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NWCI, ICTU, SIPTU: Women returning from maternity leave excluded from the Temporary Wage Scheme

Published: Friday, April 24, 2020

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and SIPTU’s Big Start Campaign today wrote to Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe highlighting an irregularity in the administration of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) as it relates to women returning from maternity leave.

The letter was signed by Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI; Patricia King, General Secretary of ICTU and Darragh O’Connor, Head of Strategic Organising and Campaigns at Big Start / SIPTU.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“It appears that women returning from maternity leave are excluded from the benefits of the TWSS as, though the person was an employee, they did not receive normal pay during January and February 2020. As such, workers now find themselves in a position whereby their employers’ options are to pay them without receiving the assistance that the TWSS offers or lay them off so that they can access the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).”

Orla O’Connor concluded,

“This discrepancy impacts most acutely on low paid women workers whose employers do not top up Maternity Benefit, and who have been reliant on statutory Maternity Benefit for the duration of their maternity leave, expecting to return to work on full pay. The Department of Finance must act quickly to end this deeply unjust anomaly, so that women returning to work after their maternity leave have their jobs and income protected.”

The full letter can be accessed here: https://www.nwci.ie/learn/article/nwci_siptu_and_ictu_write_to_minister_donohoe_re_maternity_leave_and_tempor

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