01 august

Dozens of women demand annulling changes concerning childcare allowances

Several dozen women who are dissatisfied with the amendments to the Law on Allowances for Temporary Incapacity for Work and other Social Benefits mobilized through a social networking site and mounted a protest in the morning of March 7. They prepared a petition to the Minister of Labor, Social Protection and Family, demanding annulling the changes that are to take effect on April 1, IPN reports.

The women are dissatisfied with the fact that after April 1 they will lose the right to receive childcare allowances until the child turns three if they decide to return to work earlier, with a work program of over 4 hours. Until now they could work for seven hours a day and continued to receive allowances. The women said these changes will make them accept salaries ‘in envelopes’, which is paid illegally, and to leave the children in the care of relatives or to go abroad to work. They also said the authorities do not provide a sufficient number of crèches, while the allowances provided by the state are too small to enable to hire a babysitter.

The protesters also expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that the allowance for maternity leave will be calculated based on the incomes for the last 12 months, not 6 months as now.

Lucia Grecu, head of the Social Insurance Policy Division, recommended the protesters to create an initiative group for examining their demands. The Ministry of Labor, Social Protection and Family issued a communiqué, saying the state is obliged to guarantee the rights of the payers of social contributions. The adopted changes exclude the possibility of defrauding the system by artificially increasing, for a short period of time, the salaries and cumulative payments so as to have higher allowances.

The Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination examined the issue and established that the adopted amendments limit access to social benefits based on gender, maternity, age and other grounds. It said the bill wasn’t put up for public debates before being adopted.