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NWCI welcomes childcare intervention and wage subsidy

Published: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has today welcomed the special intervention in childcare, as well as the wage subsides announced, saying these measures will have positive impacts on women who are being hardest hit by Covid 19.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,

“NWCI has advocated for childcare workers, the majority of whom do not earn the Living Wage, to be paid during this crisis, and while recognizing that much more needs to be done to increase wages in the childcare sector, we welcome the fact that security is being provided for the workers over this period. It is also welcome that the State will top up the wages of lowest paid workers to ensure they are not disadvantaged by staying in work. This package will have a positive impact for parents, who will not have to pay fees for three months, and also for providers, who will hopefully be in a position to open their doors when this crisis is over, with staff retention.”

Orla O’Connor continued,

“We also welcome the subsidistion of wage payments as well as the increase to emergency welfare payment of €350 a week. The majority of the 500,000 jobs lost will be in retail and hospitality, sectors that are heavily female dominated. Overall, women are more likely to be low paid and in precarious work, and more likely to head lone parent families, so they are particularly vulnerable to the further poverty and deprivation the crisis will bring. These measures will therefore alleviate some of the burden that Covid 19 is placing on women, and will ensure that they can focus on their health, and the health of their families.”

Orla O’Connor concluded,

“When this crisis is over, we must ensure that we take action on the lessons learned. Our childcare sector needs widespread reform toward a public model, and to ensure proper salaries for childcare workers. In addition to this, we must ensure that our social welfare payments are benchmarked to a minimum essential standard of living, ensuring social and financial security for all.”

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