Wednesday, 6 February 2019
Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017: Committee Stage
I also urge all Members to support these very sensible amendments. Senator Bacik clearly outlined why they are required. It makes sense for parents who have already used their current entitlement to be permitted to avail of the extra entitlement which would allow them to juggle their work and home lives. The early years of a child's life are very difficult. Rather than people dropping out of the workforce and the workforce losing vital skills and experience, the Bill will allow parents and their employers to plan a period of absence from the workforce to allow parents to juggle their responsibilities.
It is very important legislation with significant public support and I am very glad that it is before the Seanad. Fianna Fáil was happy to facilitate Second Stage of the Bill before Christmas. I look forward to its progressing quickly because parents can not wait any longer. They are hanging on what we say and do here today and are waiting to see how quickly the Government will progress the Bill. I am glad the Government has lifted its opposition to the Bill and I look forward to seeing it enacted in its entirety. I would not like any of its proposals to be watered down. It is very important in terms of families' certainty and planning for the future, women's participation in the workforce and allowing working parents to have the maximum involvement in their children's lives. I thank the Minister of State for his attendance. We look forward to the Bill being quickly progressed through the Seanad and Dáil and enacted as soon as possible because the families of Ireland need that to be done.