The Labour Minister’s decision on the special allowance for parents looking after their children because schools have closed has been published in the special gazette of the Republic and the application form has been posted on line. (www.coronavirus.mlsi.gov.cy) .
This follows yesterday’s approval by the House of Representatives of 10 bills which are part of a package of measures to help employees, companies and self-employed weather the crisis unleashed by the coronavirus epidemic.
Working parents of children up to 15 as well as of parents of children with disabilities who have been obliged to stay home to look after their children are eligible to apply. The preconditions can be found on the application form, it added.
Private sector employees must submit their bank details and if approved the funds will be transferred into their accounts.
According to the government’s decision, as published by the Press and Information Office the decision covers the following:
- Granting of a “Special Leave” to parents who are employed in the private sector for the care of children up to 15 years old (including the third grade of gymnasium) due to the suspension of classes in schools, both public and private, in nurseries and kindergartens
- For the “special leave”, which may last up to 4 weeks at the present stage, not including holidays, an allowance will be given as follows: For a parent with a salary of up to €2,500: on the first €1,000 of the parent’s salary a “special leave” allowance will be granted in the order of 60% of the salary and on the next €1,000 of their salary, an allowance in the order of 40% will be granted. It is noted that in the cases of single parent families, the ratio for granting the allowance will be differentiated in a 70% and 50% order respectively.
- The leave will be granted to one of the two parents and if one parent receives the said leave, the other one cannot receive the same leave at the same time. Moreover, if one parent is employed / receiving unemployment benefit / partakes in a Suspended Operations Plan and the other one does not, the working parent is not eligible, unless the parent who is not working has contracted the virus himself or is hospitalized or is disabled or is under curfew.
- The said leave will be granted to parents, if the nature of their work does not allow for teleworking or working from home or working under flexible working hours and if there is no domestic assistance. The leave will be granted in agreement with the employer, provided a relevant application has been submitted.
- The said leave applies to parents of people with disabilities (independent of age), given that the said persons do not receive a care allowance.
- The period of the special leave, will be considered as a period of assimilated insurance.
- Regarding the public sector, employees, whom Ministers consider that they should turn out to work but there is a need for them to stay home for the care of their children, must, in agreement with their Supervisor, arrange for their replacement.