Paternity leave in the Czech Republic likely to be extended to two weeks

The amendment is aimed at giving fathers the opportunity to care for the newborns and help with household operations.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 28.07.2021 15:04 (updated on 28.07.2021)

Prague, July 28 (CTK) - Nearly all lawmakers present at a session of the Chamber of Deputies today supported an extended paternity leave for Czech fathers. The bill, which passed in the lower house of the Czech parliament, extends the leave from 10 to 14 days.

The amendment was proposed by the Social Democrats and gained support from 105 MPs out of the 109 present. It was also promoted by the government ANO party, the opposition Pirates, Mayors and Independents (STAN), Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), and TOP 09.

The bill now moves to the Senate, the upper house of parliament.

The draft amendment to the law also softens the rules for claiming nursing benefits and leave. People have the right to take care of their ill or injured relatives for up to 90 days and family members may take turns in providing the care. They will be paid 60 percent of their salary, from their health insurance.

At present, people may claim the nursing benefit if they care for somebody who was treated in a hospital for at least one week. Under the draft amendment, this is changed to a minimum of four days in the hospital. If somebody cares for a person who is in the final stages of a terminal illness, the person does not have to be hospitalized.

As for paternity leave, fathers who take leave can take off work for 14 days. They may take this leave within the first six weeks after the birth of their child. This period is newly extended according to the duration of time in which a newborn stays in the maternity hospital.

The authors of the amendment say the goal is to give the father a chance to participate in the care for the newborn and in the operation of the household, among others.

They said the amendment also transposes a European regulation into Czech law. This is to cost the state about CZK 250 million.

Provided that a father pays his health insurance, he will get 70 percent of his base salary, which is the same as what women receive when they are on maternity leave.

A new directive EU directive on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers which aims to promote gender equality mandates that by April 2022, all EU member states must offer a minimum of 10 days of paid paternity leave.

Twenty-three of the 27 EU member states offer paternity leave.

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