The ASTI, INTO and TUI welcome the introduction of additional paid parent’s leave from 1 November this year. This leave is intended to let working parents spend more time with their baby or adopted child during the first year.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection ran an extensive media campaign promoting the leave, pointing out the importance of spending time with your baby.
The Department of Education and Skills (DES) has indicated to teacher unions that, on the instruction of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DEPR), it will not top up the €245 of benefit payable weekly to teachers to their full pay for these two weeks of parent’s leave.
For other statutory paid leave, such as maternity, paternity and sick leave the DES does pay full salary and has always done so.
This calls into question whether the Government is really serious about supporting working families. Employers in the public service have always led the way in providing fully paid leave. By refusing to pay the full personal daily rate to teachers government sends a strong signal to unscrupulous employers that they do not need to support their own employees beyond what the State provides.
It’s not too late for a change of mind. We are calling on DPER to support parents working in the public service, including teachers, and pay them fully while they are on parent’s leave.
Kieran Christie, General Secretary, ASTI
John Boyle, General Secretary, INTO
John MacGabhann, General Secretary, TUI