There are basic allowances for all workers, with special allowances for children of military personnel, children with unmarried, divorced, or widowed mothers, and children who are disabled. The Social Insurance Fund is managed by the largest union organization in Russia, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia. An independent institution since its establishment in 1991, the Social Insurance Fund is in fact responsible to the FNPR.
Many Russian workers have entitlements to housing, child care, and paid vacations, regardless of their rank within an enterprise. There are three categories of family benefits: payable to all families with children, those payable to working mothers, and those payable to disadvantaged families.
Employed women are entitled to paid maternity leave from seventy days prior to giving birth until seventy days afterward. Maternity leave benefits are based on the minimum wage rather than on a woman's current wage. There is also a maternity grant, which is a onetime payment totalling three times the minimum wage or 45 percent of the minimum wage in the case of mothers who have worked less than one year. There are also monthly child allowances of 80 percent of the minimum wage for children up to eighteen months old.
In 1993, a restructuring of the system took place as a result of the low levels of compliance with contribution requirements, charges of abuse by trade union officials, and the government's desire to promote democratic accountability. This is still a work in progress and the quality of administration varies throughout Russia. About one-half of the money goes to sick pay and one-fifth to subsidize treatment at sanatoriums.
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