Paternity leave entitlement – new for the Czech Republic, old for Europe?

As of February 2018, the new paternity leave entitlement for fathers has come into effect in the Czech Republic. The new seven-day entitlement, which allows fathers to claim up to 70% of their salary, is intended to encourage father’s early involvement in caring for young children.

The new entitlement is available for fathers with sickness insurance (the majority for whom is paid by their employer). Fathers are entitled to up to 70% of their salary for seven calendar days of leave within six weeks of the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. The leave can be taken at any time in the six weeks following the child’s birth.

Mothers in the Czech Republic are currently entitled to 20 weeks of postnatal maternity support, which can also be split with the father as shared parental leave after the sixth week.

Parental leave policy in the EU

If you become father in Finland, you can take three weeks off after your baby was born, in Portugal it is even four weeks.  The longest “holidays” can be taken by fathers in South Korea and Japan. But eight developed countries (USA, Canada, Switzerland and Slovakia among them) have no time off for fathers.

Until the first of February 2018 the Czech Republic was the ninth country with not one day off. for new fathers Until then only women had 28 weeks of maternity leave, getting  70% of their income and then parental leave up to the 4th birthday of their child, getting 220 000 CZK (7 333 EUR) in total. Depending on the length of the leave, the amount is usually around 7000 CZK (233 EUR) a month. The shorter you stay at home, the higher the monthly amount. This parental leave can be taken either by mother or father of the child.

Now a new step was taken by the Czech government to support the bond between the child and its father – fathers can take 7 days off within first six weeks after the baby was born. They get 70% of their salary. The only disadvantage is that it can be only taken as seven consequent working days and it cannot be split into shorter blocks.

More info about the situation in the EU including recent changes in this area which took place in Sweden in Germany can be found at the website here. More info about the system in the Czech Republic can be found on the website here.

Comparison of OECD countries according to the length of parental leave

Country Length of paternity leave Financial support (% of income)
South Korea 53 weeks 30,7 %
Japan 52 weeks 58,4 %
France 28 weeks 20,2 %
Luxembourg 26 weeks 39,8 %
Portugal 21 weeks 54,2 %
Belgium 19 weeks 25,8 %
Island 13 weeks 63,8 %
Sweden 10 weeks 75,6 %
Norway 10 weeks 98,7 %
Finnland 9 weeks 70,7 %
Germany 9 weeks 65 %
Austria 9 weeks 80 %
Spain 2 weeks 100 %
Slovenia 2 weeks 90 %
Great Britain 2 weeks 20,6 %
Poland 2 weeks 100 %
Estonia 2 weeks 100 %
Denmark 2 weeks 54,1 %
Australia 2 weeks 42 %
Mexico 1 week 100 %
Hungary 1 week 100 %
Chile 1 week 100 %
Netherlands 2 days 100 %
Greece 2 days 100 %
Italy 1 day 100 %
USA No day
Turkey No day
Switzerland No day
Slovakia No day
New Zealand No day
Israel No day
Ireland No day
Canada No day

Source: OECD 2016