Turkey plans bill for working mothers, many-child families

The government is planning a graduated pension scheme in which workers will be able to retire earlier based on the number of children they have. The bill also includes additional rights for employed mothers.

Turkey plans bill for working mothers, many-child families

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Turkish government is planning to adopt a graduated pension scheme in which workers will be able to retire earlier based on the number of children they have, as part of a measure against the country's ageing population, an issue which has become increasing apparent in recent years.

A draft bill that was jointly prepared by the Ministry of Labor and Social Services, the Finance Ministry, the Family and Social Policy Ministry, the Ministry of Development and the Health Ministry will be presented to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as soon as it is completed and will be sent to Parliament for approval.

Some details about the content of the bill were recently revealed to the media. According to a Milliyet daily report on Friday, the bill includes a graduated pension scheme that encourages working people to have more children if they want to retire earlier.

The ministries are still working on this scheme, and it is as of yet uncertain if this will be adopted. Another incentive reportedly included in the bill is extending maternity leave from four to six months.

Providing job security, financial support and flexible working hours for women with children are reportedly also in the ministries' proposal.

According to the bill, women's salaries during their maternity leave will be paid by the state, employers will not be allowed to fire female employees while they are on maternity leave and child benefit payments will be increased.

In addition, according to the bill, public institutions and organizations will have to provide childcare services for their female employees. Pregnant women will be able to leave the office if they have medical appointments during their pregnancies and will continue to be paid during their leaves of absence. Pregnant employees also cannot be made to do any hard labor by their employers.

The debate on the country's ageing population appeared on its agenda about two years ago when Erdoğan began advocating families to have at least three children.

Since then, Erdoğan has repeatedly used every given opportunity to encourage families to have more children. By doing so, the prime minister hopes to combat the adverse effects of an ageing population, including an insufficient labor workforce and rising welfare spending.

The government set out to promote the “three children project,” comprising various incentives, after the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) published demographic figures in January showing a drop in the rate of population growth from 1.3 percent in 2011 to 1.2 percent last year.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Haziran 2013, 15:10