Czech schools, closed since mid March, have begun reopening across the country. But sending children back to school is not compulsory and some parents are opting to keep kids at home both for safety or a host of other reasons.
While the government initially offered support to parents in the form of a “nursing” benefits designed to recover income lost for employees who stayed home to care for children, it has now been agreed that the later group of parents should retain those benefits.
The Senate, the upper house of Czech parliament, approved on Wednesday a government bill under which nursing benefits would be further paid even to parents who choose not send their children to reopened schools and nurseries for health reasons or other restrictions.
Parents will be required to submit a special form to specify their reasons for doing so.
President Milos Zeman is set to sign the bill, sponsored by Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jan Malacova (CSSD).
All schools and pre-school facilities were closed in the Czech Republic on March 11 to curb the coronavirus epidemic. They have been gradually reopened since mid-May but under special sanitary conditions.
The Senate approved the regulation on nursing benefits within the government bill to enable firms to postpone social insurance payments.
Without this change, the parents who would still keep their children at home after the reopening of kindergartens and nurseries might lose the right to benefits.
The benefits amount to 80 percent of the parents’s base pay. They will be paid until the end of the school year, June 30 at the latest.
The same rules on nursing benefit payment will apply to those looking after elderly or disabled family members after the closure of social services for them. These facilities will also gradually reopen with some limitations.