Sinn Féin spokesperson on Local Government Denise Mitchell TD has this afternoon welcomed Minister Peter Burke’s commitment to legislate for Councillors to take maternity leave.
Teachta Mitchell said:
“The announcement from Minister Burke regarding his intention to legislate for Councillors to take maternity leave is welcome and not before time.
“The lack of maternity leave available to Councillors has been a barrier to many women entering politics in years gone by, and this legislation would be a really progressive step in the direction of bringing these barriers down.
“Sinn Féin will fully support this legislation as it is something we have been calling for over the last few years.
“I’m happy to see the Minister acknowledge that a one-size-fits-all scheme would not work, and that he has said that he will give women choice whether or not to take full leave and nominate a substitute, or to receive administrative support during their leave.
“Councillors intending to take maternity leave should not have to wait until after the Local Elections of 2024 to be afforded this right.
“It needs to be progressed as a matter of urgency, and I hope that it can be passed through the House of the Oireachtas before the end of the year; and it may also be an opportunity for the Minister to legislate for maternity leave for Oireachtas Members.”