Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, today called on Minister Humphreys to introduce a Parental Bereavement Leave and Benefit.
Proposed in Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget 2022 measures for Social Protection, ‘Building Better Social Protection for All’, the scheme would make a statutory provision of two weeks paid leave for parents following the loss of a child.
Speaking following the exchange with the Minister, Teachta Kerrane said:
“The loss of a child is devastating for parents and at that most horrific time in a parent’s life, our Social Protection system needs to step in to provide support.
“It is important to recognise where there are gaps in our Social Protection system.
“As it stands, parents who lose a child are entitled to just 3 days statutory leave in a 12-month period, with compassionate leave at the discretion of employers.
“We put forward this proposal in our Alternative Budget as an initial introduction of this much-needed scheme.
“We are proposing two weeks paid at the rate of existing maternity, paternity and parent’s leave and benefit, which is €245 per week.
“The Benefit would be payable to parents who lose a child under the age of 18 years, including following a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of the length of their current employment.
“It is very welcome that the Minister acknowledged the tragedy families suffer after the death of a child and advised that she will consider our proposal further.
“If we were to ensure this important statutory support in the State, we would be the second country in the world to do so.
“It is important that we make changes to our Social Protection system where it is needed to support parents and families.”