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Austrian government aims to double family bonus during Papamonat

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
Austrian government aims to double family bonus during Papamonat
About 60,000 families in Germany will no longer have access to Elterngeld. Photo by Alberto Casetta on Unsplash

The federal government says it wants fathers in Austria to be more involved in childcare. A new legislative proposal could see the amount fathers receive during 'Papamonat' doubled – but there are other conditions.

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The Austrian Labour Ministry says it wants fathers to be more involved in their children’s early years, and they intend to pass a law incentivising dads to take parental leave.

Minister Martin Kocher of the centre-right ÖVP and the Greens have agreed to a draft law that would see the country’s Familienzeitbonus – the financial support for fathers who take a leave (Papamonat) immediately after the birth of their child – doubled from €740 a month currently to €1,480. At the moment, the €740 is split between the two parents regardless of whether one or both of them are off work on parental leave.

The government is placing conditions on the normal entitlement in Austria to two years of parental leave though. In order for a family to retain their right to 24 months of parental leave to split between them, each parent must take a minimum of two months. If they don’t, their combined entitlement is reduced to 22 months.

Single parents though, aren’t affected by this and would retain their 24-month entitlement.

The entitlement to child allowance payments is also set to remain unaffected by the new law.

Austria’s GPA union is criticising the proposal, saying it unfairly penalises women whose husbands simply don’t want to take parental leave.

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The Greens, however, say that many men who wish to take parental leave may face discrimination at work – even if they want to take it. This is why the draft law will tighten Austrian workplace discrimination law to reflect this.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What you need to know about parental leave in Austria

This article was updated on June 19th to clarify that the Familienzeitbonus being doubled refers to the payment received by fathers when they go on the parental leave month known as Papamonat.

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