Dáil Éireann - Volume 555 - 17 October, 2002

Written Answers. - Maternity Legislation.

  31. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the promised legislation to give effect to the recommendations of the report of the working group on the review and improvement of the maternity legislation, which was published in February 2001, will be published and enacted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18520/02]

  Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): The report of the working group on the review and improvement of maternity protection legislation was presented to the social partners on 25 January 2001 and was published on 28 February 2001. The working group's recommendation to extend the periods of maternity leave and additional maternity leave which was announced in budget 2001, has been implemented. The Maternity Protection Act, 1994 was amended by way of order on 8 February 2001.

  The other recommendations of the group will require the drafting of primary legislation and regulations. In this regard, Government approval was obtained on 17 July 2002 for the drafting of a Bill to give effect to the remaining recommendations of the working group. I hope to be in a position to publish the Bill later this year with a view to enactment in 2003.