In spite of recent events, good news for parents and legal guardians have emerged: Law no. 35/2020 on granting financial assistance to families for paying the services offered by nannies has been issued. Such measures have been in the attention of the legislator since 2019, in order to ease the economic burden of caring for a preschool-aged child. Local authorities will grant between 250 lei and 710 lei to each beneficiary, in order partially cover the costs of nanny services for each child, depending on the income of the parent or legal guardian.
Currently, the law is not in force, but it will come into force 60 days from the date of publication (31st of May 2020). In the following report, we aim to analyse of the provisions of Law no. 35/2020, with further references to the law on the professional status of the nannies (Law no. 167/2014).
Requirements for granting the aid
It should be noted that Law no. 35/2020 refers to a series of requirements that either concern the beneficiary or take into account the income earned by him/her, as well as to certain implicit requirements.
Requirements regarding the entitled persons
Essentially, the provisions concern people who care for preschool aged children, such as the parent with whomthe child resides, the legal guardian of the child (who is raising and caring for the child), or the person named by the parents to take care of the child, while the parents are abroad, according to the provisions of art. 104 of Law no. 272/2004.
Also, art. 5 paragraph (1) provides that the financial assistance will be granted to beneficiaries who are Romanian citizens, citizens of other states, and stateless persons residing in Romania, who obtain income based on individual employment contracts, carry out independent activities, obtain income from intellectual property rights, agricultural activities, forestry, and fishing.
As an exception, financial assistance is also granted to people who are unemployed or are registered as jobseekers at employment agencies, provided they have not refused a maximum of two job offers from these agencies.
The law also stipulates certain requirements regarding the child, in order for his/her parents or legal guardians to receive financial assistance. Thus, observing the interpretation of art. 13, the assistance will be granted only if the child has not reached the age of 6 (it should be noted that the aid will be granted only until the child turns 6). At the same time, we emphasise that the assistance is granted until the child starts nursery or kindergarten.
Art. 6 points out that the provisions of Law no. 35/2020 are not applicable to people who are in one of the following situations:
– they are a professional maternal assistants;
– they offer protection through emergency foster care services, according to art. 59 lit. b) of Law no. 272/2004,
– they are the personal assistant of the child or they benefit from the companion indemnity granted for caring for a child with severe disability, as mentioned by art. 42 paragraph (4) of Law no. 448/2006,
– they are granted child-raising allowance according to art. 2 or 31 of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 111/2010,
– they have not paid the local taxes imposed by local councils on their assets and activities, according to the provisions of Law no. 227/2015.
Requirements regarding the income of the applicant
The aid will be granted only to those applicants who earn less than 3,500 lei (per family member). In order to calculate the reference income, the authorities will take into account the net income earned during the last 6 months before submitting the application.
Aspects regarding the services offered by nannies
The applicants also have to comply with the provisions of Law no. 167/2014 on the professional status of the nannies. In order to receive financial assistance, the beneficiaries will have to prove the conclusion of a contract regarding nanny services. Art. 7 of Law no. 167/2014 states that the profession of nanny can be performed under an employment contract concluded between a nanny and a legal person, or under a civil contract concluded by a nanny as an authorised natural person, according to Government Emergency Ordinance no. 44/2008.
The applicants will submit a request on this matter and supporting documents to the public social assistance service. The compulsory documents are:
– a copy of the identity document of the beneficiary;
– a copy of the birth certificate of the child (children) for whom the aid is requested;
– a copy of the document which proves the legal guardianship of the child;
– certificates regarding the net incomes earned during the last 6 months by the family members, issued, by the employer or by the tax authority (the people who carry out independent activities, who obtain income from intellectual property rights, agriculture, forestry and fishing will submit the fiscal declaration)
– a copy of the contract concluded with the nanny (art. 7 of Law no. 167/2014);
– applicants who receive unemployment benefit or who are in the records of the agencies for employment will submit the proof issued by the agencies for employment.
Procedure for granting financial assistance
After receiving the application from the potential beneficiary, the local social assistance service will analyse it. The authorities will also check the information existent in the databases of the central or local public administration entities. If the request is approved by the social assistance service, the mayor issues an act that grants the financial assistance to the beneficiary. The mayor will also issue an administrative act if the request is denied.
The beneficiary also has the obligation to submit a declaration every 6 months, in order to prove that he/she is still eligible for financial assistance. Otherwise, the financial assistance shall cease within 30 days from the deadline set for fulfilling this obligation.
This article was prepared for the Blog of Costaș, Negru & Asociații by Ms. Alexandra Maria Mureșan (Cluj Bar Association).