Written answers

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Maternity Leave

Photo of Jennifer Carroll MacNeillJennifer Carroll MacNeill (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael)
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360. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth his plans to provide paid maternity leave for women who have experienced a miscarriage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49313/21]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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Pregnancy loss is a heartbreaking experience for parents and my sympathies are with every person who has suffered a loss.

The Maternity Protection Acts 1994-2004 provide for paid maternity leave and, in the event of a stillbirth or miscarriage occurring after the 24th week of pregnancy, the mother is entitled to take her full maternity leave. Paternity leave is also available to the relevant parent in the event of a stillbirth or miscarriage occurring any time after the 24th week of pregnancy.

There is currently no provision for leave where a pregnancy loss occurs prior to 24 weeks. However, my Department has been examining this issue and intends to commission research in the coming weeks to examine how best to support working parents who have suffered a miscarriage. The findings of this research will inform Government policy to develop a practical, workable response to support those parents.

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