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To: Minister for Children Roderic O' Gorman
Implementation of Additional Leave for Pandemic Parents before April 2021
In July 2020, the Government acknowledged the hardships faced by parents of children born during the initial lockdown. They advised that an extra three weeks paid leave would be granted to these parents and backdate it to November 2019.
Following the Budget, it has come to light that this parental leave cannot be availed of until April 2021. In some cases this is twelve months after the birth of their children. The Government should bring the commencement date forward to January 2021 at the earliest to allow parents to avail of this leave and allow parents to avail of this extra time before returning to the workplace.
Why is this important?
Babies born in during the initial lockdown and their parents were isolated from crucial supports as well as family support due to the restrictions. The Government acknowledged this and agreed the additional paid leave but will not implement until April 2021 and this penalises many parents. Not everyone can afford to avail of the unpaid maternity leave entitlement either partially or in it's entirety. Parents need to be able to avail of this before returning to the workplace. Parents are only permitted to take this leave in some cases over twelve months after the birth of their children.
This is unacceptable and needs to be implemented as soon as possible.