Overall assessment

AuthorKoldinská, Kristina
12 Overall assessment
The transposition problems mentioned in this report are listed below.
The directives on equal access to employment are well implemented in the
legislation, but the practical application of the law remains a problem.
Discrimination in access to employment still o ccurs, but there are almost no cases :
women do not usually t ake cases to court, as it takes a l ong time, is costly an d the
outcome is by no means certain. The legislation covering leave and t ime off is
generous, which often means that women, as sole carers, are difficult to hire,
because th e employer presumes such an employee could b e pr oblematic because
of her caring responsibilities.
Practical application of the law. Wom en often face discriminatory questions during
recruitment processes, as most women are carers an d their career is often
interrupted f or more than five years (due to very long parental leave, wh ich may
last until the child is three years old) . Women often do not obtain higher positions
in companies, as they are involved in caring for sick children or elderly parents.
They are believed not to be as loyal as employees as their male c ounterparts.
Czechia is a country with one of the highest levels of pay inequalities between
women and men in the same working position and at the same workpl ace. While in
Western European countries the gender pay gap for the same job and for work of
the same value is 5 % , women in Czechia are paid on average 11 % less than
men, for the same job, with the same employer.
Conditions for taking parental leave. Parental allowance, paid from state social
support, is paid monthly and parents can (under certain conditions) decide the
monthly level of the allowance. The t otal amount for each child is CZK 300 000
(approximately EUR 11 000). If children are born quickly one after the other, the
total amount of CZK 220 000 always appli es to the youngest child in the family, so
that in such a case, part of the total amount for the previous child gets lost, as the
previous parental allowance ends as soon as a new one is claimed.
The waiting period for maternity benefit can cause problems for self-employed
women. As participation in the system is voluntary for self-employed people, many
of them prefer not to participate and not to pay contributio ns, especially when they
are starting their business. If a self-employed woman becomes pregnant shortly
after she starts paying contributions, she may face a difficult situation, as she will
not be entitled to the benefit, which is quite generous. Maternity benefit is provided
for 28 or 37 weeks, of which six weeks can be claimed before the estimated date of
delivery. Maternity allowanc e is paid to all insured self-employed p eople
(participation by self-employed people is voluntary).
Difficulty with accepting a discrimination complaint and properl y shifting the burden
of proof.
Scepticism as regards identifying discrimination in legal relationships, inclu ding
employment. There have only been a few discrimination cases and there a re very
few researchers (of whom just a handful of lawyers) who systematically tackle the
issue of discrimination. The most pressing issue in the Czech context is how
relatively good legislat ion can be enforced in practice, so that the law can serve to
improve gender equality.
The gender equality acqu is has been transposed in Czechia quite satisfactorily. However,
sometimes the impl ementation has not comp letely followed the spirit of the EU
directives. An example of this is the copy-an d-paste method which has been used in the
case of occupational pension schemes, where equal treatment is guaranteed in Sections
8 and 9 of the Anti-Discrimination Act. As there was (and still is) no occupational pension
pillar in the Czech pension system and, at the same time, it was requested that the
relevant p arts of th e E U law be implemented, some parts of the Recast Directive were
taken, translated and put into the Anti-Discrimination Act, which, from a systematic
point of view , does not seem to have been a very w ell thought-out step. Sections 8 and

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