The Czech government has approved an increase in parental benefits, due to take effect from January 2020.
In a press release from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, it was announced this week that parents of newborns and children up to four years of age who have not yet exhausted their parental support will be eligible to receive additional financial help from January 1, 2020.
The Czech government approved the proposal to increase the parental by 80,000 CZK to 300,000 CZK this week. The amendment has yet to be discussed by parliament and signed by the President.
Coalition parties have been debating the increase since last year with the proposal changing several times.
Advocates of the amendment point out that family income drops significantly after the birth of a child. They say that while the cost of living is on the rise, the benefits have not been adjusted for years.
However, some economists and experts on women’s issues point out that while the Czech Republic may have significantly longer parental leave compared to foreign countries it also has low maternity employment. They say increasing the amount does not help get women back into the workforce.
Part of the amendment to the Act on State Social Support is not just an increase in parenting contribution. According to a statement from the MPSV, children up to 2 years of age may attend kindergarten or similar school facilities 92 hours a month without their families losing parental support.
The government says these changes will help parents better balance family and work. Those who want to go back to work earlier, at least part-time, will be able to.