Extra maternity leave for new parents is a new popular benefit

5.8.2022

The number of employers who try to support new parents is growing. They strive to provide them with high-standard paid leave beyond the scope of the law or full pay during the entire 28 weeks of maternity leave. In addition to ensuring the loyalty of existing employees, the goal is also to support young families and their work-family balance. The benefit is most often used in the sector of business, IT, and customer services, where young parents make up the largest group of employees.

By law, employed women can take maternity leave for 28 weeks for one child and 37 weeks in the case of two or more children. They receive 70 % of the reduced daily assessment basis for one calendar day. Now, however, a growing number of employers pay women full wages during maternity leave.

“The motivation of employers is most often the loyalty strengthening. They want to maintain contact with women even during their maternity leave, offer them reduced working hours or other forms of cooperation and ensure that they return back after maternity leave,“ says Jonathan Appleton, Director of the ABSL Association,

which unites business, IT and customer services centers in the Czech Republic. Employers in this sector also offer new benefits to new fathers. By law, they are entitled to take leave for 14 calendar days, which they can take during the first 6 weeks after childbirth. As in the case of maternity leave, the amount of paternity pay is not a full wage compensation, but only 70 % of the daily assessment base per calendar day. Yet, according to Jonathan Appleton, employers are beginning to provide full wage reimbursement or even offer far more time off.

“More than half of the employees in our sector are millennials, and almost a quarter are from generation Z. This age structure, as well as the average age of 36, indicates that a significant number of our people are dealing with starting or enlarging a family. The offer of these benefits and support is therefore perceived very positively by employees, among other as a sign of the employer’s interest, which is the basis of a good and stable relationship between employees and employers, “ explains Jonathan Appleton.

According to data from the Czech Statistical Office, the average age of mothers at the childbirth is 30.2 years and the average father age is 33.5 years. The survey of employee preferences, conducted by the Grafton Recruitment, shows that 93 % of employees would like to feel the employer’s interest, but only 51 % actually feel it. The workers in manufacturing lack it the most, and people in business services the least.

Full salary and the possibility of longer maternity leave after the birth of a child

One of the companies supporting young families after the childbirth is, for example, the Anheuser-Busch InBev company focusing on the development of innovations for AB InBev, key global producer, and seller of beer and soft drinks.

“We pay new fathers their full salary during the two weeks of paternity leave, which they can choose after the birth of their child. Mothers then receive 100 % paid maternal leave from us for 26 weeks, i.e., more than half a year,” says Jaromír Staroba, Director of the ABInBev Digital Hub in Prague.

The Californian company Pure Storage, which operates its research and development center in Prague, has similarly generous approach to supporting young people.

“To support our employees in starting or enlarging families, we provide all new fathers or partners of mothers with a fully paid six-week parental leave. The employee can use this allowance during the first year after the birth of the child. Our employees appreciate this benefit very much and we are happy that we can support them in this way,” says Eva Čásenská, Director of Recruitment for Pure Storage.

Support does not end with time off after the birth of a child

Financial support and the demonstration of the employer’s interest in employees as a new parent and thus improving their loyalty are all very important points. However, parenthood does not end with a few weeks of maternity leave. If a parent wants to be a parent and an employee at the same time, and if the employer wants to support him, it is crucial to create conditions to support the possibility of working with a small child, whether it is the possibility of working with the child at home, the possibility of taking the child to work if necessary or the possibility to adjust working hours according to the child’s needs,” comments Jana Vávrová, Project Manager of HR Services from Grafton Recruitment.

These needs in business, IT, and customer services are addressed by the high degree of flexibility that employers offer to their people. Up to 4 days out of the working week, employees are allowed to work from home in 71 % of the centers, and 12 % even for the entire week.

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