SIPTU Health Division Organiser, Paul Bell said: “It is time for the Government to provide essential workers with the childcare provision they need in order to continue their work against coronavirus. The Government promised to introduce a childcare plan before the beginning of the lockdown period over two weeks ago. The lockdown has been extended and yet no childcare plan has materialised.
“Our members are absolutely committed to doing whatever it takes to defeat Covid-19 and have proven, through this crisis, to be professional, committed, flexible and compassionate workers. However, many are now reporting that the stress of working in an environment that deals with life and death on a daily basis is being compounded with the uncertainty of not having the proper support to take care of their children.”
“Many health workers are married to, or have partners, also working in the health service which is having a major knock-on across all grades and services. Some members have reported to their union officials that they have had to request emergency annual leave or in some cases call in sick in order to take care of children or to allow their husband, wife or partner to attend work on the frontline.”
He added: “SIPTU representatives are appealing to An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, and the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, to immediately publish the Government’s proposals for the provision of childcare for health and essential workers.”