There are calls for maternity leave to be made available to sitting councillors.
The Dublin City Council Women’s Committee says it is unjust and discriminatory that there is no mechanism in place.
It has written to the Department of Children and Department of Housing calling for urgent changes to be made.
The lack of #maternityleave
👉Has us returning 2 weeks after birth
👉Leaves our constituents voiceless & unrepresented
👉running home to breastfeed
👉fighting to allow us to bring our babies to meetings !@rodericogorman @greenparty_ie @DarraghOBrienTD @NWCI @AILGIRE
— Darcy Lonergan (@djlonergan) February 4, 2021
Chair of the Women's Committee, Darcy Lonergan, says legislation needs to be introduced which will rectify this issue:
“Due to a lack of maternity leave, our Councillors feel pressure to come back, both Cllr. Claire Byrne & Cllr Janice Boylan returned to work just 2 weeks after giving birth."
"An ideal system would allow for a substitute so our constituents are still represented and we don't feel pressure and guilt about taking the time that we and our baby need”
Cllr Janice Boylan said ”Rushing back to my council role didn’t help me and I suffered a bout of postpartum depression."
"I believe then and I believe now that we need full maternity leave entitlements”.
Cllr. Claire Byrne highlighted how hard it was to balance it all:
“I was breastfeeding so I had to leave him at home and then run back home straight after the important votes were cast."
"With no maternity leave, and no remote or proxy voting, as a new mother you are completely compromised in trying to keep up your role as Councillor and balance motherhood”.