Trends in Commuter and Child Care Benefits for 2020

Trends in Commuter and Child Care Benefits for 2020Trends in commuter and child care benefits, like many things this year, are impacted by COVID-19. Safe commuting options and extended child care benefits, should schools and daycares remain closed, is also weighing on the minds of employers and employees alike.

In a recent survey regarding these topics, our global employee benefits consultants report that in some countries, multinational employers are offering commuter benefits like Uber credits, and that governments have extended support for child care needs. In other countries the status quo remains, for now.

Specific questions we asked our employee benefits consultants include:

  • Regarding safety in traveling to and from the office, are employers discussing/providing subsidies (for example Uber and Lyft credits or parking vouchers) so employees can avoid taking crowded busses, trains and subways?
  • If schools and daycare centers remain closed for several more months, what mandatory (government) benefits are in place to support extended childcare?
  • Are employers offering any supplementary childcare support to help pay for at-home childcare services or a nanny/au-pair?

Their answers are below in alphabetical order.


Commuter benefits – Most multinational employers are supporting private transportation options so their staff can avoid public transportation, which is now just beginning to operate in Kosovo.

Child care – There is no discussion about mandatory or supplementary child care benefits should schools remain closed.


Commuter benefits – Most companies are not considering offering transportation subsidies because it lies outside their budgets. Other than the city of Buenos Aires and its suburbs, infection rates are low and people continue to commute using public transport. Within the city and suburbs, 90% of workers have not yet returned to work and there is no anticipated date for when this will change.

Child care – Some multinational employers offer child care benefits, regardless of COVID-19. An average monthly allowance amounts to ARS 8,000 (USD $116.9). There are no mandatory benefits in place for extended child care.


There are no mandatory or supplementary commuter or child care benefits as it relates to the pandemic.


Commuter benefits – Some companies offer commuter benefits that support private transportation (parking spaces, Uber), however the majority of work places ask employees to keep working from home.

Child care – Childcare centers are open, but many parents elected to keep their children out of them. The government now pays for the cost of all childcare (for those in a registered daycare facility). Schools are back to normal with children returning June 5. Because of social distancing concerns, the government is asking parents to avoid school bus transportation for their children.


There are no mandatory or supplementary commuter or child care benefits. The school year starts September 1st. Parents are allowed to take Corona-holidays until the end of July.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

There are no mandatory or supplementary commuter or child care benefits. The governments ask employers to be sensitive in cases where both parents are working at the same time and permit one of the parents to work from home to care for children.


Commuter benefits – Companies are advising those who own a car to use it, and parking vouchers are normally employer sponsored once the employee has a car and declares its for commuting. Providing subsidies for Uber or a taxi will depend on an employer’s industry, size, and benefits strategy. Companies with a sizable employee population will likely provide transportation vouchers for those with no car.

Child care – There are no extended mandatory or supplementary child care benefits should schools remain closed.


Commuter benefits – There are no reports of employers extending commuter benefits to support private transportation.

Child care – Essential worker daycare centers opened to assist healthcare workers, construction and other such essential jobs.  All other daycare facilities are closed until further notice with no information regarding a phased re-opening. There are no extended childcare benefits, because only people in your immediate family bubble can assist with child care.


Commuter benefits – In the earliest days of the crisis employers did support private modes of transportation for employees, but this practice has subsided.

Child care – There is no planned extension of any mandatory or supplementary child care benefits, but employers are offering more opportunities for parents to work from home.


There is no extension of mandatory or supplementary commuter or child care benefits. Education is provided virtually, and employees are encouraged to work from home. Public transportation is running at 35% capacity.

Czech Republic

Commuter benefits – Employers are not subsidizing private transportation, and are instead asking employees to work from home.

Child care – The government provides support for parents to take care of their children until the end of June 2020 when summer vacation begins. Online education is available until then as well. There is no discussion yet about extended child care benefits if schools do not reopen in September.


Commuter benefits – Some employers are providing commuter benefits for private transportation, but most ask employees to work from home if possible. Also, Estonians typically walk or use their own cars to get to work.

Child care – Schools and day care centers are open and some local governments do offer support for childcare.


As it relates to the pandemic, there are no extensions for mandatory or supplementary, commuter or child care benefits.


Commuter benefits

There are no subsidies provided by employers, and if the public transport system should be shut down, the employee is still required to get to work. Employers are not required to continue payment for failure to work as a result. However, both parties can agree that work can be done from home when possible.

Child care

The coalition parties agreed to a new law regulating parental allowance to support employees in essential service occupations/affected by short-term work. Parental allowance is generally paid for 12 months (14 if both parents take at least 2 months) after the child’s birth. The amount is based on the average income in the 12 calendar months before the child’s birth. The regulation is intended to prevent the reduction of the parental allowance or having to pay back part of the allowance if employees have to work more or less than planned due to the crisis.

Parents in essential occupations that have to work full time because of the crisis can postpone the parental allowance until after the child’s 14th month, but not later than June 30, 2021. This does not reduce the parental allowance for another child.

Parental allowance is not diminished by income replacement benefits granted to parents due to the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., short-time allowance or unemployment benefit I) are not considered in the calculation of the parental allowance.

Parents on the partnership bonus variant of the parental allowance should not lose their entitlement if they work more or less due to the crisis. Currently, in order to qualify for the partnership bonus, a partner must work at least 25 but no more than 30 hours a week.

If schools, kindergartens and nurseries are closed as a precautionary measure, employees are entitled to time off with remuneration according to Section 616 of the Civil Code. However, this entitlement is limited to a few days, usually 1-5 and remuneration is only continued if this has not been excluded in the employment contract. Employees must therefore take paid or unpaid time off, with the employer’s approval to look after their children. If it is possible for employees to work at home, this would also be an alternative in such cases.

Parents who have to take care of children under the age of 12 or who are disabled themselves due to the officially ordered closure of schools and day care centers are protected against a loss of income if there is no other reasonable option for childcare during the closure.

The Protection Against Infection Act was amended to enable parents, including foster parents and those in insignificant employment to receive compensation of 67% of their monthly net income (maximum €2,016) for up to six weeks. The payment is made by the employer, who can then submit a reimbursement request to the responsible state authority.

The new right to compensation is linked to the same conditions as the right to child sickness benefit and the conditions for eligibility are as follows:

  • The official closure or an official prohibition to enter a day care or school.
  • The closure is due to an infection or to prevent it.
  • The applicant is employed.
  • The applicant must have custody of at least one child who is under the age of twelve or is disabled.
  • The applicant must now care for the child resulting in a loss of earnings.
  • There are no other reasonable alternatives for childcare.
  • The period must be outside school holidays.
  • Vacation, flex and overtime must have been exhausted.

However, if a child is unwell and under 12 during the closure, the employee is entitled to continued remuneration or unpaid time off as with any other illness.


Commuter benefits – The Ministry of Home Affairs’ Standard Operating Procedure for Offices, Workplace, Factories and Establishments, (refer to MHA No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A), dated 15 April 2020), says employers must arrange ‘special transportation facility’ for employees dependent on public transportation.

Employers that have reopened offices are providing paid Uber/Ola cab services, with some allowing carpooling (max 2 passengers per vehicle) for employees living in the same neighborhood. Shuttle or dedicated bus services are also being provided and are subject to rules regarding distancing and wearing of masks.

Child care – The Ministry of Home Affairs says employees with children under the age of 5 ‘may be encouraged to work from home.’ Note that the Indian context for childcare is different from the US or Europe. Most working, middle class parents would either live with parents/in-laws who help with childcare, or if living in a nuclear family, have live-in or full-day maids/nannies to take care of their children. Those who rely on creches or day care facilities that are closed would probably request to continue to work from home. If at-home childcare services are available in a metropolitan area, offering supplementary childcare support would be a good initiative to assist employees and facilitate their being able to return to the office.


Commuter benefits – Anyone who can work from home is encouraged to continue this rather than commuting into the office.

Child care ­­– Schools will not reopen until September at the earliest. Day cares are closed. There are no current mandatory child care benefits in place, and a scheme to provide child care for frontline medical workers has failed due to low-take up from providers over insurance concerns for child care employees.


Commuter benefits – Employers continue to have employees work from home and have not established any commuter benefits for private transportation.

Child care – The government may take further action regarding child care benefits if an extension is needed. This would most likely be enacted through Italy’s Smart Working policy at the employer’s cost.


Commuter benefits – These are provided on an individual basis. Some employers cover the cost of a taxi, but that is rare.

Child care – Schools are now open and each school chooses either in-person or virtual learning. Parents raising children of pre-school and pre-primary age will be able to apply for the extension of incapacity for work if need be. This is particularly recommended when children have a chronic illness or live with adults at risk.  If the father, mother and, in individual cases, one of the grandparents, who is taking care of the child and is covered by sickness insurance decides to extend incapacity for work, he or she will continue to be paid sickness benefit that amounts to 65.94% of salary before taxes. During emergency and quarantine, incapacity for work for the care of children of pre-school, pre-primary and primary school age, who attended educational establishments, and of children with disabilities under 21 years of age shall be issued for a period of up to 60 calendar days.


Commuter benefits – Other than promoting the use of the home office, Mexico’s commuter benefits remain the same as they were before the pandemic began.  Some companies, which already have transportation services for their employees, are considering doubling it to help with social distancing. Some others are scaling the employees’ starting hours so not all the employees are on the same bus at the same time. Carpools can only have two people per vehicle.

Child care ­– The government is not providing any mandatory support or benefit in the event schools or daycare centers remain closed. Companies are allowing telecommuting for employees with children under 10 years of age.

The Netherlands

Commuter benefits – Most employees still work from home as the government advises, and there are no mandatory or supplementary commuter benefits in effect.

Child care ­– Schools and daycare centers are open now, even though children only go to school part time. Employees are entitled to emergency leave so they can arrange for their children’s care. Emergency leave is approved for as long as required and is regulated by law.


Commuter benefits – Some employers are beginning to discuss commuter benefits as it relates to the pandemic, but this is not a general trend. Public transportation is set to a maximum of two thirds capacity and masks are mandatory.

Child care ­– Day care centers re-opened May 18. Schools were also re-opened on the same day but just for the two last years of College (private institution offering secondary education), not for all the other years nor for universities. For parents who must stay at home to take care of their children, Portugal’s social security continues to pay 2/3 of their salary until June 30. The possibility of an extension beyond that is being discussed. Some employers are offering extended child care benefits due to the pandemic, but it is not a general trend.


As it relates to the pandemic, there are no extensions for mandatory or supplementary commuter or child care benefits.


Commuter benefits – It is expected most information, technology, and communication (IT&C) employers will offer commuter benefits that support safer transportation for their employees.

Child care – Parents who must stay home to care for children can get paid leave until June 15, 2020. This amounts to 75% of regular salary (not including bonuses). The employer pays for this and then receives a reimbursement from the government.


Commuter benefits – As it related to the pandemic, there are no extensions for mandatory or supplementary commuter benefits.

Child care – The federal government provides RUR 10,000 per person (approx. USD 130) to families with kids from 3-16 years of age.


Commuter benefits – Employers are providing commuter benefits to improve employee safety.

Child care – Working parents have the option to have one parent work from home.


Commuter benefits – This is not being requested by employees in Slovakia.

Child care – Up to this point in time, the state supports one parent remaining at home with children and covers 55% of that person’s salary. This is the same as if the person was on a sickness leave. The government has not stated when this support will end. Also, Slovakian employees see the ability to work from home as child care support from their employer.


Commuter benefits – Providing more private modes of commuting is not happening generally, except for key employees in some companies. Employers are also studying the safety value of a continuous workday, meaning no lunch break outside the office to limit travels to and from work by public transportation.

Child care – Discussions about extending child care benefits as it relates to the pandemic are  happening, but only for key employees in some companies.


As it relates to the pandemic, there are no extensions for mandatory or supplementary commuter or child care benefits.


Commuter benefits – When Ukrainian public transportation was fully closed, employers did provide commuter benefits like taxi services and private cars to employees who could not work from home. Public transportation is reopening and employers are maintaining partial work from home statuses rather than providing private transportation options for commuter benefits.

Child care – There are no mandatory benefits supporting extended childcare. Some key employees in some companies may receive extended childcare benefits.

United Kingdom

As it related to the pandemic, there are no extensions for mandatory or supplementary commuter or child care benefits.


As it related to the pandemic, there are no extensions for mandatory or supplementary commuter or child care benefits.