Parliament votes bills on social benefits and protection of family life

The Parliament in Cyprus voted on Friday bills on social benefits and protection of family life concerning paternity leave, child benefit, surrogacy, widows pension and redundancies compensation.

All bills were approved unanimously by the Parliament, except from the bill raising the income criteria for child benefit, which was voted with one vote against.

The new law on child benefit enters into force on 1 January 2018, increasing the condition of legal and continuous residence in the Republic from three to five years.

Under the new law, eligible for child benefit are families with a maximum annual income of Euros 49,000 for one child, Euros 59,000 for two children, while for each additional child over two, the limit is increased by Euros 5,000. According to the existing law the maximum annual income for beneficiaries should not exceed Euros 59,000, irrespective of the number of the applicants children.

Another law voted on Friday, establishes as of August the right for paternity leave of two consecutive weeks, for the first time in Cyprus. According to the law paternity leave should be taken within the period starting from the week of birth or adoption and ends 16 weeks later, and may be extended due to premature childbirth and / or multiple pregnancy.

A maternity leave benefit is also granted, with a new law, both to a mother having a baby with surrogate mother(16 weeks) and to the surrogate mothers (14 weeks).

Both in case paternity and maternity leave, the benefit shall not be lost, in case of absence from Cyprus for the purpose of escorting a newborn child or other child being hospitalized abroad.

As far as the widows pension is concerned, under the new law the pension will be granted only after 5 years of marriage, in case of marriages after retirement.

In addition, a new law extends the deadline for applying for redundancies compensation from twelve-month, to twenty-four months in cases where there is a reasonable cause of failure to submit it.

Source: Cyprus News Agency