Saturday 23 November 2019

Joan Burton insists creches won’t be shut down by reforms

Joan Burton
Joan Burton

Michael Brennan

SOCIAL Protection Minister Joan Burton has insisted creches and preschools will not be shut down by her sick leave reforms.

She had been warned that half of the country's creches and preschools would close, if she forced their owners to pay for the first four weeks of their workers'sick leave.

But Ms Burton said any changes to the sick leave scheme would not apply to companies employing fewer than 100 workers.

She told RTE radio this would exempt creches and preschools who generally have smaller workforces.

Employers generally pay for the first three days of sick leave and the state covers all the costs after that - which is unusual by European standards.

Creches had argued that owners cannot afford bigger sick pay bills because replacement staff must be brought in, in order to keep adult-child ratios in line with the childcare regulations.

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