V4 Labour Ministers Reject Austrian Legislation Concerning Family Allowances

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V4 labour ministers (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 15 (TASR) – Ministers of labour and social affairs from the Visegrad Four countries (V4: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) rejected Austrian legislation concerning family allowances in a resolution jointly signed at their meeting in Bratislava on Thursday, TASR learnt on the same day.

The V4 ministers will also forward the case to Euro-commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Work Mobility Marianne Thyssen. The resolution was also signed by labour ministers from Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovenia, with Slovak minister Jan Richter planning to reach out to other countries as well.

Richter convened the extraordinary session in response to new legislation approved by Austria, which will introduce as of January 1, 2019, varying family allowances, the level of which when paid abroad would depend on purchasing power in the country where a child has permanent residence. In the joint letter, the states claim that the legislation stands in opposition to EU law and the principle of equal treatment and ask for the European Commission to look into the case. “It is expected that this law will adversely affect the socio-economic status of 87,500 children living in V4 countries,” quantified Richter. “We’re convinced that workers performing the same work are entitled to the same social benefits.”