Missing business women on charges? The state should deal with what makes life difficult for women

Equality or sameness? Don’t confuse!

It is also related to the widespread domestic misunderstanding of equality as identity, which is currently visible in the debates on social networks about the introduction of sick leave for women suffering from painful menstruation in Spain.

Likewise, we fatally lack the understanding that in addition to direct discrimination (example for example excluding same-sex couples with the possibility of marriage), indirect discrimination is also possible. This is when there is a practice, policy or rule that applies to everyone in the same, uniform way, but has a worse effect on some people than others. A good understanding of the principle of indirect discrimination is possible in the comprehensive publication Men’s Law. Are legal rules neutral? of Kateřina Šimáčková, Pavly Špondrová a Barbara Havelkova (ed., ed. Wolters Kluwer, 2020).

Some self-employed women already find themselves in situations that their male counterparts do not encounter or that, for many reasons, affect men to a much lesser extent. And this is directly related to the establishment of a business system as self-employed and self-employed. Female entrepreneurship in the Czech Republic has its own chronically unsolved problems, which have been repeatedly pointed out by various studies for many years, but still have not received a satisfactory solution and do not even delve deeper into discussions about changing the deposit system. This mainly refers to mother entrepreneurs, mature entrepreneurs over 50 years old and entrepreneurs with migration status.

She is not on maternity leave without sick leave and does not receive compensation for independent care

First of all, it should be remembered that the voluntary payment of health insurance must already be added to the amount of the levy. Although it is a relatively small amount, the minimum for this year is set at 168 kroner (relatively because even hundreds a year can be a very relevant expense for someone), which not everyone pays, but it is a state payment like any other. And if the self-employed apply for it, they have to pay it, regardless of their actual current income.

For business women, if they want to have children, health insurance is nothing trivial, it is precisely from it that, in addition to sick leave and other benefits, financial assistance is paid for maternity leave (without paid sick leave, a business woman is not entitled to it), or long-term care. On the other hand, a self-employed person is not entitled to care allowance, which is usually paid primarily for a child under the age of ten, even if he pays his own health insurance. The state justification of the alibi is the nature of the activities performed. That is, the belief that a self-employed person without certain working hours can somehow ensure the care of a child – probably by working at night when the child is sleeping, by paid babysitting, etc. Female employees have the right to sick leave compensation, but again except for those who perform minor work or work under a contract on the performance of work or a contract on work activity.

Kindergartens, kindergartens, kindergartens and more kindergartens

The Czech Republic leads the way in the decline of employment of women aged 25 to 34, which, as they remind us Jakub Grossmann a Daniel Munich in his study Hands and Brains of Czech Women Still Untapped (published by the IDEA Institute for Democracy and Economic Analysis at the National Economic Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in January 2023) is now the typical age for parenthood. In addition to the long parental leave of up to four years, the chronic unavailability of preschool institutions for children, where not only children from three years old, but also younger ones could go, and women would not have to stay at home. just because they can’t find institutional care for the child plays a role in it. Better utilization of the potential of the generation of educated women during parenthood would contribute to better availability of pre-school education and care facilities, which would make it easier for parents, especially mothers, to combine family life, including child care, with work and a working career. Jakub Grossmann and Daniel Münich state in the aforementioned study. It is a topic that basically concerns business women as well.

However, the authors propose a controversial solution, which is the reduction of direct public financial support to families with children during maternity and parenting and instead greater indirect support in the form of services. However, it is possible to successfully debate whether there is room for a reduction in parental allowance in particular. Parental allowance of 300,000 kroner for one child and 450,000 kroner for multiple children can be considered a relevant amount for living when converted to months, perhaps only if the maximum possible amount of parental allowance is drawn as soon as possible. On the contrary, the potential valorization of the parental allowance is now being discussed.

The male image of business distorts access to female entrepreneurs

Female entrepreneurs also face what is described in the analysis Women and Czech Society. Evaluation of the implementation of the Beijing Action Platform (Beijing +25) by cats2cats in 2021, with financial support from the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung: The numerical predominance of men among entrepreneurs has consequences in how not only the public, but also the political elite imagine business, an entrepreneurial person, and what qualities and characteristics they attribute to them. The male business model is often presented and subsequently reinforced, where the entrepreneur is seen as a self-reliant man who does business for profit and profit and who does not have family and caring obligations and can thus devote his time to work.

According to the study, this idea is also embodied in many formal business-related measures and tools. This idea is often reflected in discussions about raising the levy on the self-employed as a person working in IT, who is mentioned as an example for all self-employed, even if their situation is diametrically different.

Entrepreneurship as a matching strategy

At the same time, according to this analysis, women’s business takes on different dimensions and their business is affected by gender dynamics in society and the family: It is no coincidence that most women start their jobs at the age of 40, when they return from parental leave and when they are most burdened with taking care of young children. The description of the business of female entrepreneurs with young children also sends a clear message – they describe their business as a strategy for effective coordination.

The reality is that some women do not start a business because they find their way in life, but because they cannot combine working hours with childcare, part-time work or any flexible form of employment is unavailable to them. The work of women over 50 partly reflects the overall issue of employment of people of this age and persistent ageism. In the background of the entrepreneurship of some women who enter it after the age of 60, there are low pensions, which apply to employees as well, and with female entrepreneurs, it is definitely not only compulsory deposits that speak about pensions.

In terms of business support, the study recommends focusing mainly on two groups of female entrepreneurs. For women with small children, so their business is not only a way of working and earning and taking care of children, but has the same chance to grow and expand. And for women in pre-retirement and retirement age, which is part of it a broader topic, such as the unfavorable position of people over 50 on the labor market or the topic of accumulating disadvantages during women’s working careers (interruption of working careers for several years, returns for low wages, reduced working hours, etc.), which are reflected in amount of pension.

Taxes are a trap when starting a business even after parental leave

They also brought a more comprehensive view of women’s business Markéta Švarcová, Romana Marková Volejníčková a Alena Křížková in the publication Podnikatelky? (published by the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in 2020). Their research revealed many weak points that exist in the sphere of female entrepreneurship. Among other things, they state that one of the areas, that can weaken or strengthen the precarious position of female entrepreneurs are state policies (family, social), legislation (taxes, mandatory contributions, financial assistance during maternity leave, etc.) and other measures aimed at supporting entrepreneurship. And they add that the system setting somehow does not take into account female entrepreneurship in certain life situations, for example, parenthood.

If the entrepreneur still wants to save money before giving birth (which is a common strategy) and works a lot, next year or after returning to work (if she stopped working in the meantime) her mandatory contributions will be calculated from these high incomes, whatever is her new business reality. Even a rigid practice, where it is not possible to change advances during the year, even though the business situation can change drastically, is a complication, as is the payment of advances when starting a business. That is, from the first month of starting work, when the entrepreneur does not even have to generate income. In connection with possible low incomes at the beginning and when starting a business, mandatory contributions can mean a trap, it is stated in the study of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

If advances are increased (especially if their minimum amount is increased), this problem would become even worse, as would the situation for low-income entrepreneurs. In addition, among female entrepreneurs, there is mistrust in the setting of the social system. I don’t have a built-in feeling that the state will take care of me and I don’t rely on it stated one of the business women in the publication Podnikatelky? to the address of social contributions.

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