News & Media

Labour publishes Bill to provide for reproductive health-related leave

2 March 2021

Statement by Senator Ivana Bacik
Seanad Group Leader and Spokesperson on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration

The Labour Party has today published legislation to provide employees with up to 20 days leave for early miscarriage or other reproductive health-related reasons.

Despite the immense progress that has been made towards greater equality for women in the workplace, many barriers remain preventing women’s full and equal participation. In particular, many women have lacked necessary support from employers when facing difficult and sensitive issues around fertility and reproductive health.

For far too long, these personal struggles have been carried out in silence. Inspired by the need to end this silence, Labour is introducing a Reproductive Health Related Leave Bill to amend the Organisation of Working Time Act by providing for a period of paid leave from work following an early miscarriage; or for other reproductive healthcare reasons.

Announcing the introduction of the Bill, Senator Ivana Bacik said:

“For far too long, women have had to remain silent in their workplaces about the grief of early miscarriage; or have had to use their annual leave in order to attend appointments for IVF treatments. This Bill seeks to provide women – and men – with support in the workplace, where they are struggling with fertility or other reproductive health issues. 

“The introduction of this Bill has been inspired by the great work of Labour Councillor Alison Gilliland and her colleagues in the INTO, who have highlighted this as a serious issue for many teachers and other workers.

“If enacted, Labour’s Bill would provide an entitlement to reproductive leave of up to 20 days for women who suffer an early miscarriage, and up to 10 days leave for employees to receive treatments like IVF.

“Aside from the practical support that this Bill would provide, it would also represent another step towards opening up conversations around reproductive health in Ireland, and would help to encourage public awareness of reproductive health issues.”

ENDS

The Bill can be accessed at this link: https://www.labour.ie/assets/files/pdf/organisation_of_working_time_reproductive_health_related_leave_bill_2021.pdf