POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Petition demands stay-at-home parent pay



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A petition wants stay-at-home parents to receive a minimum income. Photo: Shutterstock 

A petition that opened for signature on 4 June demands that the government introduce a benefit for stay-at-home parents, which previously existed but was abolished in 2015. 

The government under Xavier Bettel (DP) in 2015 had struck a €485 payment to stay-at-home parents, which was paid until the child’s second birthday. This formed part of a wider reform of child benefits and parental leave.

“If you decide to stay at home to keep your children at home outside of school and not place them in a [daycare] facility, then you’re not supported,” a new public petition states. “The model isn’t child friendly.”

The author of the petition, Olivier Betz, says stay-at-home parents should receive a minimum revenue as long as they have children aged 0 to 15, much like jobseekers receive unemployment aid.  

This would allow more parents the liberty to choose to stay at home, Betz says. “Many children must be taken care of in a structure from 7am in the morning until late because mother and father have to work all day to make ends meet.”

Families receive benefits for their children--an amount of €265 per child, which is raised by €20 for children over the age of 6 and by €50 for children over the age of 12. Other benefits include a stipend at the start of the school year to pay for supplies, a birth allowance and additional benefits for children with disabilities.

The government in May announced that it would adjust family benefits to inflation through its indexation mechanism for the first time since 2006. The next adjustment (an increase of 2.5%) is scheduled for late this year or early 2022, depending on how inflation develops over the coming months.

Anyone aged 15 or over with a Luxembourg social security number can sign a public petition, which must be debated in parliament together with government representatives if it passes 4,500 signatures. However, there is no obligation for government or parliament to act on the discussion.

A similar petition from 2019 failed to reach the required number of signatures.