Coade Concerned with economic recovery and employment rights of women.
Newry and Armagh Alliance representative Jackie Coade has expressed concern over any economic recovery package and employment rights locally.
Ms Coade indicated recently the issues surrounding the childcare sector and Covid 19 and echoed her recent sentiments that more must be done to protect childminders and support women locally who are returning to work following the announcement of High Street retail businesses reopening last Friday.
Speaking on the issue Ms Coade said: “It is great to see small High Street businesses reopening following closures for the past 12 weeks. Although we cannot get complacent regarding Covid 19 it is important to slowly reopen the economy on a phased basis.
“What concerns me with many people returning to work, what happens then regarding childcare? There is already a key worker list and restrictions in place that may make it very difficult for people to return to work. This needs to be addressed along with any plans to reopen the Economy locally.
“Whilst I welcome the opening up of the childcare list and childminders now being allowed to take three families it all helps, but more needs to be done to support parents within Newry and Armagh and allow flexible working conditions.
“Families need support for returning to work following the Covid-19 epidemic.”
Ms Coade has also expressed concerns relating to employment rights and conditions following the announcement of re-opening small High Street businesses.
Ms Coade added: “We need a joined-up approach with the Executive, local Councils and Childcare settings when opening retail as there are a high number of women employed in this sector. They don’t work separately. We need all stakeholders to work together to make this work and we are not seeing evidence of that right now.
“I have been contacted by women locally who are returning to work next week and need childcare as they do not qualify via the key worker list.
“These women are now presented with the difficult situation of asking their family who have been shielding and are trying to socially distance.
“Women are now being put at a serious disadvantage. We need to support them.”