Friday, August 26, 2005
In Romania, maternity leave is two years. (It’s actually the only visible sign that Romania has ever had a government supposedly dedicated to working people). Two whole years! It’s brilliant. During the first three months off your employer has to pay you some percentage of your salary, and after that the state takes over. The 21 months of state payment of this maternity salary is done at a flat rate (currently standing at 9,000,000 old Lei – about €250 a month). Now this may sound like an absolute pittance, but for the sticks it is a pretty good deal. (I imagine for people in Bucharest it really is a pittance and amounts to an incentive to get back to work as soon as possible). Two women in Erika’s office are currently off on such leave and are earning close to what they were earning before. For Erika (and thus for us) it will be a pay cut, but that’s because she’s the boss. For most people it really isn’t one and for many it’s actually a pay raise. Probably one condition of EU accession is they get rid of such a progressive and socially liberal policy.