The Czech Government has agreed to a proposal by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs for a new long-term care package for loved ones that will include 90 days’ pay to take care of seriously ill relatives.

The deal has to be formally agreed upon and signed by parliament, but it does seem to have the blessing of both Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Marks Finance Minister Andrej Babis. A similar system is highly regarded in neighboring Austria.

At present, a sick relative would receive state care and you would have to arrange with your employer when you can have time off work to care for them. There is currently no financial package in place to help people that are caring for sick relatives.

The new bill:

The new law would mean that people with seriously ill relatives could have up to 90 days off work, in a similar way to maternity or paternity leave, and they would still collect 60% of their base salary. The employer has to agree to the time off in the first place

“It’s something that will greatly help families. Taking care of relatives can be extremely important and is often not an option under the current rules. Care from family can be far better than from someone unknown to the recovering person, so it creates a space for reconciling work and family life. It enables us to improve how we take care of our parents and grandparents who are sick and in need.” Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka

There was opposition to the bill:

Those arguing against the ruling from a financial perspective were overruled when it was announced that it actually costs more to look after these sick people under state care, than having a relative do the work on 60% of their salary. The only difficult point in the draft bill was that employers must agree to the time off; which might put up obstacles.

“Taking care of your loved ones who can’t take care of themselves is certainly correct, however, long-term care benefits are not the right way. In our program, we are talking about the possibility of turning people into long-term careers and paying the state wage for them.” – Lenka Kohoutová – ODS.