Czech Republic: Paternity leave set to be introduced in early 2017

Proposed paternity leave legislation is currently  under debate in Parliament and is likely to be implemented in the Czech Republic in the spring of 2017.

In May 2016, the Czech government approved the amendment of Act No. 187/2006 Coll. on Sickness Insurance. The amendment concerns the introduction of paternity (postnatal) leave. Under the terms of the act, paternity leave of one week's duration should be taken within six weeks of the birth of a child. The aim is to give new fathers the opportunity to bond with their child

It is assumed that the new law will entitle men to the same amount of money for their one-week paternity leave as women on maternity leave, equal to 70 % of the daily assessment base.

The text of the amendment is now under review in Parliament and paternity leave should come up for debate just after Parliamentary summer recess. The Minister of Labour and  Social Affairs intends to implement the amendment during the first half of 2017.  While the leading governmental party, the Czech Social Democratic Party, supports the measure, the second biggest party in the coalition government, ANO, considers the measure to be too expensive. The trade union Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (ČMKOS) fully supports the amendment. While employer group the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SPČR) have highlighted some of the negative consequences, in principle they are is not opposed to the measure. In general employers fear that the change in legislation will result in a higher administrative burden for them, requiring considerable liaising with the Czech Social Security Administration. Moreover, they are concerned that the amendment to the legislation will trigger unions to demand other provisions, such as more days off for fathers.

Currently, just 1.8 % of Czech men avail of parental leave, despite being entitled to it and enjoying the same conditions as women.  

For more information on entitlements in the Czech Republic, see Eurofound's Working life country profile.  

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