Minister Roderic O’Gorman has welcomed the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 passing all Stages in the Oireachtas. The Bill provides for the introduction of new rights for employees to support a better balance of family life, work life and caring responsibilities. The Bill also seeks to support those who are victims of domestic violence through the introduction of a statutory paid leave entitlement of five days.
The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 introduces:
- 5 days unpaid leave for medical care purposes for parents of children under 12, and carers
- 5 days paid leave for victims of domestic violence
- the right to request flexible working for parents and carers
- the right to request remote working for all employees
- 2 years breastfeeding breaks
Minister O’Gorman said:
“The Work Life Balance Bill represents a significant advance in workers’ rights in Ireland. It recognises the importance of family life and an improved quality of life for all workers, by supporting employees to achieve a better balance between their home lives and work lives. The passing of this Bill introduces a statutory entitlement to carer’s leave, the right to request flexible and remote working, and makes breastfeeding breaks a reality for women returning to work from maternity leave.”
Minister O’Gorman went on to say:
“The introduction of domestic violence leave under this Bill is particularly important. Ireland is one of the first countries to introduce statutory domestic violence leave and I believe that this will make a real and meaningful difference for victims of domestic violence. Crucially, it will support those who are victims of domestic violence to leave abusive relationships. This leave was an important commitment in the Programme for Government and I hope it will lead to greater awareness of domestic violence in all its forms.”
The Bill will now go to the President to be signed into law.
The Bill also includes amendments to the Maternity Protection Acts to ensure that transgender men who have given birth can access maternity leave; amendments to the Adoption Act to make changes to the quorum requirements for the Adoption Board and amendments to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 to amend the pension payment arrangements for former employees of the Irish Human Rights Commission.
The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 transposes into Irish law Articles 6 and 9 of the EU Work Life Balance Directive.