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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The self-employed do not receive parental leave-Two bills before the Parliament

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The loopholes that exist in the legislation on parental leave, with regard to the self-employed, want to be closed by the competent Committee of the Parliament, which is putting on the floor the two bills sent by the Government. Gaps that had been created by the initial passing of the existing legislation, while the goal is to bring the issue to the Plenary as soon as possible to be voted on.

The gaps in the legislation had been created due to the fact that, during the drafting of the existing legislation, the executive power had excluded from the final text the category of self-employed workers, with the result that, to this day, those who belong to this category do not have the possibility, to take parental leave. To this end, the Ministry of Labor prepared the text that would change the situation and which will be presented to the Labor Committee.

“Now the Government has found a way to change the situation. A month ago he tabled the relevant bill, they made a mistake because the parental leave bill also had to be changed. This bill was tabled now,” the chairman of the Labor Committee and AKEL MP, Andreas Kavkalias, told REPORTER.

The first bill was tabled in the Plenary Session of the Parliament on 18 January 2024 and with the submission of the second one, the way is opened to discuss the matter and bring about the necessary changes, since a large portion of workers belong to the category under discussion and are affected.

“There will be a discussion to correct this gap. Today they do not take parental leave, but some arrangements are being made regarding some benefits of the self-employed. It's a point that we all saw as a gap when we passed the bill, but as a House we didn't have the power to add it, because that would mean an increase in spending and therefore unconstitutional.”

However, what the Labor Committee seeks is for the issue to be discussed in its urgent form and is expected to make it a priority, with the aim of completing the required procedures immediately. “We have this development at the moment and the request is as far as possible for it to go to the Plenary Session of the Parliament to be voted on, without discounting the quality of the control and the examination that we must do as a Parliament”.

What the bills say

It is noted that in the introductory report of the bill submitted in January, which concerns the amendment of the Social Insurance Law, it is stated that the text in question introduces the category of self-employed persons to the beneficiaries of the parental leave allowance. For this purpose, the bill introduces insurance safeguards regarding the obligation of the self-employed to pay their due contributions for the previous two quarters, as well as the exception of statutory periods, e.g. annual rest leave, suspension of work, from the periods they can receive parental leave allowance.

At the same time, the report adds that the category of self-employed workers is introduced to the beneficiaries of benefits due to occupational injuries. The self-employed, who provide their work by moving from place to place, are also covered during their movement. “The safeguards introduced for this purpose are, as in the case of the parental leave allowance, that the self-employed have paid their due contributions during the last two quarters. In addition, according to the relevant provisions of the amending bill, it is required that they were registered as self-employed on the date of the accident, that they have been employed for 13 weeks in the insurance category in question and that the accident has been reported to the Labor Inspection Department, in accordance with the provisions of the Safety and Health at Work Law”.

Regarding the second bill submitted last Thursday and regarding permits and flexible work regulations for the balance between professional and private life law, the Ministry of Labor emphasizes that it was deemed necessary to amend the law, so that it is consistent with the provisions of the Social Insurance Law. It is emphasized, moreover, that the purpose of the specific law is to include welfare in the basic law, so that the beneficiaries of the parental leave allowance include the self-employed.

Source: reporter.com.cy

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