The Maternity Leave Trust Fund (which has started to operate on the 6th July 2015) has been established by the Government for the private sector in order to support employers’ with paying maternity leave for a period of fourteen weeks with full wages. This Fund is aimed at ending indirect gender discrimination to avoid the situation where employers would have preferred to employ men instead of women since they did not wish to pay maternity leave.
The Fund will be financed through a minimal contribution by private companies. Such contribution has to be paid for every employee, irrespective if it’s a male or a female. It is pertinent to point out that the employees should not to pay for this system. Contribution to be paid by employers is the equivalent of 0,3% of the basic wage for each employee.
The Maternity Leave Trust Fund is administrated by a Board which is composed of three members representing employers and one member representing Trade Unions. The Board has to ascertain that every employer pays the due contribution and, from time to time, will provide the contribution rate that currently is 30 cents for every Euro 100.
The Fund is expected to decrease negative preconceptions on women’s employment and career prospects.
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