Senator Mary Seery Kearney has welcomed the decision to give parents of new babies an additional six weeks’ leave.
Senator Kearney was speaking after the Government committed to examining an extension of Parent’s leave from two weeks to five weeks for mothers and fathers, representing an additional three weeks’ leave for each parent.
Fine Gael’s newly-appointed Seanad spokesperson on Children, Disability, Equality, Integration & Privacy Rights said, “I am pleased that the Government has announced this measure as it will support parents who have grappled with their new baby and lacked all the usual, necessary and expected supports particularly due to the pandemic.
“It will be formalised as part of Budget 2021 in the autumn and will apply to any child born after 1st November, 2019.
“The combined extension brings two parent families from a total of 28 weeks where maternity and paternity leave is paid, to a total of 34 weeks where maternity and paternity payments are applicable.
“Mothers can still exercise their right to take their additional 16 weeks unpaid leave and parents also have the option to take parental leave. All parents who exercise their rights to these leave options do so and maintain their connection with their employers.
“This measure will be available to both mothers and fathers and will apply to all future parents. The Government values the work of all parents and ensure that they are supported in their childcare choices, whether that be with childminders, in childcare settings, or in the home.
“I thank the Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Roderic O’Gorman TD, for acknowledging the difficulties faced by parents particularly during this period and look forward to working with him in the future on this crucial area.”