Three-fifths of Czech families are paying off some debt at the moment, according to a survey carried out by IBRS Agency for Caritas Czech Republic. An average monthly instalment amounts to 6,700 crowns. One third of the indebted families don’t know how they would solve possible problems with paying off their debt, while two thirds said they would ask their relatives or take yet another debt to solve the problem. According to experts, net earnings below 24,000 crowns a month are regarded insufficient to provide financial security.
The Czech lower house has rejected a proposed amendment to the law that would have enabled unmarried women to undergo artificial fertilization using the sperm of an anonymous donor. The proposal sparked heated debate on the discrimination of singles and the right of a child to know who its parents are.
Czech MPs have voted against a bill allowing unmarried women to undergo artificial fertilisation using the sperm of an anonymous donor, iDnes.cz reported. Only 40 of 153 deputies present for Wednesday’s vote supported the amendment put forward by František Adamek of the Social Democrats. The motion sparked impassioned debate, with TOP 09 deputy Jitka Chalánková saying the right to have a child did not rank among the basic human rights. Reacting to this statement, the Social Democrat minister for social affairs, Michaela Marksová, said Ms. Chalánková had completely lost her mind. Mr. Adamek said the bill would remove the current requirement for unmarried women to present a male “partner” at fertility clinics.
Fathers will be entitled to a week’s paid leave under a health insurance amendment backed in the upper house of parliament, the Senate, on Wednesday. Fathers will be able to take the week within six weeks following the birth of a child with 70 percent of the normal wages paid. Government ministers say the move should encourage fathers to be more involved in the raising of their offspring. The move, which now needs only the signature of the president to become law, was backed by 58 out of the 77 lawmakers present. Around 100,000 Czechs are born every year.
An increasing number of children are suffering from negative side effects of vaccinations, according to the State Institute for Control of Drugs. The institute says it now gets hundreds of complaints every year, some insignificant, others fairly or very serious. No link has so far been proven between vaccination and autism or epilepsy but an increasing number of parents fear they may be putting their children at risk. Parents who do not get their children vaccinated face complications such as not being able to enrol them in nursery schools.
The lower house has approved a bill that will enable fathers to take a week of paid leave to be with their new-born within six weeks of the baby’s birth. Paternity leave would be voluntary and those who chose to take it would receive 70 percent of their base salary, which is the same percentage currently received by women on maternity leave. The bill still needs to win approval in the Senate and be signed by the president.
The number of Czech fathers who are winning custody of their children and receiving alimony payments from their ex-wives is increasing, Czech Television reported on Monday. According to 2016 statistics over 7,000 fathers were awarded custody rights last year. Experts see this as a positive trend in Czech society and an indication of the fact that fathers are getting increasingly involved in the process of bringing up their children. In the years immediately after the fall of communism children were almost invariably placed in their mother’s care. Judges approach to custody lawsuits is also gradually changing.
Leaders of the coalition government have agreed a compromise solution over the divisive issue of how to raise payments to families with children. They finally agreed Wednesday night to set aside 4 billion crowns to be spent from next year. The cash will allow an extra 300 crowns a month payments tor families with children as long as they do not exceed an earnings ceiling. A further 150 crowns a month for the first child will be offered through tax breaks. The issue had divided the coalition leaders with the main government party, the Social Democrats, seeking higher cash payments and ANO and the Christian Democrats demanding higher tax breaks.
Lower house lawmakers have passed a raft of proposed government tax changes which mainly focus on offering more tax relief for parents for second, third, and fourth children. The move, for example, boosts tax relief for a second child by 2400 crowns to reach 19404 crowns. The measure, if backed by the Senate and president, should come into effect by April 1. But a series of amendments to the rules over electronic cash registers and sales declarations proposed by both government and opposition parties failed to win sufficient support.
No less than three government ministers attended an international conference about the role and status of Czech family firms this week. As well as the conference itself, interest has been sparked by the anomalous position of family firms in the country amid new moves to give them a clearer and higher profile role as many face up to crucial decisions.