Pregnancy, maternity and leave related to work-life balance for workers (Directive 92/85, relevant provisions of Directives 2006/54, 2010/18 and 2019/1158)

AuthorKoldinská, Kristina
5 Pregnancy, maternity and leave related to work -life b alance for workers
(Directive 92/85, relevant provisions of Directives 2006/54, 2010/18 and
5.1 General (legal) context
5.1.1 Surveys and reports on the practical difficulties linked to work-life balance
There is one general study by Eurofound in which data from the Czech Republic are
The study came to the conclusion that a good number of countries with available data
continue to have low levels of participation by fathers (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic,
Hungary and Romania), despite some partial growth (Estonia for those receiving lower
amounts of compensation or Slovakia).
In 2018 the Public Defender of Rights published a Recommendation on Work-Life
Balance in the Civil Service.28 This Recommendation is addressed, in particular, to
ministries and calls for more personnel focusing on work-life balance on a daily basis and
on ministries establishing their own services, especially childcare.
A series of studies on some (especially economic) aspects of harmonising family and
working life is available at: The studies reflect
the realities of the Czech institutional setting and demographic situation. With few
exceptions, the studies contain new empirical findings supported by original IDEA
research based on the best data available for this purpose in Czechia.
The study, Czech women potential of the country not used,29 showed in the form of
age profiles of employment that Czechia is experiencing a significantly higher decline in
the employment of women of child-bearing age than in the Western countries of France,
the United Kingdom and the USA. At the same time, it also showed that participation in
the labour market is very high for Czech women before and after the typical age of
motherhood. Subsequently, however, participation decreases more sharply again in older
women than in the countries under comparison. Relatively early retirement may be
associated with older Czech women taking up caring roles either for elderly parents (in
the case of insufficient supply of palliative care, for example) or to provide grandmother
services, due to a lack of crèches and nurseries (see future IDEA studies).
The study entitled Public financing for more pre-school places pays off30 analyses the
costs and benefits of supporting places in schools. The results showed that once the
direct and indirect, immediate and long-term costs and revenues were included, one
place at a public nursery represents a net financial income of approxi mately EUR 400
26 See Masselot, A. (2018) Family leave: enforcement of the protection against dismissal and unfavourable
treatment, European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination, available at:
unfavourable-treatment-pdf-962-kb and McColgan, A. (2015) Measures to address the challenges of work-
life balance in the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, European network of legal
experts in gender equality and non-discrimination, available at:
27 Eurofound (2019), Parental and paternity leave Uptake by fathers, Publications Office of the European
Union, Luxembourg.
28 Available at:
29 Kalíšková, K., Münich, D. (2012) Češky: nevyužitý potenciál zem (Czech women: potential of the country
not used), Idea Cerge EI. Available at:
30 Kalíšková, K., Münich, D., Pertold, F. (2016) Veejná podpora míst ve školkách se vyplatí: analýza výnos a
náklad (Public financing for more pre-school places pays off: analysis of benefits and costs), Idea Cerge
EI Available at: https://idea.cerge-
(CZK 10 000) per year for public budgets. In addition to this, it is necessary to add
additional non-financial income (benefit) for parents and the increased motivation to
have children.
Why European wom en are saying no to (more) babies31 is a study produced for the
Czech context which mediates a significant finding of foreign research, showing that the
barrier to higher birth rates in Czechia (and some other countries) is the low willingness
among women to have children (or more children) and not a lack of willingness among
men (fathers). The reason for this is the complexity of combining childcare and careers,
which mostly affects mothers.
A study on the tax system32 shows that the Czech system of taxes and levies is set so
that it financially disadvantages the participation of mothers of small children in the
labour market. In addition, the study also includes a specific proposal to change the
parametric reform of the insurance system, which could significantly improve the
situation, with a financially viable solution for the state budget.
Supporting families with children through the tax and welfare system33 shows that the
Czech system of support for families with children focuses too much on direct financial
support through social benefits, at the expense of indirect support. In fact, there is a
lack of publicly subsidised services for families, such as high-quality preschool care
A study on the relationship between employment of women and parental leave34 shows
that Czech women who take long periods of parental leave have interrupted careers and
this causes significant loss of human capital. The professional development of mothers is
thus negatively affected by several years of interruption after returning to work. The
study estimates that reducing the parental leave period would lead mothers to have
access to better jobs, even several years after their return from parental leave. This may
be due to the fact that their career will not be interrupted for so long, so that human
capital is not lost.
From maternity to unemployment35 documents the negative effects of maternity and
parenting on womens unemployment after maternity / parental leave.
Another study documents the negative effects of motherhood on women’s lifetime
earnings.36 The widest gender pay gap has been found among workers aged 35-39 years
old (32 %) and workers with multiple pre-school-age children (people with one child
20 %; two children 32 %; and three children 35 %).
31 Doepke, M., Kindermann F. (2017) Proč ženy v Evrop nechtjí mít vice dtí (Why European women are
saying no to (more) babies), Idea Cerge EI Available at: https://idea.cerge-
32 Šatava, J. (2016) Daový system snižuje motivaci matek s menšími dtmi k práci: doporučení a jeho
vyhodnocení (The tax system reduces motivation to return to work among mothers with young children:
recommendations and evaluation), Idea Cerge EI Available at: https://idea.cerge-
33 Šatava, J. (2016) Podpora rodin s dtmi prostednictvím daov dávkového systému (Supporting families
with children through the tax and welfare system), Idea Cerge EI Available at: https://idea.cerge-
34 Pertold-Gebická, B. Impact of parental benefits reform in 2008 on mothers’ occupational allocation. Cerge
Idea. Study 8/2018. Available at: https://idea.cerge-
35 Bičáková, A., Kalíšková, K. Od mateství k nezamstnanosti: postavení žen s malými dtmi na trhu práce
(From maternity to unemployment: women with young children returning to the labour market) Idea
Cerge EI Available at:
36 Pytlíková, M. (2015) Rozdíly ve výši výdlku ve vztahu k mateství a dítti v rodin (Wage differences
related to motherhood and children in the family), Idea Cerge EI Available at: https://idea.cerge-

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