was credited to the payments of the next reporting period,
  • was reimbursed by the fund.

Since the source of maternity payments was the funds accumulated in the FSS, the fund checked the legality of such payments and the correctness of their accrual.

Despite the fact that reporting on contributions, due to which maternity leave was paid, was submitted to the Federal Tax Service, employers applied to the Federal Tax Service for compensation. To do this, a set of mandatory documents was compiled, consisting of:

  • from the application;
  • help-calculation;
  • transcript of expenses.

The basis for the payment of the allowance was a sick leave issued for the period of maternity leave.

In which cases the payment of the decree until 2021 was received directly from the Federal Tax Service

The fund itself also paid maternity leave, but only in certain situations:

  • The region participated in a pilot project involving direct interaction between the employee and the FSS in terms of social benefits for disability. The role of the employer in this process was limited to filling out the necessary information in the sick list.
  • If the employer did not have enough funds to pay the benefit.
  • Payments to women who voluntarily insured themselves in the fund. Such a step was possible for persons working under civil law contracts and sole proprietors who, according to the law, are not required to pay contributions for disability and maternity insurance from their income.


Funds intended for social payments (in particular, for maternity payments) are accumulated in the SFR. They are received there in the form of contributions from employers from the income of employees and payments from persons who have insured themselves in the fund voluntarily. Since 2021, the FSS (since 2023, it was merged with the FIU, as a result of which the SFR was formed) not only accumulates funds, but also pays benefits to expectant mothers itself. 

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