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Women Still Can't Have It All: Barriers to Higher Maternal Employment in Slovakia

Employment of mothers in Slovakia in the first three years of their children's life lags significantly behind the labour outcomes observed in other EU countries. That has a negative impact on their medium-term labour outcomes and wages.

Mothers with higher previous labour market income, higher level of education and longer work experience tend to enter into the labour market faster after childbirth. On the other hand, factors as being a single mother or low availability of informal childcare provided by grandparents have a strong negative impact on maternal employment. Moreover, women appear to be treated unfavourably when applying for jobs typically requiring lower educational background, which potentially creates an additional barrier to return to work.

Family policies should be aimed at tackling the main barriers to maternal employment such as the lack of quality and affordable childcare facilities, low availability of flexible work arrangements and relatively long parental leave without involvement of fathers.