Wednesday, 6 February 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
The Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017, which was approved unanimously by the Dáil in June 2018, is due to be debated in the Seanad today. We heard in recent days that the Government had taken a different position and flip-flopped on the issue and would block the Bill in the Seanad. We have since learned that that is not the approach, but that the Government has instead decided to water down the Bill by extending its implementation period and introducing amendments on Report Stage. For people relying on the Bill, that is not acceptable. It had unanimous support in this House and on Second Stage in the Seanad and it needs to be passed and implemented without delay to ensure there is an extension of unpaid parental leave of eight weeks to parents of children under eight years of age.
The Bill is essential, which is why everyone in this House approved it. Will the Minister outline the Government's position on trying to water down the Bill as it goes through the Seanad?