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Dail can't deliver maternity leave for TD Lucinda

LUCINDA Creighton will be welcoming a new arrival into her family in 2014 – but she'll have to make do without maternity leave.

The former European Affairs Minister and her husband, Senator Paul Bradford, are expecting a baby, it has been confirmed.

Both were remaining tight-lipped about the happy news yesterday, with calls from the Herald going unreturned.

The birth will take place before the local and European elections in May, it is reported.


But, due to a quirk in the law, Ms Creighton will not be entitled to maternity leave.

Female TDs are paid their full salary after they give birth. But there is no legal right for them to take paid maternity leave because they are classed as "office holders" rather than public sector employees.

Ms Creighton has kept up her hectic schedule – the Dublin Bay South TD spent the weekend in Bratislava where she attended an event to mark the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

She said previously that there is a need to encourage young mothers to stay in politics.

However, she was one of the Government TDs who expressed concern about the practicalities of a Fianna Fail bill earlier this year to give maternity leave rights to female TDs and Senators.

"We are officeholders, not employees, as Oireachtas Members. We do not fall within the statutory employment protection legislation because we are not employees," she said then.

It comes as the latest Sunday Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll showed that support for the formation of a new political party had risen by six points to 46pc.

However, Ms Creighton and Mr Bradford have not given any commitment that their Reform Alliance will be turned into a registered political party.