Government Delays Labour’s Reproductive Leave Bill

Ivana Bacik TD
18 January 2024

Government Delays Labour’s Reproductive Leave Bill

  • Government decide to delay Labour’s reproductive support
  • Labour’s Bill would provide 20 days paid leave for early pregnancy loss and 10 days for fertility treatments
  • 14,000 women in Ireland experience pregnancy loss each year
  • One in six couples experience fertility issues
  • People deserve leave when it matters most

Labour Leader Ivana Bacik TD has strongly criticised Government for failing to support much-needed reproductive leave for workers. Labour’s Reproductive Leave Bill, which aims to provide essential support to individuals experiencing early pregnancy loss and those seeking fertility treatments like IVF, was debated in the Dáil this evening.

Bacik said 

“This delay is a disheartening setback. Labour’s Reproductive Leave Bill would provide much-needed support during times of immense emotional and physical challenge. While the government claims to support the bill in principle, actions speak louder than words. We must question the sincerity of their commitment to the well-being of individuals affected by early pregnancy loss and fertility issues.

“Despite expressing support for the Bill, Government will kick the can down the road, by delaying it for 12 months. It is common knowledge that it is unlikely this Government will last another 12 months. 

“Last November, this crucial bill was debated on government time and passed in the Seanad, highlighting the pressing need to address the emotional and financial burden faced by those undergoing fertility treatments and experiencing pregnancy loss. The statistics are stark – 14,000 women in Ireland endure the pain of pregnancy loss each year, and one in six couples grapple with fertility challenges. 

“The government’s choice to defer addressing this critical issue suggests a lack of commitment to the well-being of citizens facing reproductive challenges. It is imperative that we move beyond political manoeuvring and prioritise the needs of those who have been waiting for essential support for far too long.

“There is almost week still to go before this bill and the Government’s amendment will be voted on next Wednesday. The Government has acknowledged that research it commissioned from the UCC Pregnancy Loss Research Group in 2022 was completed back in Autumn of last year. It is not tenable for the Government to neither publish that report, nor allow our bill to progress to the next stage. Most of all, it is not fair on the thousands of women and couples who continue to suffer because reproductive leave is not offered in their workplace.”

“We’re calling on Government to reconsider this approach and prioritise the well-being of individuals affected by early pregnancy loss and fertility issues. The time for action is now.”

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