Ireland lags behind US on miscarriage leave

26 October 2023

Labour workers’ rights spokesperson Marie Sherlock is urging Government to pass Labour’s Bill to provide early miscarriage and fertility leave to women in the workplace.

Senator Sherlock said:

“California has followed the footsteps of New Zealand and is legislating for paid time off for workers who need reproductive health care.

“In March 2021, Labour published a Bill that would provide up to 20 days paid time off for any woman who experiences an early miscarriage, and up to 10 days paid leave for any worker undergoing fertility treatment like IVF.

“Ireland is rightly waking up to the awful reality of early miscarriage, an experience that impacts approximately 14,000 women a year. As it stands, there is no legal right to workplace support for anyone at this awful, vulnerable time.

“Minister O’Gorman has commissioned research into the need for this leave in Ireland. Why not just legislate for this compassionate leave now?

“Such a measure would only cost €8.4 million annually, but would be priceless for the women who need it. We need to support workers when they need it most.

“Many women and couples have bravely shared their experience of early miscarriage. As well as the physical aspect of miscarriage, the emotional impact is particularly devastating.

“There can be no further delay. Ireland should provide compassionate care for all workers who need it.”

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