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Morgan calls for paid paternity leave

19 June, 2008

Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson on Workers' Rights Arthur Morgan, responding to the ESRI and Equality Authority report published today, said that the Government must introduce paid paternity leave to redress the imbalance in family life.

Deputy Morgan said, "Today's report revealed that on average women are working longer days than men and that this can be attributed in the main to household chores and childcare. In many respects we didn't need this report to tell us how unequal our society is.

"As Niall Crowley of the Equality Authority points out, Government policy must reflect the inequality in family life and, as well as actively encouraging women into the workforce, must provide the relevant childcare entitlements to do so.

"Chief among what is missing in redressing this imbalance in family life is statutory paternity leave. Fathers are not entitled to one day of paternity leave in this state, paid or unpaid. Paternity leave is necessary for both spending time and bonding with a newborn, and helping a new mother to recover and rest after childbirth.

"To immediately deal with this discrimination against fathers, Sinn Féin is calling for two weeks paid paternity leave be introduced. We also believe that the Government must look at introducing some payment for parental leave to additionally aid fathers in spending more time at home, thereby freeing them up for childcare and household duties and allowing mothers to more fully engage in paid employment." ENDS

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