Plans to introduce paternity leave for fathers in doubt - Kevin Humphreys
Published 12/03/2016 | 02:30
Plans to introduce two weeks' paid paternity leave in September have been plunged into serious doubt as a result of the ongoing political impasse.
Outgoing Minister of State for Employment Kevin Humphreys warned that the legislation required to introduce the paid leave for fathers would not be enacted unless a government was put in place by April.
Mr Humphreys, who lost his seat in Dublin Bay South, said ministers were now merely entering their departments in a caretaker capacity to ensure "the lights are on and there is air in the tyres".
But in a stark warning, the former junior minister at the Department of Social Protection said measures pledged in the Budget may not be introduced because of a lack of government.
"Don't forget, the clock is ticking on a lot of legislation at the moment and decisions need to be made shortly to get it done before the summer recess.
"If it goes past the end of April without a government being formed, then we're in real trouble.
"We're only 28 weeks out from next budget and policy decisions will need to be made," Mr Humphreys said.
"There were decisions made in the Budget, such as paternity leave, that need legislation. So during this period there is no legislation taking place yet there is a commitment it will be in September. Certainly if it is not published by the summer recess it can't be on the statute books by September."
Mr Humphreys made the remarks on 'The Floating Voter' podcast for independent.ie.
He also launched a scathing attack on the current parties in the Dáil, claiming that none of the 158 TDs seemed to want to be in government. "This is all just play-acting for the next general election but parties need to look at their manifestos and try to form a government," he said.