On September 27, we had the opportunity to meet with TDs and Senators, as well as key policy advisors, from the Fianna Fáil party to outline our priorities for Budget 2024.
Along with colleagues from 20 other NGO sector organisations, we presented our Pre-Budget Submission priorities, with a particular focus on issues related to Social Protection.
We outlined some of the key recommendations from our report The Real Financial Impact of Bereavement that are of relevance to the Department of Social Protection, including:
- Ensuring that the language around the Additional Needs Payment (ANP) includes the word bereavement and the process of applying for payment is simplified: Our study found that awareness and understanding of the ANP in its current form is low among those effected, primarily recently bereaved people, and would warrant further review.
- Legislate for statutory bereavement leave: Currently in Ireland, there is no statutory obligation to provide bereavement leave. The impact of bereavement should be formally recognised and supported accordingly through statutory bereavement leave.
Finally we noted the welcomed development by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection, who included the recommendations from our submission in their report on the pre-legislative scrutiny of Civil Registration (Electronic registration of births, marriages and deaths) Bill.
Our recommendations included:
- Ensure that the review processes required for death registration acknowledge the bereaved person’s loss and signpost people to bereavement supports.
- Invest in a ‘Tell Us Once’ approach to the registration of details of a person’s death.
- Invest in physical spaces, staff and documentation to ensure a compassionate approach to the registration of a death.
- Support staff and officials providing registration services with training for interacting with people who are grieving.
The roundtable was hosted by Paul McAuliffe, T.D., Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection and was attended by and Dara Calleary T.D., Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation and Fianna Fáil party members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection.