'Pandemic parents' to be granted 3 more weeks of paid leave
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'Pandemic parents' to be granted 3 more weeks of paid leave

PARENTS of children who were during or just before the coronavirus pandemic will be granted an extra three weeks of paid leave.

The government was urged to approve the proposal due to the distinct lack of childcare and support programmes for parents during lockdown.

Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman confirmed on Monday that the decision will apply to parents who had children from November 1, 2019.

He also stated that the leave would pay parents a rate of €245 per week for the three weeks, according to extra.ie.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet meeting, Mr O’Gorman added that the Government had proposed to examine the Budget 2021 with the hopes of an extension of parents’ leave, allowing every parent an additional three weeks.

This announcement follows calls from Director of the Child Care Law Reporting Project to urge all policymakers to ‘make children a priority in any decisions that are made’ amid the pandemic

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The Dail Committee recently heard from opposition TDs representing frustrated parents, concerned that there is not yet a clear road map regarding how schools will reopen come September.

Sinn Féin’s education spokesman Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire told a special COVID committee: "It’s frustrating for parents that we don’t know those answers at this stage — seven weeks out from the start of school - when parents are buying school books, uniforms and all that kind of stuff.

"We were promised the roadmap on June 12 and that’s not what we got on that date. Instead, we got an outline on what social distancing would look like at one metre and two metres. The position seems to be changing all the time."