BALANCING WORK, PRIVATE AND FAMILY LIFE
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Balancing work, raising several children and professional self-realization became topical in EU countries around 2000 because of the need to facilitate replacement of generations and to avoid insufficiency of labour force caused by aging of population. The article analyses the actual possibility to combine employment and child raising in Latvia. The data were obtained from 2 surveys among families with children at preschool age, conducted in 2006 by different companies and with distinct from another survey methodology. Responses showed that 90.8% of respondents believed that women should not work until the child is a year old and the most appropriate age when mother can return to work is 1.5 to 3 years. Availability of kindergarten is recognized by only 68.4% of respondents, but flexible working arrangements – by half of them. Fathers in Latvia are entitled to 10 days paternity leave with 80% of salary, but 1.5 year of child care leave can be used by either of parents or shared between them. Number of fathers using the paternity leave during 2004-2007 has grown, but % of them has not yet exceeded 30% of new-borns. In order to facilitate women's employment improvements all the mentioned aspects are to be combined.
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