A BILL has been launched to create three additional Bank Holidays in Ireland.
The Bill, proposed by People Before Profit, would "begin to realign the balance" between Ireland and some of its European neighbours.
The proposed dates are February 1, the last Monday in September and the last Monday in November in each calendar year.
Currently, Ireland has a 20-day minimum holiday entitlement and nine paid public holidays, whereas France has 30 days minimum holiday entitlement and 16 paid public holidays.
'Irish working 38 extra hours a month'
"Workers in Ireland are lagging way behind their European counterparts in terms of paid holiday entitlements,” said Carlow People Before Profit Cllr Adrienne Wallace.
"This Bill would begin to realign the balance by introducing three new bank holiday dates – in February, September and November.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, workers in Ireland have been working the equivalent of 38 extra hours per month, according to a LinkedIn survey, and have experienced increased stress levels working from home.
"It is only right and fair that workers in this country, who work extremely hard, are rewarded with extra public holidays.
"The Covid pandemic has hit workers in this country hard.
"Frontline staff like health workers and nurses, cleaners, retail staff and public transport workers have been on the frontline keeping us all safe from the virus.
'Reward for hard work'
"Many of these workers, in the main, are not paid enough for the work that they have done and the efforts they have and are putting in over this pandemic.
"Whilst extra bank holidays cannot make up for the low wages that a huge proportion of workers have to put up with, workers in this country should be rewarded for that hard work by the government allowing this Bill to progress and legislating for increased bank holidays."
The Irish Government has previously considered the idea of an additional Bank Holiday to help stimulate the hospitality industry in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.