Several measures proposed by Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou were approved by the cabinet during Thursday’s session, including paternity leave and the rights of mothers by surrogacy.
The council approved two weeks of paternity leave with the same terms as maternity leave, and maternity leave and other rights for women who have children through surrogates.
“This is another step towards gender equality which the government has implemented, taking into account both the rights of each father who has a new child and every new mother who needs additional assistance and support,” a statement said.
The council also passed proposals to grant the right to maternity or paternity allowances in cases where a person is absent from Cyprus to accompany a newborn needing hospitalisation abroad. Under current legislation, the mother loses the right to maternity benefits in such cases.
In non-child related legislation, a single inspection service will be set up at the labour ministry instead of the existing separation of inspection services in various departments. The ministry believes this will allow for systematic and targeted inspection ensuring the effective safeguarding of workers’ rights and help the fight against undeclared work.
Another change in legislation means that in justified cases the income for people living in shelters can be paid directly to the shelters for their care.
In order to prevent abuse of the social insurance fund scheme, the ministry prepared a proposal whereby in the event of a marriage after retirement, the marriage has to last at least five years for a widowed person to have the right to a pension.