Description:The lack of female participation in the labour market poses real concerns for economic growth and competitiveness in Ireland. This report sets out a range of measures to address the issue. It calls for child benefit to be means tested, greater flexibility in child/adult childcare radios and an extension of the Early Childhood Care and Education scheme to include children aged one to three years and an increase in its duration to four hours. In addition it proposes the introduction of a formal out-of-school hours care system to address the needs of working parents.
Implication(s):Failure to urgently address this situation will increase the gender balance issues facing women in business, deprive business of the financial, innovation and problem-solving benefits of diverse teams. It will also cost the exchequer in terms of benefits payments and lost tax revenue, put families at risk of poverty and lead to stifling of Ireland's long-term economic competitiveness and growth.
Current Position:When the high marginal rate of tax is combined with the high cost of childcare, life can become very difficult for working parents. Often one may feel forced to leave the workplace, and this is typically the mother. The economic rationale for reform is overwhelming: We are creating jobs but not growing participation rates and to address this we need to change the current model. This will require investment and an openness to change in existing structures, such as child benefit and staff ratios, if we are to make a real difference for families across a range of income levels.
- Labour Market Participation of Women Oct 2016.pdf - 1,206 Kbytes
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