Labour Office changes its stance on maternity benefits for Czech mums working abroad
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has made a U-turn on a thorny issue that concerns thousands of women working abroad who are planning a family. After years when mums who commuted to work abroad were refused maternity benefits in the Czech Republic, the ministry has reviewed its policy on the matter and even make a small retro-active amendment. The decision was taken following criticism from the Ombudsman’s Office.
Complaints piled up at the Czech Ombudsman’s Office and Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová recently intervened on their behalf, warning the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry that by refusing to pay mothers living in the Czech Republic maternity benefits it was violating EU social security regulations.
The Labour Ministry subsequently announced a change of policy on the matter. According to the Social Security Administration mums-to-be residing in the Czech Republic, who commute to work abroad but return to their home country at least once a week will now be eligible for maternity benefits from the Czech state. Those who were refused maternity benefits in the past and fulfilled the stated conditions can now ask for them to be refunded within a three-year-retroactive-validity.
The ministry has not said how many mothers this may concern at the present time, but according to Labour Office statistics there are presently over 25,000 Czechs commuting to work abroad.