Running a business and having a baby
Sir, – AE O’Donovan (February 25th) asks many questions about the lack of flexibility in maternity leave for the self-employed. Most of them I cannot answer; one, however, is quite easy! Why doesn’t the State allow the transfer of maternity leave to the father as paternity leave? Because the concept of paternity leave doesn’t exist in this State. This despite the fact that it is standard in many progressive first-world societies. As a benefit, it is possible to enact this in a (broadly) cost-neutral model during these austere times using the Scandinavian model.
One wonders what is the political barrier that has denied families the crucial benefit of having the father available during the first stages of a child’s life? Could it be a lack of vision coupled with a traditional mentality? Perhaps the Ireland of the 1950s hasn’t gone away fully yet? – Yours, etc,