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New paid parents leave falls far short of needs of women on maternity leave during lockdown

Published: Monday, July 13, 2020

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has today said that an increase of paid parents leave from 2 weeks to 5 weeks falls far short of needs of mothers who were on maternity leave during lockdown.  

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“Increasing paid leave for parents from 2 weeks to 5 is in itself a welcome measure and also welcome is the fact that all parents are eligible. However, this announcement was expected to be made in the forthcoming Budget, and was reiterated as a Programme for Government commitment.”

“The leave announced today does not come into effect until November 2020 and will therefore will not retain links between women and the workplace. In many cases, women gave birth without a partner or loved one present, and faced into motherhood without family or professional support. Babies have missed developmental checks, vital scans, hospital appointments and even vaccinations have been cancelled or delayed. In addition, mothers could not access the many support groups that provide critical support when becoming a new mum. This is why extending maternity benefit was so critical for new mothers, and this measure does not go far enough to meet the needs that new mothers have raised with NWCI since the start of the Covid crisis.”

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