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Cyprus

MPs approve rules for paternity, surrogacy leave

PARLIAMENT on Friday approved bills providing for paternity leave, raising income criteria for child allowances, and maternity leave for both women in cases of surrogate childbirths.

The House plenum also approved the payment of widow pension in cases where the deceased got married after retirement, provided five years of wedlock have gone by.

The government had asked for an amendment to the current law after observing that millions of euros were exported abroad as a result of marriages lasting between several months and two years.

All bills were unanimously approved apart from the one raising the income criteria for child allowance, which was voted down by independent MP Pavlos Milonas.

The law will come into effect on August 1. It provides for two-weeks holiday for men whose wife gave childbirth or had a child through surrogacy or in the cases where the couple have adopted a child aged up to 12-years-old.

The paternity leave can be taken during the period starting from the week before labour or adoption, and ending 16 weeks later. It can be extended due to premature birth and or multiple births.

The law also included provisions affording a 16-week maternity allowance to mothers who have a child through surrogacy, and a 14-week allowance to surrogate mothers.

The child allowance law will come into effect on January 1, 2018.

The new law raises the requirement for legal and continuous residency in Cyprus from three to five years.

The right to a child allowance is regulated in a staggered manner depending on the size of the family: maximum family income for one child was set at €49,000, €59,000 for two children, and an additional €5,000 for each additional child thereafter.

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