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National Women’s Council welcomes three-week extension of paid Parent’s Leave

Published: Thursday, March 25, 2021

The National Women’s Council (NWC) welcomed the three-week extension of paid Parent’s Leave that came into effect with the passing of the Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2021 this evening.

This follows an extensive campaign by NWC and our supporters to improve family leave for young families in Ireland.

The legislation now allows each parent of a child born or adopted on or after 1 Nov 2019 to take up to five weeks leave during the first two years of their child’s life.

Sandra McCullagh, Women’s Economic Equality Coordinator said,

“We welcome that the legislation is at last in place to allow parents to take the additional three weeks paid Parent’s Leave, as promised last summer. We are also pleased to see that the timeframe has been increased, so that parents can now avail of this scheme during the first two years of their child’s lives. The extended leave will be a huge support for the many women and families with young children who are struggling to manage work with childcare.”

She continued,

“Although the additional three weeks of paid leave will make a considerable difference to many parents, we are disappointed that the government did not take the opportunity to support lone parents in this Bill, which was one of the key recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration. Lone parents, 86% of whom are women, continue to face significant challenges, which have been exacerbated during the pandemic. It is crucial that one parent families are able to receive the same level of support under the scheme as two parent families.”

Sandra McCullagh, concluded,

“We are disappointed that further Joint Oireachtas Committee recommendations were not progressed in this Bill, including increasing the Parent’s Benefit payment and the need for paid Parental Leave for parents of older children. Implementing these recommendations is an important step towards ensuring that taking leave is a realistic option for all families. We call on the Government to address this a priority in Budget 2022.”


For more information, please contact Laura Pakenham, Digital Communications Officer, NWC, Tel. 085 8619087, laurap@nwci.ie