Statistics show that more and more men are taking paternity leave, even if this is only a slight increase. While in the first half of 2020, according to data from the Czech Social Security Administration, more than 22,000 men used this option, in the same period this year this number was close to 25,000.
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According to the figures of the Czech Statistical Office, 55 thousand children were born in the same period. About half of Czech fathers can stay at home with their newborns. “I consider that a big number. We assume that fathers love their children and want to participate in their upbringing. If they only get 70 percent of their wages for two weeks, it doesn’t matter,” said the chairman of the Union of Fathers, Valentin Papazian.
Lukáš Talpa from the organization League of Open Men does not quite agree with this. She conducted a survey a few years ago, which showed that about 75 percent of men would take paternity leave. “Not everyone knows about this option and only health insurance payers can use it. In addition, it is not paid to people with low, but vice versa with high incomes, because it would make a hole in their family budget. Therefore, they prefer to take a classic vacation,” he explained.
Benefit: full salary and longer vacation
On the other hand, more and more men are realizing that fatherhood is a value for them. Because of it, they are more and more willing to change jobs, even if they will have a lower salary. According to Talpa, this trend, which began to appear in the West in the 1960s, has also been evident in the Czech Republic in the last twenty years.
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Companies operating in the Czech Republic are also starting to respond to this and are starting to offer paternity leave as a benefit. “Employees perceive the offer of these benefits and support very positively, among other things, as a manifestation of the employer’s interest, which is the basis of a good and stable relationship between employees and employers,” explained the director of the ABSL association, which brings together business, IT and customer service centers in the Czech Republic, Jonathan Appleton .
Some companies not only pay their employees the missing part of the salary, but also offer them a longer holiday. “We pay new fathers their full salary during the fourteen-day paternity leave, plus we add an additional two weeks, which they can choose after the birth of the child,” explained Jaromír Staroba, director of the ABInBev Digital Hub in Prague, for example.
Eva Čásenská, director of recruitment at Pure Storage, said that her company offers a fully paid six-week vacation to partners of women giving birth. “An employee can use this allowance during the first year after the birth of a child,” she added.
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However, this trend also has a more prosaic background. Companies do not want to lose their employees. “They want to keep them because it’s more expensive to train new employees,” Talpa explained.
However, employees do not feel this kind of support everywhere. As the Grafton Recruitment agency found in its survey, 93 percent of employees would like to feel the employer’s interest. But only 51 percent actually feel it. The workers in production lack it the most, and the least in business services.
Data from the Czech Statistical Office indicate that the average age of fathers in the Czech Republic is 33.5 years.