Labour to campaign for additional three months paid parental leave

The leave would be split between parents

Labour to campaign for additional three months paid parental leave

Tánaiste and Social Protection Minister Joan Burton at the Global Economic Forum | Image:

The Labour leader says she will be campaigning in the election for three months of additional paid parental leave.

Joan Burton has announced tonight that the measure - which will be split between parents - will form part of Labour's manifesto.

She has also welcomed moves by Fine Gael to adopt many Labour-style policies for its own manifesto.

Fine Gael's considering plans to pay an increased wage to the unemployed after they take on work - but the Tánaiste says she's not worried about Fine Gael eating into her vote.

"I absolutely welcome Fine Gael so clearly demonstrating that they favour the minimum wage, they favour regular increases in the minimum wage," she said.

"Of course their position is slightly different to ours in that we want to see it move over a period of time, initially on a voluntary basis, to a living wage," she added.

Speaking at the Women For Election Review on Tuesday evening, Ms Burton said: "This will ensure that every child can be cared for by their parents for the first 9 months of their life.

"The choices we make in terms of tax and spend define us as a society."

Ms Burton denied Labour have any concerns about Fine Gael chasing their traditional votes.

The larger coalition partner wants to pay a top-up to unemployed people who take jobs - to encourage them to accept job offers.

But Joan Burton says there are still significant differences between the two parties.

"We don't want support for families on low income to become a substitute for employers paying proper wages, and there;s an issue there, particularly where employers are doing extremely well," she said.