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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 11 August 2022

Maternity leave for councillors to be examined by all-female group

Councillors, TDs and senators currently have no right to take maternity leave.

Image: Shutterstock/Natalia Deriabina

MATERNITY LEAVE FOR city and county councillors will be examined by an all-female working group.

The six-person group is made up of one councillor each from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Fein, the Green Party, Labour, and one independent. 

They are meeting with the Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government Peter Burke today.

Councillors, along with TDs and senators, currently have no right to take maternity leave.

Minister Burke said that consideration of maternity leave for councillors is well overdue, and that he plans for measures to be in place as soon as possible.

“While attention has been drawn to this subject recently by my colleague Minister Helen McEntee, it has been an ongoing issue not just in the Dáil but in our Local Authorities,” Minister Burke said. 

“Many candidates start their political careers in our council chambers. If we want to increase female participation and retain the talent we have in local government, we must take steps now to address one of the main barriers to female representation; lack of maternity leave and policies which do not favour family life,” the Fine Gael TD added.

A group of councillors recently called on the government to take urgent action to enable sitting councillors to take maternity leave. 

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Dublin City Council Women’s Committee wrote to the Children’s Minister and the Minister for Local Government demanding maternity leave for elected representatives.

There are two councillors from Dublin and one each from Limerick, Galway, Kerry and Louth on the all-female working group.

About the author:

Céimin Burke

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