Written answers

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

EU Directives

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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94. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if the work-life balance directive was transposed into national law by the deadline of 2 August 2022; and if not, the penalties that will be imposed on Ireland as a result of his Department failing to meet Ireland’s obligations under European law. [46090/22]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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On 21 April the Government gave its approval for the drafting of a Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill. The main purpose of the proposed legislation is to transpose elements of the EU Work Life Balance Directive and to provide new rights to parents and carers in order to support a better work life balance.

Under the proposed legislation, parents and carers will see a right to request flexible working in line with Article 9 of the Directive and the introduction of five days leave per year for medical care purposes in line with Article 6.

The General Scheme was referred to the Office of the Attorney General for drafting and was also referred for pre-legislative scrutiny to the Oireachtas Committee on Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, which published its report on 9 June. The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 was brought to Government this week seeking approval to publish and its introduction to the Houses.

Unfortunately it was not possible to finalise this Bill in time for it to be introduced to the Oireachtas and enacted before the summer recess due to the significant volume of current legislative work and the importance in ensuring that the Directive is correctly transposed. However the proposals under the General Scheme were formally communicated to the EU Commission, along with information on how Ireland has transposed other aspects of the Directive, including the extension of the entitlement to Parent's Leave and Benefit to seven weeks earlier this month.

The Bill will be advanced in the Houses imminently. Once enacted, the Commission will be formally notified.

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