Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown agrees to make the Council work better for new parents
Labour Party spokesperson on Equality, Cllr. Deirdre Kingston has welcomed the agreement of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council’s organisational committee that it will look at formulating and implementing a new policy to support Councillors who have become new parents.
Cllr Kingston said:
“At the moment, we have absolutely no maternity leave for councillors. This means that councillors who have had a baby are expected back to work as soon as possible. It makes an already challenging time even more so. I had a baby last November and was back to work in January. I was breastfeeding so I needed to have my baby with me and while the Council was extremely supportive of this, a clear policy would be a really positive move and make thìngs easier for parents.
“In the absence of any national legislation in this area, I and my colleague Cllr. Peter O’Brien, put forward a proposal for the Council to voluntarily put in place a policy to help new parents attend meetings, and support breastfeeding councillors as well. Potential supports that could be considered include official pairings, remote attendance at meetings and a dedicated breastfeeding area.
“I am delighted that this motion was agreed today. It is not just about the actual supports that will be put in place, it is also about the statement by the Council that it will do all it can to support new parents. If we are to attract more women into local politics, it is essential that we look to support them and their family life as much as possible.
“However, this can only be a stop gap measure. Minister Eoghan Murphy must introduce paid maternity leave and support measures for Councillors as an absolute priority.