EU Member States have an obligation to implement the Work-Life Balance Directive for parents and carers by 2 August 2022. What is the situation like here in the Czech Republic?
On 12 June 2019, the Council of the European Union approved a directive on work-life balance for parents and carers (so called Work-life Balance Directive). The general objective of this Directive is to ensure the application of the principle of equal opportunities for women and men in the labor market and equal treatment in the workplace. The directive should therefore contribute to increasing women’s participation in the labor market, motivate fathers to take part in childcare and domestic work as soon as possible, and contribute to the use of family leave or flexible working arrangements.
The main points of the directive are:
1) paternity leave – 10 working days for the period around the birth of the child,
2) parental leave – individual right to 4 months of parental leave, of which 2 months are paid and non-transferable between parents,
3) nursing leave – caregivers will be entitled to minimum of 5 working days off per year,
4) flexible work arrangement – caregivers and employees with children under the age of 8 may require flexible working hours and perform teleworking / remote working, including work from home.
The current legislation in the Czech Republic already contains most of the instruments introduced by the directive. Thus, from the provisions of the Directive, Czech legislation will be affected primarily by the extension of paternity leave from 5 to 10 working days, the possibility for parents with children under 8 and caretakers to request a home office arrangement from their employer, or a return to longer working hours after an earlier change to shorter working hours. The parental allowance paid in the Czech Republic may also increase due to the implementation of the directive.
Whether or not this Directive will generally contribute to a better work-life balance for parents and carers will largely depend on how the individual Member States approach its implementation.
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Directive (EU) 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers and repealing Council Directive 2010/18/EU; pertinent press release
Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labor Code, as amended