Parental leave helps shape the society we live in. In more ways than is apparent on the surface.
Czechia has one of the most expansive parental leave policies on the planet. As a result, Czech parents spend, on average, 208 weeks on leave. We all can recognize the positive benefit this has on the development of children, and that is not being contested. The question is what other impacts this period of government-supported leave has.
The first is that this period has a major impact on the earning potential of any parent taking that leave. The OECD says Czech parents receive one of the lowest percentages of their pre-leave earnings among its member countries. This is one of the the primary drivers of the gender pay gap. More women take parental leave. They leave the workforce for approximately four years. How can that difference be made up?
AmCham CZ has put parental leave at the center of its Equality and Fairness in the Workplace agenda. It is a policy that has done much good- and imposed many costs on the government, companies, society and parent's careers. We were very fortunate yesterday to have a discussion so capably and evenly led by Dinah Richter Spritzer of Media Confident Jana Vychroňová of Vodafone and Jakub Kabát of CMS that examined all sides of the issues. Our goal is to find ways that companies, and the government, can produce more of the benefit of parental leave while reducing its unwelcome consequences.
Hope you will send us your insights, and join us for our next roundtable.