Professional activity of women in light of the Family 500+ Program

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The article aims to assess the impact of the Family 500+ Program on women’s professional activity. The Family 500+ Program is a governmental support introduced in April 2016 and is designed to assist the families in raising children. The support is provided by monthly payment of PLN 500 for every single child in the family.
The study, primarily, attempts to assess the relationship between the level of expenditure on family benefits and the employment rate, and, on the other hand, based on the surveys, to indicate whether the Program encourages women to quit from the formal labor market. The article describes the professional activity of women, the level of social spending in Poland and some selected EU countries. Based on statistical data, an attempt was made to assess the impact of social expenditure on women’s economic activity based on the linear regression method. Based on this method, it was stressed that the amount of benefit has the impact on the economic activity of women and this relationship is highly statistically significant. Fragments of own surveys from 2017 till 2019 were also presented, which suggest that the Family 500+ Program may lead to the withdrawal of women from the labor market. Respondents most often stressed the possibility of appearing reluctance to work for careers in large families. Entrepreneurs’ responses showed the discouraging effect of the Family 500+ Program (35.1% in 2019), which may contribute to a decrease in labor supply according to 16.0% of respondents.

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    • Figure 1. The professional activity rate of women aged 25-34 in Poland in 2013–2019
    • Figure 2. Social spending in the selected countries as a percentage of GDP in 2017
    • Figure 3. Scatter chart between social expenditure and the female participation rate in 2017 in the selected EU countries
    • Figure 4. Scatter chart between social expenditure and the female unemployment rate in 2017 in selected EU countries
    • Figure 5. Scatter chart between family benefits and the activity rate of women in Poland in 2006–2017
    • Figure 6. Scatter chart between the average amount of family benefit and the activity rate of women in Poland in 2006–2016
    • Table 1. Professional activity of women in the selected EU countries in 2017 (in %)
    • Table 2. Professional activity of women in Poland in the years 1994–2017 based on LFS (in %)
    • Table 3. Expenditure on family benefits in Poland in 2004–2017
    • Table 4. Total support of the studied family* in individual EU countries (in EUR) in 2017
    • Table 5. Structure of answers to the question about the effects of the Family 500+ Program
    • Table 6. The structure of employers’ answers to the question about the effects of the Family 500+ Program