Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017: Report and Final Stages [Private Members]
I move amendment No. 8:
8. In page 4, to delete line 16 and substitute the following:
"(3) This Act shall come into operation on 1 January 2019.".
This is a straightforward amendment. We must bear in mind the changes proposed that would not be accepted here and that I did not press.
This is a straightforward amendment that seeks to delete section 3(3) of the Bill and replace it with the Government's text for subsection (3). It states the Act shall come into operation on 1 January 2019, for the following reasons. In the first instance, there is a serious technical issue with section 3 in that an Act cannot come into operation after its passing as proposed in the Bill as the Act needs to be signed by the President to be enacted and to have legal force. As Deputies will be aware, Article 13.3.1° of Bunreacht na hÉireann states every Bill passed or deemed to have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas shall require the signature of the President before its enactment into law. Section 3(3) of the Bill provides that the Act comes into operation three months after its passing, not after its enactment. In short, an Act can come into operation only after enactment, not after its passing by the Houses of the Oireachtas, as proposed in the Bill. To allow section 3(3) of the Bill to stand would essentially mean the Bill would bypass the President and his functions under the aforementioned article of the Constitution. I am moving the amendment as it is the Government's intention that the Act will commence on 1 January 2019. It is a technical issue, a constitutional issue, that we must be careful about.