A Clare Business Owner fears hectic working environments in healthcare and small enterprises will prevent mothers from availing of new entitlements.
The Work Life Balance Act will aim to enhance five key areas for employees, including specifically targeted provisions for mothers, carers & victims of domestic violence.
Under the new provisions of the Work Life Balance Act, carers and parents with children aged under 12 will be granted up to five days of unpaid leave and the right to request flexible working.
Employees across the board will be able to request access to remote working, while victims of domestic violence will be entitled to paid leave for five days.
The legislation will also see the allotted time for breastfeeding breaks in the workplace quadrupled, from six months to two years.
However, a Clare business owner is giving a cautious welcome to the regulations owing to complications that could emerge in traditionally female dominated workplaces.
According to the HSE, over 90% of all nurses in Irish Healthcare facilities in 2019 were women.
Parenting blogger & founder of Momma’s Boobie Box from Ennis, Petrina O’Halloran fears medical staff & those working in small enterprises in particular will be challenged.
She says the reality of hectic working environments and staffing deficits may still prevent mothers from taking their breaks.
A Clare Solicitor, meanwhile believes the legislation will open a new door for mothers hoping to return to the workplace.
A 2020 survey found that just over a quarter of Irish mothers changed their occupations after taking their maternity leave
However, Pamela Clancy from Cashin Clancy Solicitors in Ennis claims the new supports will create a pathway for parents to remain in the workforce in some capacity.
She believes employers will also benefit from an enhanced opportunity to retain qualified and experienced staff.
You can listen to the full interview below.