Paternity leave and child benefit boost

By Brendan de Beer, in Business · 06-12-2018 09:37:00 · 0 Comments
Paternity leave and child benefit boost

The Socialist Government has this week unveiled a revolutionary package that includes 33 measures aimed to better reconcile family, personal and work life. The measures have been introduced to drive Portugal firmly into the 21st century and to act in accordance with well-established social practices in most parts of western and northern Europe. Two of the more striking measures include an increase in child benefits while also giving fathers more time off work following the birth of a child.

The programme will see dozens of private and state entities called in for their input to improve the work-family balance, with the Government saying the revised welfare legislation will not be the sole result of parliamentary discussions.
Among the measures which already appear to be the result of broad consensus, is that the amount of paid leave fathers may claim will be raised to a minimum of 20 working days from its current figure of 15.
In addition, unemployed mothers will no longer see fathers lose out on paternity leave, with dads now entitled to 15 days, after previously not being allowed to take any leave, at least not that which is subsidised by Social Security services.
The package of measures, also provides for certain concessions, such as allowing parents to work from home, limiting the amount of time spent at meetings and allowing mothers and fathers to share accumulated parental leave as they deem fit.
Agreements are also to be signed with the private sector in the areas of health, sport, culture and leisure to promote greater family interaction and improved physical and mental health.

Programmes to increase physical activity at the office will also be introduced in the programme to modernise labour practices in Portugal, while also allowing for a certain amount of days to be spent working from home every month.
Workers will also be given time off to deal with personal matters, while greater flexibility in work timetables are also on the table for further discussion.
Civil servants are meanwhile to be given three hours off work to accompany their children on their first day of school up until the age of 12.
Cabinet Minister Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, who alongside Labour and Welfare Minister José António Vieira da Silva drew up the list of reforms, explained in comments to Diário de Notícias that the “programme is open and not exclusive to the Government and will proceed in accordance with the initiative of society in general and the Government”.
She described the norms and regulations contained in the programme as forcing a “change in culture and requires the collective support of all parties concerned to adapt these measures in the short, medium and long term.”
Child benefits are another of the major changes stipulated in the programme, and will look to increase monthly payments made to parents in accordance with the age and number of children.
A nationwide study will also be held in order to establish the reasons for Portugal’s low birth rate and implement measures that will encourage parents to have more children and not be felt limited to do so by lack of funds or career pressures.


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