Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has written to Minister Roderic O’Gorman to raise concerns about the length of time being taken to introduce the additional Paid Parent’s Leave which was promised last year.
Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:
“I have written to Minister O’Gorman to express my concern about the ongoing delay in introducing additional Paid Parent’s Leave for families affected by the pandemic.
“In October of last year, the Budget included the provision of an additional 3 weeks paid parental leave for parents of children newly born or adopted and whose parental leave has been affected by the pandemic.
“Due to public health restrictions, many parents have been unable to return to work as they have struggled to access childcare for their newborns. Traditional options such as relatives caring for children have been unavailable due to restrictions on households mixing, while many crèches have been unable to take newborns due to social distancing and caps on the number of children they can care for.
“As a result, some parents have been forced to take unpaid leave which is completely unacceptable. Having a child during the last year has been frightening and stressful enough without adding to parents’ stress and uncertainty.
“I welcomed when the Government agreed last year to provide an additional 3 weeks leave in recognition of this issue, but now we are in March 2021- some 5 months on- and the money is nowhere to be seen.
“I have raised this repeatedly in the Dáil. Parents need this money urgently, as they are under huge financial pressure. But this government doesn’t seem to realise the importance of this and simply hasn’t prioritised it. It isn’t good enough.
“I have written to Minister O’Gorman to raise my concerns once more and ask him when this will finally be dealt with. Parents need support now, they cannot be fobbed off with more dithering and vague promises.
“I will continue to stand up for families and hold the Government to account on this, to ensure that families finally get the support they have been promised and which they need.”