Dublin city councillors call for paid maternity leave 5 years ago

Dublin city councillors call for paid maternity leave

A number Dublin City councillors have called for paid maternity leave for local councillors.

People Before Profit’s Hazel de Nortúin, Sinn Féin's Janice Boylan and the Green Party’s Claire Byrne told the Irish Times how they each had to return to work shortly after giving birth.


Cllr de Nortúin said she gave birth to baby Zara on 25 April and was back working at the council on 8 May, because she could not go without pay.

"I pay rent and have another son. We need to survive," she said.

“It was very hard. I was breastfeeding and had to move Zara on to bottles a few days before. I was pumping all day to leave her a feed, and trying to read. I was tired. In the meeting I was checking my phone to see if she was all right.”

"I love my work , but a few months to recover would be great."


Cllr Janice Boylan, representing the north west inner city, gave birth on 19 March and was back at work on 8 May.

Meanwhile, Cllr Claire Byrne gave birth on 13 June last year and was back at council two weeks later.

Councillors are not entitled to any maternity pay. They get an allowance of €16,645 a year plus expenses and must attend 80 per cent of meetings to qualify for this.

Though they recently became entitled to claim state maternity benefit, the €235 per week payment would be less than their usual earnings.


Taking maternity leave would also mean their cases would not be covered and their votes would be unused during their leave.

The councillors are seeking paid maternity leave for councillors and the power to nominate a paid substitute for their seat for up to six months.