By Mary Blyth
On the 18th December 2012 the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, announced Government approval for the drafting of a new Family Leave Bill.
The Bill will incorporate the EU Parental Leave Directive and will also consolidate all family leave legislation into one accessible Act.
The EU directive implements a revised framework on parental leave.
In essence, the directive increases parental leave for each parent from 14 weeks to 18 weeks.
The Directive also allows for a parent returning from parental leave to request a change in working pattern. The employer is required to consider the request, but is not obliged to permit the request.
The opportunity to introduce the Family Leave Bill will also allow for the consolidation of all family leave (maternity, parental, adoptive and carer's leave). As part of this process, carer's leave will move from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to the Department of Justice and Equality.
This is a significant statute law review and will be used to streamline all acts making them more accessible.