Sinn Féin and Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe called for the inclusion of women returning from maternity leave in the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. Teachta Crowe said it was unacceptable that any group of women would be excluded from the payment and has said there is widespread support in the Dáil for these women.

Teachta Crowe said:

“Women returning from maternity leave have been excluded from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme on the grounds that – despite being employees – they were not on their employer’s payroll on the 29th February. This narrow interpretation of the emergency regulations is very disappointing and the government needs to act and address this anomaly.

“The Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe has the ability to act on this without requiring an immediate change to primary legislation. He has already done so when the subsidy was increased from 70% to 85% back in April when he instructed the Revenue Commissioners to change this measure on an administrative basis pending necessary amendments to the original legislation.

“The same approach can, and should, be used to allow the Revenue Commissioners to extend the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to women who are returning to work from maternity leave after the 29th February 2020.

“The Wage Subsidy Scheme is an essential part of the COVID-19 supports structure in protecting incomes during this crisis and during the time ahead. This narrow interpretation and exclusion of any group of women returning from maternity leave is unacceptable and needs to be tackled immediately.”