The National Council unanimously voted for a bill that will allow self-employed people in Monaco to receive family benefits. The bill also clarified and updated the definition of “head of household” as someone of any gender, a mother or a father. Bill n°998 was voted for during the National Council’s public session on 30 June.
The bill is an important step forward and puts an end to an inequality felt by self-employed people and self-employed women. Until now, those who were self-employed were excluded from accessing family allowances and therefore deprived of support for the education of their children. The bill modernizes Monegasque law in favour of equality between men and women. Self-employed women in the Principality can now opt for the status of head of household.
Who qualifies for family benefits?
Back in July 1982, law n°1048 was passed in the Principality, creating a system of social benefits for self-employed people. However, it did not give them the right to family benefits. Bill 998 seeks to change this situation. Self-employed residents of Monaco, Switzerland and other Member States of Europe who do not benefit from another family benefit scheme will now have access to family allowances and prenatal allowances.
The family allowances will be paid to the recipient as soon as the child is born and remains a dependant. Prenatal allowances will be paid to the mother, unless it is in the interest of the child that they are paid to the father, for the duration of the pregnancy. The basic amount of these allowances will be determined by Ministerial Decree and will vary depending on the age of the child.
This step in the right direction sheds light on another law that is need of an update: a female Monaco worker cannot claim the status of “head of the household” as long as she lives with the father of her children. Updating this law may take more time than anticipated, as it requires a bilateral agreement with France and discussions with France have been postponed during the health crisis.