Sat, Jun 13, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Subsidies for parents proving popular

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Since legislation allowing parents to receive subsidies for staying at home to look after young children took effect last month, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) has received thousands of applications for the program, CLA statistics showed yesterday.

In March, the legislature passed an amendment to the Employment Insurance Act (就業保險法) that would allow workers on parental leave to apply for subsidies to stay at home with their children aged three or under.

Applicants must have participated in the national labor insurance program for at least a year. They will be able to receive the subsidies, which are limited to one subsidy per couple, for a maximum of six months.

The amendment sets the subsidy at 60 percent of an employee’s average insured salary six months prior to the application.

At a press conference yesterday, CLA Minister Jennifer Wang (王如玄) said mothers who encounter problems returning to work after their parental leave ended, “come and find me.”

Council statistics showed that since the legislation took effect at the beginning of last month, the CLA had received 6,550 applications, 454 (11 percent) of which were filed by men who said they would stay at home to take care of their young children.

“This shows that there are quite a few men willing to be full-time dads,” Wang said.

Of these applications, the CLA has already approved 3,963 cases and paid out more than NT$66 million (US$2 million) in subsidies. The average subsidy paid out to each approved individual was NT$16,673.

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