State Social Security Service has issued a draft amendment to the law “On temporary disability benefits.” Legislative changes are expected to expand the circle of persons entitled to benefits from the state budget. In particular, in 2016 it is planned to issue allowance for also non-working women. It is supposed to count issued non-working women maternity allowance based on the minimum monthly wage (50 thousand drams). For these purposes in 2016, it is planned to allocate additional 8 billion drams.
This draft law has angered the citizens of Armenia, who on Thursday held a protest in front of the government building, demanding to refrain from making changes to the system of maternity.
“I should note that there is no such international document signed by Armenia, which obliges the state to compensate pregnant women on maternity leave a 100% of their salaries. It is established that the payment must be made in the amount close to the maximum to the salary, and the government should decide that amount on the basis of their financial capacity, “- said the deputy head of the State Social Security Service of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Armenia Smbat Saiyan.
In turn, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Artem Asatryan said that in recent years, spending on benefits for pregnancy and childbirth increased approximately three-fold – from 4.5 billion AMD to almost 12 billion AMD by the end of 2014, in the absence of growth rate (about 41-42 thousands births per year) or the wages of working mothers.
“If the growth of issued allowances was due to the increase in fertility, the State would consider the possibility of finding additional budget funds for the grant of benefits. However, according to a study carried out by us, it is mainly due to the fact that about 20% of women receiving maternity leave, get a job only for 2-3 months before the publication of the decree, “- underlines Asatryan.
According to him, in view of such statistics the Ministry has proposed amendments to the legislation to improve the targeting of benefits provided, the productivity of their issue and find optimal solutions for targeted use of budgetary resources and increasing the number of potential beneficiaries of the program.
Deputy from the “Prosperous Armenia” Elinar Vardanyan, in turn, accused the government that the draft law is adopted to “cover administrative shortcomings.”