Female labour supply in the Czech transition: effects of the work-life conciliation policies

Alzbeta Mullerova, Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense

Czech conciliation policies, i.e. the combination of social, family and employment policies affecting households’ fertility and employment choices, have gone through dramatic changes since 1989. In the first part, we analyse these policy changes and their consequences on female employment, separated into three main periods. After a brief presentation of the demographic and economic background of conciliation policies before 1989, we show that the post-transitional policies differ from the former comprehensive and paternalist orientation, and result in a sharp decrease in public childcare supply and one of the widest parenthood-related employment gaps in Europe. The European Union accession was a second major shock, as the European Commission put emphasis on public childcare in order to increase female labour market participation. In the second part of this paper we focus on the 1995 Czech Parental Leave reform. The payment of parental benefits was extended to four years instead of three without an equivalent extension of the job protected parental leave, leaving to parents the choice of either guaranteed employment or additional twelve months of benefits. First results based on the Labour Force Survey 1993-2012 suggest that this reform has increased the discontinuity of female careers.

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Presented in Poster Session 3