Speaking after introducing the ‘Parental Bereavement Leave (Amendment) Bill 2021’, Sinn Féin TD for Kildare North, Réada Cronin, and Sinn Fein spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, said they were compelled to introduce the Bill to deliver a legal right to time off work for a bereaved parent.
Teachta Cronin said:
“Currently there is no statutory entitlement to bereavement leave in legislation in this state.
“While bereavement leave is normally granted at the discretion of the employer, as TDs, we need to ensure bereaved parents have a legal right to such leave, and so have one less source of stress at a time when their lives have been turned upside down.
“Due to a lack of legislation, this is a particularly grey area in law, and that is unfair on employers and workers.
“The result is that those who find themselves in such a period of tragedy are often unsure of their entitlements, and this can cause needless distress.
“Sinn Féin believe that workers should not have to negotiate to take leave at a time when they have lost a child, that is unfair. Therefore, we have decided to bring forward this Bill today to grant bereavement leave for a period of not less than 10 working days.”
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“While most employers are sympathetic, extremely kind and supportive during such a difficult period, not everyone is. Such unfairness needs to change, and the only way to do this is through changing the law.
“That is what this Bill does – it seeks to deliver a more compassionate approach to parental bereavement leave, while also providing for clarity and balance for workers and employers.”