29 July 2016

The Tánaiste has welcomed the signing into law this week of two significant pieces of legislation. Welcoming the enactment of the Paternity Leave legislation the Tánaiste remarked, ‘I welcome the enactment of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Bill 2016. The Act provides fathers with two weeks of paternity leave and two weeks of paternity benefit, for babies born on or after 1 September 2016. This is a significant piece of legislation which recognises the key role that fathers play in the life of newborn babies and young children.

‘The new Act is also a clear indicator of this Government's commitment to investing in children's early years, and to improving the work-life balance of parents. The leave can be taken any time within the first six months following birth, and I would encourage fathers to avail of the scheme and take this opportunity to spend additional time with their newborn baby and family. I hope that the Government will be in a position to extend parental leave further in the years ahead, in line with the Programme for a Partnership Government.’

Separately the Tánaiste welcomed the enactment of the Proceeds of Crime Bill 2016 saying, This Act will tighten the net on cash and property held by organised criminals. These new laws are just one part of the Government's comprehensive package of measures to target organised crime.’ An additional €55 million has been allocated to the Garda Síochána, and a new Armed Support Unit is being established as well as a Special Crime Task Force. The Tánaiste went on to say, ‘I am determined that the Government will do all it can to support the Garda Síochána, the Revenue and the Criminal Assets Bureau in their work. In particular, we are supporting the community in north east inner city Dublin, which has been most affected by organised crime. The recently announced Ministerial Taskforce will support the long-term economic and social regeneration of the area, supported by a substantial investment package as well as the reopening of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station.’