PROPOSED PARENTAL LEAVE SCHEME PROGRESSIVE BUT FALLS SHORT OF NEEDS OF WORKING FAMILIES AND THEIR CHILDREN

18 Sep 2018

Parental Leave

PROPOSED PARENTAL LEAVE SCHEME PROGRESSIVE BUT FALLS SHORT OF NEEDS OF WORKING FAMILIES AND THEIR CHILDREN

Congress notes the reports this week that the Government is considering the introduction of a paid parental leave scheme as part of their commitment to increase paid parental leave in the first year of a child’s life.

The proposed scheme would introduce a non-transferable (between parents) paid parental leave in the first year of a child’s life, rising to seven weeks parental leave over a three year period from late 2019.

This would be in addition to existing schemes of 26 weeks paid maternity leave and the recently introduced 2 weeks paternity leave (to be taken during the 26 weeks following the birth of a child).

Congress Equality Officer, David Joyce said: “This is a progressive step that would in effect mean that parents would have up to 42 weeks of some form of paid leave during the first year of a child’s life. It will enhance families’ ability to reconcile work and family life and enable fathers to play a more active role in family responsibilities”.

Congress has long held the position that such arrangements should cover the full first year of a child’s life and notes that the proposal as planned falls short of this by some 10 weeks.

Mr Joyce added: “We note the discussions at European level towards a new parental leave directive to be agreed in 2019 and will be working with our colleagues in the European Trade Union Confederation to try and bridge this gap and to secure the best outcome for working families”.

 

For further information contact:  David Joyce on 087 2260213