Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has backed calls on the Government to prioritise introducing the three weeks’ Parent’s Leave and Benefit which was promised in the Budget almost four months ago, saying that families cannot be forced to wait any longer and that the Government must act now.

Teachta Crowe said:

“Many families are being badly affected by the Government’s delay in introducing the three week’s Parents’ Leave and benefit that that promised in the Budget four months ago.

“Their finances are already tight and they should not have to face the financial burden of this Government’s inaction.

“Last week, my colleague Claire Kerrane TD raised this issue in the Dáil directly with the Tánaiste and urged him to act. His response was unfortunately vague and dismissive.

“This isn’t good enough. Families need support now and can’t be expected to wait any more. This is a considerable amount of money, which will make a big difference to families’ finances.

“For many parents who are waiting for this, the only option available up to now for them has been to take unpaid parental leave which many of them simply cannot afford to take.

“Many parents, especially those who have had new babies, haven’t been able to return to work after their maternity leave has ended and have been left with no choices.

“They cannot access childcare at present due to COVID restrictions and their only option is unpaid parental leave.

“The legislation is listed as a priority, so where is it? Why are families being forced to wait for months on end when this is recognised as necessary and supposedly an urgent issue?

“We need to know when this simple piece of legislation will be brought to the House and how quickly will parents be able to avail of this three week parents’ leave?

“This is something progressive and will make a huge difference to the finances of thousands of families. This drawn out delay is impacting negatively on new parents and is unacceptable. The government must act on this promised parental leave and deliver the payment as promised.”