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Germany: Siemens gives up to EUR 500 a month to come back to work after childbirth

A typically German issue. 
For several months, a political/cultural trial of strength has been dividing
the German government and the two parties to the conservative union – Merkel’s
Christian-Democrats (CDU) and the Bavarian Social-Democratic Party (CSU): the
issue of introducing a subsidy for families who want to raise their children at
home until they are 3, or even 6.  Indeed, in 2008, to make it easier to
reconcile work and family life, meet women’s personal desires, face the
development of diversity and/or equal opportunities policies, or even limit
problems caused by the growing lack of skilled workers, the CDU promised to
offer a place in childcare to all infants as of 2013.  This is a titanic
task as, in early 2012, 160,000 places were still missing and should, in
theory, be added by August 1, 2013, when the law comes into force. 
However, the CSU claims that this law goes against the followers of raising
children at home, still quite widespread in Bavaria.  That’s why the party
is resorting to blackmail, threatening to leave to coalition if, in return for
funding childcare facilities, there isn’t a new homecare bonus (Betreuungsgeld)
amounting to €150 per month and per child under the age of 3.  For the
moment, the Chancellor’s party, the opposition and the economic world are
pulling back, especially since experts are afraid that this bonus will
encourage the poorest families, notably immigrants, to take their children away
from the education system.  Businesses made up their minds a long time ago:
“We’re doing the opposite from the homecare bonus” said Brigitte Ederer,
Siemens personnel manager.

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