Paternity leave viewed positively by most Czechs, poll suggests
In the Czech Republic, mothers or fathers have the generous option of taking parental leave of up to three years to raise their child. In the overwhelming number of cases, the mother is the one to stay home (often putting a career on hold). Increasingly, though, fathers are also beginning to consider the option. I spoke to Lukáš Talpa of the non-profit Liga otevřených mužů which recently commissioned a poll surveying attitudes about parental leave. I began by asking whether the number of those taking paternity leave had grown.
You mentioned the situation back in 2001: what was the situation before?
“It was possible but only in exceptional cases, such as if the man was widowed, for fathers to take paternity leave. But generally it wasn’t easy.”
For my father’s generation the option of staying home with children as the man wouldn’t have been an obvious choice, allowed or not...
Economically, are the options still restricted? Are most families still dependent on the father’s salary, so to speak?
“Yes and it plays a big role in fathers’ decisions. You know, in the research we asked if fathers would take paternity leave: 12 percent said they would and around 35 percent said they would consider it. But when we asked what blocked them from taking a final decision 75 percent said that financially it was not viable. They’d like to take leave to raise their child but the family would take too much of a financial hit.”
I imagine, to a large degree, that experiencing that kind of parenthood otherwise would be something that most people would benefit from: to spend more time with their kids...