Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the forthcoming legislation on parental leave; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1105/19]
481. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when legislation (details supplied) in relation to parental leave will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1563/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 393 and 481 together.
It is important to note that the Government has always been, and continues to be, supportive of the principle of Parental Leave. In fact, as part of Budget 2019, the Government announced the introduction of a new paid parental leave scheme, which will commence later this year. This new scheme will initially provide two weeks of paid, non-transferable leave per parent, with a view to expanding the scheme and increasing the number of weeks of paid leave for both parents in future years.
During the debate in Dáil Éireann on the Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017, I strongly suggested that the relevant Oireachtas Committee would carry out detailed pre-legislative scrutiny on this Bill. If this had occurred, it would have allowed all stakeholders to scrutinise the proposed legislation and to report on any policy or legal issues which may have be identified. It is my view that this is what should happen with all such legislation. Unfortunately, this scrutiny did not take place and it has now arisen that a number of Government Departments have raised certain issues which need to be clarified.
Subsequently, it has been brought to my attention that the Bill’s sponsors have decided not to proceed with the Committee Stage in the Seanad at this time.