News & Media

Seanad to debate Reproductive Health Leave Bill at 7:30pm Monday May 24th

21 May 2021

Press Notification Ivana Bacik TD
Spokesperson on the Enviroment and Climate; Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

On Monday, May 24th at 7:30pm, the Seanad will debate Labour's Reproductive Health Leave Bill to amend the Organisation of Working Time Act. 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.

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. 

“Aside from the practical supports for employees that this Bill would provide, it would also mark another step towards opening up conversations around reproductive health in Ireland, and information campaigns about the introduction of this new leave entitlement would encourage greater public awareness about this hidden issue.

"We know that approximately 14,000 miscarriages occur in Ireland each year. Behind those statistics are hopes and dreams lost through pregnancy loss. Ireland must do better. The Oireachtas must the seize the opportunity and vote in favour of my new bill.

“I look forward to the debate and to receiving support for this important legislation to ensure that it progresses to the next stage when it is debate on Monday night. I call on Government Senators to make representations to their party leaders to ensure that this Bill passes through both Houses as quickly as possible."