Ireland Relief for families in the corona crisis: Greens want to expand their entitlement to child sickness benefits

14:25  26 october  2020
14:25  26 october  2020 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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Families need more support in the corona crisis, say the Greens. They are calling for the right to child sickness benefit to be significantly expanded.

Oft schwierig für Arbeitnehmer: Kranke Kinder müssen betreut werden. © Photo: imago / blickwinkel Often difficult for employees: sick children have to be looked after.

The Greens want to significantly expand the entitlement to child sickness benefits for parents. By the end of the corona pandemic, it should be increased to 20 days per child and parent per year, according to an application that will deal with the Bundestag in the first reading on Wednesday . For single parents it would be 40 days per child. And even after the pandemic, from the Greens point of view, the entitlement should be higher than before and be 15 days per child and parent (30 for single parents).

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Benefits for children in high-income families will not play a significant role. Maybe we should focus on support for those who really need it. Support for families with children is a very correct measure: not only in a crisis , but also in all other periods, this is the most vulnerable group in the population.

States set many of their own rules, including for benefit amounts, which are generally calculated as a percentage of your income over the past year, up to a certain maximum. And self-employed people who can no longer afford their health insurance or want to buy new polices may have more options.

In addition, the Greens are pushing for children's sickness benefits for the first two years of daycare. For disabled and chronically ill children, the entitlement should be increased, and the age limit should also be increased from 12 to 14 years.

Certificate from the fourth day of illness

Employees should only have to submit a medical certificate to the health insurance company and employer from the fourth day of illness of their child (previously: on the first day) . , this is another requirement. It must be made clear that self-employed persons with statutory health insurance are entitled to sickness benefit from the child's first day of illness, according to the application. Currently, some health insurers only paid from the 43rd day.

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In addition, “the different treatment of parents, depending on which company they work or which health insurance company they are insured with,” said parliamentary group expert Maria Klein-Schmeink to the Tagesspiegel Background Health & E-Health. The entitlement to leave of absence and continued payment of wages vis-à-vis the employer must apply “immediately for all parents”.

Home office does not replace care

Families need "everyday regulations" in order to deal with the challenges of the pandemic, emphasized Klein-Schmeink. “The extension of the children's sickness benefit entitlement, which the federal government decided after a long period of hesitation, is not sufficient.” Recently and retrospectively to October 1, couples received an additional five days per parent on top of their ten days of children's sickness benefit (single parents ten days). If there are several children, it is now a maximum of 25, for single parents up to 50 days. The regulation only applies to this year.

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If school-age children were excluded from childcare because of unspecific symptoms of the disease , authorities often simply referred to the possibility of working from home, according to the Green politician. Even with the claim for compensation under Section 56 (1a) of the Infection Protection Act, home office is generally assumed to be reasonable. But many parents are "overwhelmed by the demands of work and family under one roof". And many families have already "used up their legal opportunities and vacation entitlement before they go back to school and daycare after the autumn break".

Other countries are far more generous

In addition, even without a pandemic, “all parents would need permanent regulations that are suitable for everyday use and an increased entitlement to the number of children's sickness benefit days”. This is particularly important for children in the first years of kindergarten and with disabilities or chronic illnesses.

In other EU countries, the regulations for parents of sick children are sometimes significantly more generous, according to the Greens application. In France, for example, there is a right to leave of absence of up to 310 days per year. In Sweden there are a maximum of 120 days per year and child that the parents can freely share among themselves.

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