Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs
Question 300: To ask the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs his view on the proposals currently before the European Parliament to extend maternity leave to 20 weeks and introduce paternity leave of two weeks both at full pay; his views on whether these proposals are affordable in the Irish context; the position he is taking in the conduct of these negotiations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45072/10]
Question 301: To ask the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs the approach being adopted by him in respect of proposals currently being considered in the European Parliament to introduce maternity leave of 20 weeks and paternity leave of two weeks, both at full pay; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45073/10]
Mary White (Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality and Human Rights, and Integration, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Minister of State, Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Minister of State, Department of Education and Science; Carlow-Kilkenny, Green Party)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 300 and 301 together.
In relation to the Deputy's questions on maternity leave, I will draw his attention to my response to Question No. 359 of 23 November 2010. The European Parliament also initiated the proposal to amend the European Commission's draft Directive further by introducing paid paternity leave in the course of its consideration of the Maternity Leave Directive. Accordingly, this proposed amendment to the Directive is also under examination in conjunction with the review of the amendments which the European Parliament proposed for maternity leave.