Paternity leave is a significant gender equality measure
Senator Ivana Bacik today welcomed the passage of the Paternity Leave and Benefit Bill 2016 through Committee and remaining stages in the Seanad this afternoon.
Speaking on the final stage of the Bill, Senator Bacik said: “I am delighted to see the Paternity Leave and Benefit Bill become law. It was first announced as an initiative by then Tanaiste Joan Burton under the previous government, and it is great to see it passing through the Oireachtas today. The bill is hugely important, both as a significant gender equality measure; and as a measure to ensure heightened protection of children’s rights. With its passage, fathers will be recognised specifically in the workplace for the first time.
“With the extension of leave entitlement on the birth of a child to the male parent, childcare will no longer be seen as exclusively a ‘women’s issue’. And the new law will ensure that children are given the best possible start in life, since their fathers as well as their mothers will have a right to have paid leave from their work in order to care for them. The bill is also progressive in other ways, applying as it does both to same-sex and opposite-sex couples in their parenting of children. The passage of this bill will have a really positive impact on the wellbeing of families across Ireland.”