Press Release, 21/01/2015: Paid paternity leave good for children and families, says Start Strong
January 21st 2015 - In response to Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Minister of State for Equality’s, comments on RTE Prime Time yesterday, Start Strong is welcoming the government’s plan to introduce two weeks paid paternity leave in the Family Leave Bill due to be published later this year.
Ciarín de Buis, Director of Start Strong - a coalition of organisations and individuals seeking to advance children’s early care and education in Ireland – said,
“There is currently no legal entitlement to paternity leave in Ireland. Many European countries offer 2 weeks paid paternity leave around the time of birth, allowing fathers much needed time to bond with the new baby and give support to the mother. The time is definitely right for Ireland to move in line with European norms.”
“The move would also be a step in the right direction towards recognising the important role of fathers in children’s lives. Society has already recognised this, now the government needs to catch-up.”
Family Leave Bill
The Family Leave Bill is currently been drafted by the Department of Justice and will consolidate current provisions for maternity, adoptive, parental and carer’s leave into the one piece of legislation.
Ms de Buis added,
“For very young children, especially children under 12 months old, the consistent and loving care and attention of parents is of lasting importance. Stronger family leave policies would reduce stress levels in the home and allow parents to have more time and energy to give to their children’s care and nurture. This can only be good for society, families and children.
Ireland is one of only nine EU countries that does not offer any paid paternity leave.
Start Strong has been actively campaigning along with the National Women’s Council of Ireland and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions for better family leave policies to support Irish children and families.
For more information please contact Tressan McCambridge, Communications Officer on 01 662 4018 or 087 295 9344