Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White has published a Bill which proposes that the father of a new born child can share the 26 weeks of maternity leave.
The innovative piece of legislation entitled the ‘Parental Leave Bill 2013’ proposes that the current maternity leave scheme be amended to enable a woman to transfer a proportion of her maternity leave and benefits to the father of the child, if she so wishes.
The proposed Bill is part of a Fianna Fáil strategy aimed at promoting women entrepreneurs in an effort to create jobs.
Senator Mary White explained, “The greatest challenge facing the country is to create employment to offer hope and a potential living to the 300,000 unemployed and the young people in our schools and colleges. The only way we can create jobs is to encourage new enterprise.”
“The biggest untapped source of enterprise is 50% of the population which are Irish Women who face multiple barriers in becoming entrepreneurs and developing business.
International studies show that women entrepreneurs are lagging significantly behind their male counterparts and Ireland reflects this international trend with women early stage entrepreneurs in Ireland outnumbered 2.5 times to 1 by men.
The responsibility for raising young children rests almost entirely with women. My contribution to easing these barriers is to allow fathers to share the responsibility of maternity leave.” the Dublin Senator said.
“This flexibility in the maternal leave scheme would allow women entrepreneurs to devote more time to their enterprises.
The Parental Leave Bill 2013 is one of a series of innovative initiatives which is contained in the forthcoming policy paper of I have made in a new Fianna Fail Policy Paper promoting women in entrepreneurship.”
“I am urging all Senators to support this constructive piece of legislation that I believe will be a significant step in utilizing the potential of women entrepreneurship in Ireland.”