The protection and support of large families is among the government’s priorities, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Sunday.
Speaking at an event organised by the large families association to mark Mother’s Day and to honour mothers with large families, Emilianiou said that it was the government’s duty to do so, to their “huge contribution to society and to our country”.
There was no doubt, she said, that mothers with large families urgently needed the support of the state through benefits, services, and facilities. “It is necessary to support the family with institutions such as kindergartens, family income support measures, and facilities that take into account the number of children in each family,” the minister said.
She added that through the Guaranteed Minimum Income scheme, around 35,100 families were being supported monthly, including 11,500 who had never before received help from the state for their subsistence needs.
Emilianidou said special support was provided to families with children, such as care for infants, covering emergencies or even exemption from charges and fees with respect to the cost of educating children in public schools and kindergartens.
“One of the goals is to provide opportunities for women to join the labour market,” she said. But for this to be successful, she said, it should be ensured they were treated equally.
“In this context we should not overlook the need for additional support and rigorous protection of women, resulting mainly from their dual role as working women,” she added.
“This protection is made even more powerful with the additional amendment of the law on maternity protection, according to which maternity leave is extended by four weeks per child in the case of multiple births,” Emilianidou said.
She added that the government was cooperating with the large families association “to correct existing injustices” and to provide better support.