Good year of the family


Family 500 plus, the increase in the minimum wage, introduction of the hourly minimum wage and reconstruction of social dialogue are just some of the changes that have taken place over the last year. We summarise a year of functioning of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy.


Family 500 plus as the government's priority


One of the first projects implemented by the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy was the “Family 500 plus” programme. It entered into force on 1 April this year. The 500 plus benefit covers about 2.7 million families, which receive support for 3.8 million children. That is 55% of all children in the country. In rural areas, this indicator is even higher – 63%. Approx. 42% of benefits are paid for the first or only child – that is over one and a half million children.


Families have already received more than PLN 13.2 billion. This is a real help in rising children. According to research of the Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS), Poles spend the benefits mainly on clothing, footwear, family trips and education. And more importantly, money is not wasted. Only 0.03% of benefits were exchanged for material aid.


“We have restored the dignity of the Polish family. The 'Family 500 plus' programme has been the first groundbreaking, comprehensive family support system in our country after 1989. Its results are felt already today,” said Elżbieta Rafalska, Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy.


Good year for work


The situation on the labour market is improving month by month. In October 2016, the registered unemployment rate was 8.2%, that is 1.4 percentage points less than a year ago. The employer market has changed to the employee market.


The Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy is fighting pathologies on the labour market. Since September, the employment contract must be signed with an employee before admitting him or her to work. This is a fight against the so-called first day employment syndrome, when employers delayed signing documents. From the new year, people employed on specific contracts of mandate and contracts for the provision of services, including the
self-employed, will be covered by the minimum hourly wage for work, which will amount to PLN 13 and will be subject to annual indexation. In 2017, the minimum wage will also rise – to PLN 2000 thousand.


Work on the new labour law is also under way. The Codification Commission will prepare two drafts: of the Labour Code and the Code of Collective Labour Law.


“We take care of the safety of employees. Thanks to our actions, employees are better protected. In order to maintain or acquire new employees, above all, employers must care for the quality of work,” Minister Rafalaska added.


Seniors under good care


Seniors are an increasingly numerous social group in Poland. Measures taken by the Ministry of Family focus on improving the quality of life of the elderly. One of the most important decisions taken last year is the increase of the minimum pension to PLN 1000. Next year, the minimum indexation will be at least PLN 10. It will cover all retirees and pensioners whose benefits do not exceed PLN 1369.86. About 2.1 million beneficiaries of the Social Insurance Fund (FUS) and almost all beneficiaries of the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (KRUS; about 1.1 million) will benefit from the increase.


“Seniors are treated with special attention. It is a group that has been growing not only in our country but also around the world, that is why we need to provide them with increasing support. Increase in pensions is an important element of good change for older people,” said Minister Rafalska.


Last year also meant the reconstruction of social dialogue in Poland. 8 plenary sessions of the Social Dialogue Council were held, 11 project teams were established, 470 projects – including 340 of the government – were consulted.


“Changing the name to the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy is not just symbolic. This is a clear signal which actions are a priority for us and for the whole government,” Minister Rafalska added.


up Last update: 19-03-2018
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