Monday 22 December 2014

Equality Minister examining 'complicated' possibility of paternity leave

Published 10/03/2014 | 08:20

Equality Minister Kathleen Lynch. Photo: Dominick Walsh

Equality Minister Kathleen Lynch has said her department is examining the possibility of two weeks' paternity leave for partners - but she says the issue is "complicated".

Ms Lynch says she had expected a report would be available by the start of this year, but she said it would likely not be ready until the end of the year.

She reassured mothers while speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland today that she does not intend to reduce maternity leave for mothers.

"We don't intend to do that. That was never the intention and we don't intend to do it."

She added that if a women wishes to share parental leave, then "it's hers to give [away]".

She conceded that there had been fears that maternity leave would be threatened.

However Ms Lynch said maternity leave was "very hard won" by mothers and it must be protected.

"We will be talking to the employers, women's groups, and various vested interests," she added.

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