Czech politicians push for more flexibility for parental allowance

There is a consensus across the political spectrum that parental allowance should increase.


Written by ČTK Published on 29.05.2023 11:00:00 (updated on 29.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Parental allowance could be drawn faster in the Czech Republic, Labor and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurečka and opposition member of parliament (MP) Aleš Juchelka agreed in a debate on a Prima TV broadcast on Sunday.

However, the ANO movement wants the total allowance to be CZK 50,000 higher than the government parties intend, aiming for a total of CZK 400,000. The total allowance that parents can draw until their offspring reaches the age of four is now CZK 300,000.

According to the junior government Pirates, there is a consensus in the ruling coalition that the total amount of parental allowance will increase. The Pirates want it to rise to at least CZK 350,000.

Junior government Mayors and Independents MP Jan Lacina and Jurečka also mentioned the same amount in the TV debate. The minister said the parameters should be negotiated in the coming days.

The government consolidation package to lower the public finance deficit foresees an increase in parental allowance as of January 2024. However, ANO wants to speed it up. Juchelka justified this by high inflation today. Lacina said he would be in favor of shortening the period of the allowance payment to a maximum of three years, similar to the situation in the neighboring countries.

Marek Benda, chairman of the senior government Civic Democrat deputy group, would keep the four-year maximum period. MP Zdeněk Kettner, from the junior opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy and Jurečka shared this view.

"The parent should be able to decide how long to stay at home with the child. That is why we want to maintain the flexibility of parental leave for up to four years," Jurečka said. The return of parents of small children to work can be supported, for example, through advantages for part-time jobs, Jurečka added.

Currently, parents can receive a monthly allowance of up to 70 percent of their basic pay. The higher the monthly amount, the faster the total sum will be collected. Last year, the state paid out more than CZK 33 billion in parental allowances. Their rise by CZK 10,000 is estimated to increase the state costs by about CZK 1 billion.

The parental allowance was last raised raised in 2020 by a total of CZK 80,000. According to a study by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Analysis of the Institute of National Economy of the Academy of Sciences, this led to a longer drawing of the benefits, while the share of mothers who returned to work fell, which meant additional state costs.

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