Parental leave bill stumbles on
by Hazel Gavigan

Legislation to extend unpaid parental leave from 18 to 26 weeks and increase the child’s qualifying age from eight to 12 years has again been backed by the Government after it appeared to have withdrawn support. Earlier, Fórsa wrote to leader of the Seanad, Senator Jerry Buttimer, urging him to use his influence to ensure the legislation’s swift progression. 

Although the union welcomed this new development, reports that the proposal will be implemented over a two-year period instead of immediately are seen as disappointing.

It was previously feared that Government would no longer support the Bill, and there have been significant delays in bringing it forward.

If signed into law the Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill would ultimately improve the work-life balance of Irish parents. Now that it’s passed all stages in the Dáil, the Bill is now set to be examined in detail by an Oireachtas committee.

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