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.

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's Ivana Bacik 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 including:

  • 20 days leave for women who suffer an early miscarriage

  • 10 days leave for all workers for treatments relating to their reproductive health

Aside from the practical supports for employees that this Bill would provide if enacted, 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. You can read more about it here.

We need to acknowledge that our personal dreams do not happen in a vacuum.

Labour’s Bill is one step towards addressing the imbalance that currently exists.

 

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You can keep up to date with progress on the Bill with Ivana on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/ivanabacik/

 

You can copy and paste below into your email:

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SUBJECT LINE: Please support the Organisation of Working Time (Reproductive Health Related Leave) Bill 2021 #SupportNotSilence

TEXT:

Dear Senator,

I am emailing you today to ask if you will support the Labour Party’s Organisation of Working Time (Reproductive Health Related Leave) Bill 2021, brought forward by Senator Ivana Bacik, when it is debated at Second Stage in the Seanad on Monday, 24th May.

If enacted, this important 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, such as IVF.

For too long, these personal struggles have been carried out in silence, with many workers taking annual leave to access reproductive healthcare or after the tragedy of early miscarriage. Worse still, many people are returning to work immediately because they cannot get time off - this is not right. The Oireachtas must give practical recognition of the reality that, for many, reproductive health issues are lived every moment of every day.

As many as 14,000 women in Ireland suffer a miscarriage each year, while as many as one in six heterosexual couples in Ireland encounter fertility difficulties, according to the HSE.

The Oireachtas must take this opportunity to provide support for workers and for women. I ask that you pledge to allow this important bill to progress to the next stage, and that you will commit to speaking with other Senators and TDs to encourage them to do the same.

I look forward to hearing from you and I thank you for taking the time to read this message.

Le meas.

XXX