Bulgaria’s Parliament passed at first reading on May 30 two bills that envision raising maternity leave to 310 leva a month, tabled by the ruling socialists and opposition party GERB.
The difference between the two bills was the date when the increase will go into effect – the socialist bill proposed October 1 and the GERB proposal envisioned July 1 as the starting date. The earlier date would cost 8.35 million leva more to implement, Labour Minister Hassan Ademov said in Parliament.
“We will do everything possible to rummage through the Finance Ministry’s worn-out pockets and try to find the money,” Ademov said, as quoted by news agency Focus.
The exact date that the changes will enter into force will be discussed between the two readings of the bills. The change affects the second year of maternity leave – currently, during this period, mothers get a monthly payment of 240 leva.
In the first year of maternity leave, the monthly payments are equal to 90 per cent of the salary prior to going on leave – but only if the mother was employed and paid mandatory social security contributions for the previous 24 months.
The maternity leave increase is one of the urgent measures in the governance plan presented by Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, voted into office on May 29.
(Bulgarian Parliament. Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)