FUNDERS AND SUPPORTERS: THANK YOU!
IN THE PRESS
Refugees’ schools project
Pensioners fact sheet
Hungary led the way in rights for carers
The Guardian, Saturday 23 April 2011
The discussion over plans to give extra votes for mothers in Hungary
may have something to do with mothers' concern to have enough money to
care full-time for newborn children,
and to return to earning a living when they're ready (This
Hungarian children's vote is grossly dishonest, 18 April).
Hungary pioneered quantifying the work of carers.
Multinational Time Budget Study (1966)
was co-ordinated by the Hungarian sociologist Alexander Szalai. It
showed that mothers who went out to work averaged three hours a day on
housework versus men's 17 minutes, and that they cut down on sleep to
cope with this double day. The following year Hungary introduced
universal maternity provision: six months' leave with 100% wage
replacement and two additional years at a flat rate. In 1985 an
alternative two-year leave at 75% of the wage was introduced. Jobs were
secured in either case. The provisions were popular, with 85% takeup.
After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, benefits were cut and
universality was replaced by means-testing. While many benefits were
reintroduced in 2002, spending on the family has declined. All
Hungarians caring full-time for children under three – mostly mothers –
can still claim a benefit equivalent to the minimum pension. For the
over-threes there is highly subsidised and readily available childcare,
with an 86% takeup.
But unemployment has skyrocketed, especially among the discriminated
Roma community, where it is reportedly 90%. There is no longer job
protection for anyone. How does the offer of an extra vote address this