Resources on Work-Life Balance and Gender Equality during COVID-19
Some information about national developments:
- Austria: On 15th April the Austrian minister for families announced €30 Million Corona Family Hardship Fund to support families through the COVID-19 crisis. More here.
- Belgium: For several weeks now, Gezinsbond and the Ligue des Familles have been asking for specific leave for parents with young children or children with special care needs. They also launched a petition that yielded more than 18,000 signatures. La Ligue has set up a webpage with many relevant information for families on the COVID-19.
- Czech Republic: One of the parents who have children below 13 years old can take an “attendance allowance” (normally used if a child is sick). The parent receives so far 60% of the basic salary. The Parliament recently approved an increase to 80%.
- Finland: The parent, guardian or spouse of a child living in the same household can receive a special parental leave, an “epidemic support”. This paid leave is available if the child to be cared for is in early childhood education, pre-school education, basic education 1-3. class, pre-primary education or a decision on the need for special support or extended compulsory education. The amount of the special leave is €28.94 per weekday (€723.50/month). For more information, see here.
- France: UNAF France has voted in favour of the emergency measures to support family facilities and services. These two measures concern the kindergarten, meeting spaces, young workers’ homes, social centres, social life spaces and youth service provision, as well as the mother’s helpers’ homes. More here.
- Germany: Germany has some temporal changes in parental leave payment. For instance, when calculating the amount of payment, the government now will not count in the lower income in the past months, because in general the height of parental leave payment would be a percentage of the 12 months’ income a person had before the parental leave. To lower the impact of Corona, the government now kind of ignore the “Corona-reduced” income and take the “normal” income as base. Additionally, it is now possible to postpone parental leave without losing months, if the person works in a “system relevant” job (hospital etc.) and now cannot take parental leave in this time.
- Hungary: In Hungary, so far, all types of paid parental leaves have been automatically extended until the end of the state of emergency. Child care fee (GYED) is available until the child reaches the age of two. Its amount is 70% of the salary earned prior to the child was born with a capping of monthly € 665 (208,600 HUF). Another element of the family support system is the child care allowance (GYES), which is granted on the basis of a subjective right until the 3rd year of age of the child. Between the ages of 2 and 3 of the child, all parents are entitled to child care allowance, also those who were eligible for the child care fee. The amount of the child care allowance is equal to the minimal amount of old-age pension, which is 92,24 €/month (HUF 28 500). Mothers of three or more children are entitled to a child-raising support (GYET) of the same amount until the youngest child reaches 8 years of age.
- Italy: The Italian government has voted measures with extraordinary leaves, care vouchers and flexible work solutions: an extraordinary parental leave of 15 days at 50% of the salary, and the alternative, if people do not want to accept this leave, a bonus of €600 to pay a babysitter.
- Luxembourg: The government has established a paid leave to families who have children below 13 years old during the pandemic. This leeave may be taken by a parent if there are no other options for the care of the child. If necessary, this leave is transferable between parents. More information here.
- The Netherlands: Paid parental leave has not been established yet for this crisis. Dutch Trade Unions are also pushing for a special parental leave.
- Spain: No specific help so far for parents who are now teleworking. UNAF Spain is constantly updating its webpage with many information to families to help them dealing them with COVID-19. Salud y Familia is updating its webpage with useful information to families to help them with the crisis.
- United Kingdom: In the UK, employers can choose to furlough their employees (reclaiming 80% of wages from the government up to a maximum of £2,500/ month, 2868 €), and the guidance states that this can be done for childcare purposes if parents are practically unable to work while schools and nurseries are closed. Childcare settings remain open for the children of key workers. Furloughing remains the decision of the employer and doesn’t cover people who are not on a payroll so this won’t help everyone but it is a big relief for many families. The Working Families organisation has launched a report on working parents during this crisis. See more here.
Some news from our partners:
- UN Women published regular updates on Gender equality issues in COVID-19 response.
- UN Women’s HeForShe initiative has launched the #HeForSheAtHome campaign to inspire men to help balance the burden in their households.
- EIGE launched a webpage aims to raise awareness about some of the gendered impacts that Covid-19 is having on our society. It also puts forward ideas for policymakers to ensure that the gender perspective is not forgotten when it comes to making important decisions during and after the pandemic that will affect the lives of every citizen.
- EIGE and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights call on the EU and its Member States to use the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to step up their efforts to effectively protect women’s rights and to end domestic violence.
- The Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s science and knowledge Agency, launched a report to assess potential consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak on women and on gender equality in Europe.
- UNICEF has created a webpage on UNICEF to promote facts over fear, and bringing trustworthy guidance to parents, caregivers and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The OECD has launched a report on Supporting people and companies to deal with the COVID-19 virus: Options for an immediate employment and social-policy response
- The European Trade Union Confederation has launched a briefing note on the different leaves and lay-offs arrangements that have been set up by different European countries during the pandemic.
- The European Women’s Lobby launched a press release asking the EU Institutions that women should not pay the price for COVID-19 crisis.
- Make Mothers Matter launched a press release on the protection of mothers and fathers during the COVID-19 situation.