Sinn Féin’s Ruairí Ó Murchú has urged TDs to provide cross-party support for his parties’ motion to extend paid maternity leave by three months for women who had their babies during the pandemic and whose maternity leave is now due to expire.
The Deputy was speaking before this evening’s debate on the motion brought by Sinn Féin and after Cabinet yesterday approved a proposal to increase parents’ leave by three weeks.
Speaking on Tuesday morning, party leader Mary Lou McDonald called said a 12 week extension to paid maternity leave was an “appropriate and necessary” move for parents.
Deputy O Murchú called on other TDs in Louth to support this evening’s motion. “I am calling on all TDs here in Louth to support the Sinn Féin motion for paid maternity leave to be extended from six to nine months for mothers whose maternity benefit claim expires during the pandemic.
“This extension is necessary because of the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic and the difficulties faced by new mothers in securing childcare. Right now new mothers need the support of TDs and government,” he said.
“Many are struggling to find suitable childcare for young babies and are deeply anxious about being forced to return to work without appropriate arrangements in place.
“This is about fairness for families. I am calling on all TDs here in Louth to do the right thing and support this motion,” O Murchú added.