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Brazil: National Integrated Policy for Early Childhood Approved

(Mar. 15, 2016) On March 8, 2016, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef sanctioned Law No. 13,257 (Lei No. 13.257, de 8 de Março de 2016, PLANALTO (Mar. 8, 2016)), which establishes principles and guidelines for the preparation and implementation of public policies for early childhood.  The policies pay special attention to the relevance of the early years in child development and human development, in line with the principles and guidelines of the Child and Adolescent Statute.  (Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente, Lei No. 8.069, de 13 de Julho de 1990, PLANALTO (July 13, 1990).)

Law No. 13,257 establishes a regulatory framework of a series of rights accorded to children up to six years of age; provides for identification and prevention of violence against pregnant women or children, by the adoption through the health system of mechanisms similar to those already adopted in other countries; and increases paternity leave from the current 5 days to 20 days. The increase in leave will not be required for all businesses, but only for companies that adhere to the Corporate Citizen Program (Programa Empresa Cidadã), which also provides for increased maternity leave, from four months to six.  The 20-day paternity leave also will apply in cases of adoption.   (Paulo Victor Chagas & Mariana Jungmann, Lei que Amplia Licença-Paternidade para 20 Dias é Sancionada, AGÊNCIA BRASIL (Mar. 8, 2016).)

Corporate Citizen Program

The Corporate Citizen Program was created in 2008 by Law No. 11,770 and establishes a voluntary extension of paid maternity leave for an additional two months, with the extra period supported by the female worker’s company, not by the social security system (known in Brazil as the INSS). The company can offset this cost on its tax return. (Lei No. 11.770, de 9 de Setembro de 2008, PLANALTO (Sept. 9, 2008).)