Question to the Commission for written answer :
Can the Commission please explain why redundancy payments for former parliamentary staff are so generous compared with the private sector1?
- See ‘Unemployed MEP assistants line up for big benefits’, Euractiv, 8 July 2014.
Answer given by Mr Šefčovič on behalf of the Commission:
In 2009 the legislator decided1 that the accredited parliamentary assistants shall be employed by way of direct contracts with the European Parliament and shall be covered against the risk of unemployment by the Special Unemployment Fund set under the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the EU to which they contribute to during their period of employment. The legislator also took account of the particular circumstances of the accredited parliamentary assistants who are, as a general rule, expatriates and work in multilingual and multicultural environment, the particular tasks they are called on to perform and the specific duties and obligations they have to fulfil vis-à-vis the Members of the European Parliament.
As for the amount of the unemployment benefit it is calculated as a percentage decreasing from 60% to 30% of the last basic salary. The payment is subject to EU tax and it is capped after the 6th month. The period during which the allowance is payable may not exceed the equivalent of 1/3 of the actual length of the service completed. To be eligible the beneficiaries must be registered as seeking employment with the national unemployment authorities. Benefits received from a national scheme are deducted from the unemployment allowance.
1 Council Regulation (EC) No 160/2009 of 23 February 2009 amending the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities.