Mon, Jan 05, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Caucus to push parental subsidy

WATCHING THE KIDS The proposed subsidy would allow both mothers and fathers on unpaid parental leave to collect about 60 percent of an employee’s average pay

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus deputy secretary-general Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) yesterday said her caucus would prioritize a proposed amendment that would grant employees subsidies when they are on a parental leave without pay.

Lo said the caucus had reached a consensus to give priority to the Cabinet’s proposed amendment to the Employment Insurance Act (就業保險法).

If the proposal passes, employees with labor insurance would receive a subsidy for a maximum of six months during unpaid parental leave.

Both members of a couple would be able to apply for the parental leave subsidy, but they would not be allowed to enjoy the subsidy simultaneously, the proposal said, adding that only those who have had labor insurance for a minimum of one year would be entitled to the stipend.

The subsidy would also only be granted to applicants with chidren under three years of age, the proposal said.

An applicant could only receive one share of the subsidy even if he or she has to take care of more than two young children at the same time, the proposed amendment said.

The amount of the subsidy would be about 60 percent of an employee’s average salary ahead of his or her parental leave, the proposal said.

The scheme is expected to require an annual budget of NT$8.08 billion (US$246.1 million) and should be covered by the Employment Insurance Fund, it said.

Although the bill had been included in the caucus’ priority list, Lo said the caucus still needed to evaluate other supplementary measures, such as the source of the budget.

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