17 September 2021
By Tom Collins
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire (Cork South Central TD), has called on the Tánaiste to urgently act to provide paid leave for parents who must stay at home with a child who is self-isolating.
Speaking in the Dáil during oral questions on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the Cork South Central TD said:
“In the last few days, I have received lots of calls from parents of children who have been directed to self-isolate.
“These parents are not close contacts themselves, but must stay at home to mind a self-isolating child. Accordingly, they can’t qualify for enhanced illness benefit nor are they eligible for the PUP.
“Some will have employers that are reasonable and will work with them, but many are in very difficult situations, particularly those on low and middle incomes and in insecure employment.
“Frankly, it is absurd that we are this far into the pandemic and no action has been taken here.
“The Government must urgently act, to provide paid leave for these parents where their children are self-isolating and must stay home from school.
“Sinn Féin have been raising this for over a year now, but there has been very little movement in this area. It is not good enough. Parents need clarity and they need it now.“