Parents and carers will gain a right to request flexible working, including the right to request compressed or reduced hours, under legislation expected to be enacted by the summer.
The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill, now being drafted by the Office of the Attorney General, will transpose elements of the EU Work Life Balance Directives into Irish law.
The bill includes provisions introducing five days’ leave per year for serious medical care and extending the current entitlement to breastfeeding/lactation breaks under the Maternity Protection Acts from six months to two years.
Children’s minister Roderic O’Gorman said: “I want to ensure that parents and carers can be supported to balance their working and family lives. Through the Work Life Balance Bill, they can have peace of mind that work will allow time for the responsibilities that caring brings.
“The proposals I have brought to government today will complement family leave and other entitlements already in place and will provide additional flexibility.”