Tuesday 20 February 2018

Working parents to get six months off after child born

Fionnán Sheahan

Working parents will get six months' paid leave in the first year after their child is born, under new plans being considered by the Coalition.

Squeezed middle-income working families with small children are set to benefit from a range of measures being recommended in a Government report on childcare, obtained by the Irish Independent.

The report also finds that just over one in four children under school-going age is in formal childcare and the existing free year of childcare is too short in terms of hours each day and number of weeks a year.

Six months' paid parental leave - to be shared between the parents and in addition to maternity leave - is the big-ticket item in the report compiled by a high-powered committee.

The measure would take a decade to implement in full but would build up gradually from a month to a full six months.

"The proposal is to increase parental choice to remain as the primary care-giver of their child in the first year of life and to provide as much support as possible to the developing relationship between the parents and the child," the childcare report says.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Michael Noonan says he will cut the Universal Social Charge by 1pc in October's Budget.

"I'm going to cut the USC by at least 1pc and maybe a bit more," he said.

Irish Independent

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