Parents in Czechia should get two months of paid leave as of August

An EU directive passed is intended to create a better work-life balance for families, but the Czech Republic has not yet passed the required legislation.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 20.04.2022 13:28:00 (updated on 20.04.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

All European Union members states are required to allow parents to have at least two months of paid leave as of Aug. 2 this year. The Czech Republic is behind on passing the required legislation and will likely have to ask for an extension from the EU.

Employed parents can break up the time and use it until the child is eight years old. Parents will be able to take the leave for each child, and it won't be transferable from one parent to the other.

The EU directive was passed in 2019, and member states including the Czech Republic were given three years to implement it. The purpose of the directive is to provide for a better work-life balance for parents and caregivers.

The Czech Republic is just now addressing how much money parents will receive from their employer and how the money will be distributed. The EU directive is not specific on this point. “At least the two non-transferable months have to be adequately compensated at a level to be decided in each EU country,” the directive states.

Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka is expected to submit the required legislation by the end of April. While details of the pending proposal have not been made public, CNN Prima News reported that compensation of 60 to 80 percent of the daily assessment base is being debated. This would be similar to the compensation for maternity leave or sickness. The cost to the state budget could be up to CZK 10 billion per year.

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Wage compensation would be paid by the employer, and payments would be reimbursed to employers in the form of a social security deduction. This would mean that parents would not have to apply for social benefits, which would be another possible way of implementing the policy.

“We do not consider it entirely appropriate for us to send our parents to the employment office all the time because parents are not a social case and parenthood is a normal part of life," Parliamentary Deputy Marie Jílková told news server iDnes.cz.

The opposition ANO party has its own ideas for how the directive should be implemented. Parliamentary Deputy Aleš Juchelka said that parents should be compensated at the same level as for vacations.

“It's really about being able to spend time freely with my children without being punished somewhere on the other side. Families must not lose money because otherwise they will not use much [of the leave],” Juchelka told CNN Prima News.

He also added that self-employed people were left out of the EU directive, and seem likely to also not be included in the Czech implementation. He wants to see a policy that would include everyone. “It seems to me that it would otherwise be unfair. … Why should employees be given priority? It should be set the same for everyone,” Juchelka said.

The coalition government of ANO and the Social Democrats, though, was in power until Dec. 17, 2021, and failed to pass the required legislation. They did extend paternity leave to 14 days within the first six weeks of the birth of a child, which was another requirement of the EU’s work-balance directive.

Being able to apply for parental leave up until when a child is 8 years old would be a big change in the Czech Republic. “Until now, all parental support has been for zero to 3 years of age, while in other European Union countries it is up to 8 or 15 years old,” Jana Skalková, chief counsel for Minister Jurečka, told iDnes.cz.

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