“Today’s Budget provides for an extra two weeks of paid parental leave per parent. This is a meagre allocation – and it doesn’t even kick in until November of next year.”

Social Democrats Spokesperson on Children, Councillor Jennifer Whitmore, has said the government has done the bare minimum to support working parents in Budget 2019.

Cllr Whitmore said:

“Today’s Budget provides for an extra two weeks of paid parental leave per parent. This is a meagre allocation – and it doesn’t even kick in until November of next year.

“This commitment calls into question the government’s resolve to help working parents. The announcement today that the Government will only commit to seven weeks of paid leave in total means that it will fall very far short of the Minister’s own target of providing 52 weeks of maternity and paternity leave combined over the lifetime of the current government. It will leave Irish parents 10 weeks short of that target. Ireland will remain one of the worst countries in the EU in terms of paid parental leave.

“In our Alternative Budget 2019, the Social Democrats committed to introducing eight weeks of paid parental leave in 2019, to be followed by further extensions in 2020 and 2021 so that the first 12 months of a child’s main care can be delivered by parents.”

ENDS

ENDS

5th July 2018