|Implemented in this survey?|
In 2000 the idea of a Family Hospice Sabbatical was generated to further unburden the public health care sector facilitating family care for dying relatives or severely ill children at home. Austrian employees would have three options: uncompensated reduction of work time, change of work time or uncompensated sabbatical. The care giver can take care of spouses, partners, parents, grant parents, children, step children, foster kids, siblings and step parents.
To provide the opportunity to care for dying relatives or severely ill children at home; the employees have three options:
The care giver can take care of spouses, partners, parents, grand parents, children, step children, foster kids, siblings, step parents
The options are provided for a period of three months but may be extended to six months. During these periods the employee
To provide the opportunity for all employees including civil servants to care for dying relatives and severely sick children at home for a period of three months.
No direct financial incentive but indirectly through the continuation of health and pension contributions on behalf of the employer and the federal government.
all employees including civil servants, all care takers who wish to be taken care of at home, employers
|Degree of Innovation||traditional||innovative|
|Degree of Controversy||consensual||highly controversial|
|Structural or Systemic Impact||marginal||fundamental|
|Public Visibility||very low||very high|
Even though this policy is consistent with respect to the further development of long term care services it remains questionable whether the take up of these opportunities for employees will
achieve sufficient rates. In particular, as caring for dying people requires some skills care givers must be provided with additional support if they should manage those processes effectively.
In addition, the low or even non-existent sabbatical money further promotes the perseverence of both, a gender wage gap and the traditional split between paid employment (male) and uncompensated family work (female): In the Austrian labor market women still earn roughly 1/3 less than men, and in many families a sabbatical for uncompensated care is financial viable only for the partner with the lower pay cheque. Seen from this angle, this new benefit is in conflict with policies to reduce gender gaps, even though such policies are mandatory for EU member countries.
Similar to the approach in providing long term care benefits the main idea is to allocate resources/opportunities to private households to particularily unburden public (acute) inpatient care.
|Implemented in this survey?|
The idea was generated in 2000; the main purpose was to further unburden the public health care sector; main actor were the Minister of Social Security and Generation and the Minister of Economics
and Work .
The main tools are:
In case an uncompensated sabbatical is requested, the employee has two options for achieving financial support:
The approach of the idea is described as:
The representatives of the Chamber of Commerce wellcomed the initiative.
The opposition parties requested a financial minimum coverage for applicants to the program, but the coalition rejected that because of financial constraints. Furthermore, the Greens required that the possibility of utilization is also given to same-sex partnerships.
The government referred to the possibility of financial support for social cases of hardship ("Haerteausgleichsfonds"). Government representatives of the ÖVP also pointed out the inimitability of the programm in Europe.
Policy idea was mainly critized on grounds of not providing adequate financial support for care givers.
Legislation was implemented in July 2002
The Minister of Social Security and Generation announced an evaluation of the programm after two years.
Currently, there is some evidence that the utilization of the programm is low. Since the introduction in July 2002, overall only 535 persons took up the options provided. The government expected that 15 000 people annually woud pick up one of these options. The average FHS-length was quiet low too; e.g. 55 days instead of the possible 6 months in Lower Austria.
According to representatives of the social insurance and of NGOs, the main reason for low take up rates was the lack of a legal claim for sabbatical-money. The "Haerteausgleichsfonds" supports persons who are not able to afford the staying at home; in 2003 the Ministry of Social Security and Generation paid € 116.000 to 91 recipients.
|Quality of Health Care Services||marginal||fundamental|
Maria M. Hofmarcher, Contributor: Gerald Röhrling, Monika Riedel