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Survey: 9 of 10 Companies Agree with Less-stringent Criteria for Establishing a Children's Group to Increase Availability

„Three-quarters (73%) of companies are interested in the forthcoming legislation concerning children's groups. According to the survey, large companies are more-interested in children's groups than are small and medium-size enterprises (SME).“

- Šárka Drbová,
Manager in the Compensation & Benefits department of Deloitte's Tax function

Prague, 14 May 2013 – 94% of companies in the Czech Republic favour more-moderate rules for the establishment and operation of "children's groups". If the planned legislation were approved, 71% of companies would support children's groups as a form of care facilities for their employee's children, 27% of which would support the children's group exclusively and 44% would allow their employees to select from a number of pre-school facilities as part of the Cafeteria benefit system or in the form of a subscription with contractual facilities. These are the key findings of Deloitte's survey conducted in March and April 2013, which includes input from 55 companies and nearly 900 employees across the Czech Republic.

"Three-quarters (73%) of companies are interested in the forthcoming legislation concerning children's groups. According to the survey, large companies are more-interested in children's groups than are small and medium-size enterprises (SME). While one third of the large companies participating in the survey support the establishment of children's groups for employee's children, only a quarter of SMEs do so," said Šárka Drbová, Manager in the Compensation & Benefits department of Deloitte's Tax function. "SMEs are showing a stronger tendency not to concentrate the support only on one type of pre-school facility but to provide the employees with a wider choice," she added.

In respect of employees, 82% of respondents prefer children's groups, provided that their employer supports it. Nearly the same number of survey participants (80%) agrees that the rules for the establishment of children's groups should be less-stringent.

Tax preferences in terms of children's groups

Half of companies (50%) would welcome tax concessions for employers – mainly in the form of tax-deductible expenses concerning either contributions to school fees or the establishment and operation of the company's childcare facilities.

"For small and medium-size enterprises, the greatest form of state support consists of the tax-deductibility of contributions to school fees paid by the employer and, at the same time, the opportunity for employees to apply these fees as items deductible from the tax base. Contrarily, large businesses prefer only the tax-deductibility of contributions to school fees paid by employees," said Romana Baloga Vybíralová, Tax Consultant at Deloitte, commenting on the survey results.

Employees favour the opportunity to apply school fees as an item deductible from the tax base as a preferred personal income tax measure; nearly half of respondents (48%) would prefer this measure.

In terms of corporate income tax, employees give a priority to tax concessions for employers in the form of the tax-deductibility of costs incurred by contributions to school fees provided to employees. This was reported by 42% of the employees surveyed.

Mismatch between the employers' requirements for the length of maternity/parental leave and the employees' capabilities

The survey results demonstrate a strong mismatch between the employers' requirements and the employees' capabilities in terms of the length of the maternity/parental leave. A majority of companies (84%) reported that an employee's earlier return to work from maternity/parental leave is beneficial for the company; over a half of companies (53%) prefer it due to the ability to retain the company's knowledge.

"Companies primarily care for the return of employees holding qualified or managerial posts. More than a third (35%) of companies prefer that managers and core employees return from maternity/parental leave within one year. Currently, only 15% of managers and core employees return within this period," added Šárka Drbová.

Based on the survey results, 70% of employees perceive the unavailability of pre-school facilities to be the largest obstacle to an earlier return to work.

The current situation of the support of employees with pre-school children

The survey clearly shows that the care of pre-school children is of great importance for a majority of companies. Nearly 70% of companies reported that they have already dealt with issues related to employees with pre-school children in the past.

Currently, the most frequent support granted to employees with pre-school children consists of part-time employment provided by 79% of SMEs and 74% of large companies.

"More than half of companies (58%) providing their employees with some form of support set the conditions for such support on an individual basis. Over two thirds (69%) support employees who are no longer on maternity/parental leave but have pre-school children," added Šárka Drbová, Manager in the Tax function of Deloitte.

Other interesting findings of the survey:

  • Nearly half of the companies surveyed (46%) have already considered the establishment of a pre-school facility for their employees' children in the past. Most frequently, the companies would ensure such facilities by means of outsourcing (35%) or as part of the Cafeteria benefit system (27%).
  • Only a quarter of the companies participating in the survey do not consider the introduction of financial contributions for parents with pre-school children. 69% of companies agree that in the event of providing a contribution to the employees, the contribution amount would not rely on the employee's position in the company.
  • With respect to the current legislation and tax treatment, two-thirds (66%) of companies prefer replacing the amount of money provided to employees with another type of service (ie service provided at the place of employment – paid by employees under favourable conditions), most often in the form of flexible working hours (42%) or family assistance programmes (31%) etc.
  • In the case of children's groups, 71% of companies would prefer to ensure a pre-school childcare system enabling employees to select a particular facility according to their preferences.

About the survey:

In relation to the forthcoming proposal for legislation on childcare services, the goal of Deloitte's survey was to map the current situation of care facilities for preschool children, including the expectations of employers as well as employees. The forthcoming act introduces children's groups as a new type of childcare service for children from the age of six months up to the initiation of compulsory education. The goal of the new act is mainly to allow employers and non-profit organisations to get involved in providing childcare services to their employees.

For more information about the survey, please visit www.deloitte.com/cz/predskolni-pece (the website is in the czech language).

 

 

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/cz/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte's approximately 195,000 professionals are committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

© 2013 Deloitte Czech Republic

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