Thursday, December 9, 2010

Romanian moms upset over maternity leave cuts

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Hundreds of Romanian mothers are protesting a government plan to cut paid maternity leave from two years to one.

The government is expected to pass an ordinance Wednesday reducing paid maternity leave beginning in January. Some women claim the move will discourage them from having children, since Romania lacks child-care sites for working parents.

Prime Minister Emil Boc said 200,000 mothers get maternity benefits and Romania needs to cut costs.

Mothers receive between 600 lei (euro142, $187) and 3,400 lei (euro810, $1,070) a month and that will continue.

Authorities said mothers who want to stay with their children after the first year could opt for unpaid leave. Those who return to work will also get 500 lei (euro120, $158) a month, much higher than regular child benefits of euro10 ($13.20).

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