The association 3Plus Families, which brings together families with three or more children, on Tuesday called for extending the deadline for application for monthly grants for stay-at-home parents until 31 May 2022, urging the City of Zagreb not to give up on that demographic measure until it is introduced nation-wide.
The association forwarded its request as public consultation has been underway on suspending application for grants for stay-at-home parents as of 5 September.
It believes the former city authorities’ decision to introduce grants for stay-at-home parents has influenced important decisions by several thousand Zagreb residents.
The new city government under Mayor Tomislav Tomasevic has proposed suspending the decision until its demographic and other effects are evaluated.
Zagreb Assembly chairman Joško Klisovic of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said in early July that the scheme under which a stay-at-home parent of three or more children could get a monthly grant would gradually be abolished as it had failed to reach its target of demographic revival.
(The late mayor Milan) Bandic introduced the scheme and declared it a demographic measure, however, the number of children in the City of Zagreb has not increased since its introduction, Klisovic said, noting that instead of encouraging young parents to stay at home, it would be better to invest funds into improving their competencies for the labour market.
The 3Plus Families association believes that aside from postponing the suspension of the decision, the city should also enable such grants for parents who work half-time as well as that the period during which a parent of three or more children is entitled to a stay-at-home parent grant be limited to the end of the child’s first primary school grade.
The association also believes that the criterion of being unemployed for at least six months when applying for the grant should be abolished as well.
It notes that the grants should stay in force until a law on the rights and status of stay-at-home parents is adopted, which, it recalls, was one of the election promises of the incumbent government.