The Honorary Hunzo | Letter to the Editor – Maternity Leave

Letter To The Editor

I am writing this letter in relation to a breach by my employer of my statutory rights in relation to Maternity Leave, and suggested amendments that I feel should be included in the Shared Maternity Leave and Benefit Bill 2018. As I have now reached the ripe old age of 25 (which is currently the new 40) I was beginning to contemplate settling down and having a family.

It was with this thought in mind that I purchased two young budgies in a dodgy alleyway on Capel Street, and provided them with a safe haven to call home. Two tiny beaks to feed is no laughing matter. Every evening they wait expectantly for the slow and steady spillage of Millet into their purple bucket, and I feel the weight of that pecuniary burden on my shoulders.

I had practiced family planning on numerous occasions, broke the lovers up with a ruler, destroyed some makeshift wood chipping nests yet who was I to halt the course of nature? Even the most nefarious god could not break the bonds of avian love. As the weeks passed I was even more certain of my prior predictions. It became readily apparent the normal puff of plumage seemed to conceal sinister secrets.

I was correct in my assertions, I returned home one eve and discovered to my greatest delight, a line of speckled eggs waiting to hatch. Eighteen to be exact. Eighteen new slimy bundles of joy! Our claws would certainly be full. Brimming with excitement I courteously notified my employer expecting a jubilant bout of congratulations, a reminder to relax, and that my job would be there waiting for me upon return.

Dear Mr Loughrey,

Section 10 of the Maternity Act 1994 – clearly states that 26 weeks paid maternity leave should be provided to new mothers. I am now kindly giving you the requisite notice which is required under statute. If I receive no response to this email I will duly note that your silence constitutes unequivocal acceptance.

On that note I took flight (excuse the pun) and waited for my beautiful new family to hatch. Two days later I received my P45, and notice of my completely unfair dismissal which was notably contrary to the employment equality acts.  Upon researching the case to be brought to the attention of the Work Place Relations Commission, I noted the potential promulgation of the Shared Maternity Leave and Benefit Bill 2018, which would endeavour to provide paid paternity leave for fathers, and even same sex couples.

As Ireland is clearly now a progressive democratic state it is ludicrous that other de facto families appear to remain unrecognised and that budgerigar maternity leave remains unaddressed. I would strongly suggest that the below additional amendments be inserted in the bill.

Under Section 10 of the Shared Maternity Leave and Benefit Bill 2018, a new subsection 3 should be added – The Budgerigar Benefit section. This section should address the urgent requirements of new human mothers expecting chicks, subject to stereotypical public morality, and the common good limitations. Provision should be made for gestation, nesting and laying season combined.

My beautiful baby budgies deserve the same quality of life as every other newborn, with their human mother home to nurture and care for them.

It is my learned opinion that all equal opportunities employers, should embrace the suggested changes with open wings.

Best wishes,

A concerned single mother,

The Honorary Hunzo