Petition 2540 on 3 February--one day before closure--had collected 4,768 signatures, crossing the minimal threshold of 4,500. The demand of its author: increase family leave for parents of children between 0 and 14. “It simply doesn’t work with 12 days of family leave over four years for a parent of a child between 0-4,” they said. A child at that age is constantly exposed to viruses and sicknesses and always sick, the parent added, explaining that an increase would be justified.
Workers in Luxembourg can take 12 days of sick leave for a child aged 0-4 and 18 days for a child aged 4 to 13. For a child between the ages of 13 and 18, a parent may receive a total of five days off if the child is hospitalised. The issue, according to the petitioner, lies within the fact that not all parents can rely on relatives or friends to look after a sick child, and that parents sometimes have to resort to calling in sick to be able to care for their kid.
Though the petition has gathered over 4,500 supporters, the parliamentary commission in charge of petitions has to check if all signatures are valid. If the number of greenlit signatures still crosses the threshold, the petitioner will be invited to present their argument in front of the chamber of deputies.
Parental rights a popular topic
This petition isn’t the only one on the topic of parental needs that will be debated among deputies. Deposited at the end of 2022, 5,096 signatories rallied behind the public petition 2512, which requested that stay-at-home parents should be paid a salary of sorts. The person who submitted the petition argued that parents should be able to choose whether they want to put their children in a school or home-school them, but that the cost of being a stay-at-home parent stopped many from choosing the second option. This petition will be debated among deputies in the coming months.
In November 2022, another resident had presented their arguments for an increased parental leave--leave given to a parent after the birth of their child--to nine months. Deputies and ministers argued that funding would be needed to implement such changes, and concluded that a reform was not possible at the moment.