1st Better Work Better Lives Policy Paper - Childcare in Northern Ireland, Cost, Care and Gender Equality.

On the 11th June 2019 the NIC-ICTU under the Better Work Better Lives campaign launched the first of a number of policy documents entitled, Childcare in Northern Ireland, Cost, Care and Gender Equality.

The launch was attended by over 40 invited guests from a variety of backgrounds including trade unionists, employers, gender equality advocates, politicians and statutory agencies all interested and working on issues to do with childcare and gender equality in the labour market. The launch was carried in the local print media and also covered by the BBC on radio through Good Morning Ulster and TV through BBC Newsline.


Gerry Murphy, chairperson of the Northern Ireland Committee of the ICTU presided over the meeting. Owen Reidy ICTU Assistant General Secretary addressed the meeting on the Better Work Better Lives campaign outlining its approach, aims and work to date and contextualising this first of five policy papers with the need for a forum for Social Dialogue for Northern Ireland. Clare Moore NIC-ICTU Equality and Social Affairs Officer presented on the policy document in detail, taking those in attendance through the research and outlined the campaigns policy proposals. Aoife Hamilton from Employers for Childcare and the Co Convenor of the Childcare for All campaign also spoke and addressed the issue of the challenges for parents and providers.




After this successful launch we intend to engage directly on the policy paper with the political parties and other stakeholders to seek to build a consensus around our key policy demands,

  • To move away from the system of subsidisation to one of public provision,
  • To seek the 30 hours weekly free childcare operational in England extended to Northern Ireland but adequately resourced.
  • To seek the introduction of sectoral employment agreements which would improve the terms and conditions of employment for childcare workers who are 99% women and 48% of whom earn less than the real living wage of £9 per hour.
  • To see better improved and paid parental leave for both fathers and mothers separately operated on a ‘use it or lose it’ model.
  • To see real flexibility for working parents at work.



Northern Ireland Committee
Irish Congress of Trades Unions
45-47 Donegall Street
Belfast BT1 2FG, Northern Ireland
Tel: 028 9024 7940
Fax: 028 9024 6898