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Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill – General Scheme Gains Government Approval

The General Scheme of the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 (“the Bill”) that is due to be implemented later this year was approved by Cabinet on 21st April. The General Scheme contains proposed amendments to various pieces of legislation including the Parental Leave Act 1998, the Maternity Protection Act 1994, and the Adoptive Leave Act 1995, required in line with certain articles of the EU Work-Life Balance Directive which is due to be transposed into Irish law by 2nd August this year.

Some of the main provisions of the proposed Bill can be summarised as follows:

Reactions to the General Scheme: The General Scheme has been met with mixed reactions. While overall it is a welcome development, criticisms include the following:

It has also been pointed out that there is a cohort of ‘essential workers’ who will be unable to benefit from the flexibility envisaged by the General Scheme because their employers will not be in a position to facilitate a change to their working hours or other working arrangements.

Takeaway for Employers: While the draft Bill has not yet been enacted and further work is likely to be required, for example to ensure greater clarity in its provisions, it is anticipated that the legislation will be passed and enacted by the deadline of 2nd August. Employers should use this time to review their flexible working and leave policies and prepare for the expected changes.

Link  – https://www.gov.ie/pdf/?file=https://assets.gov.ie/221774/b7943e63-e1a6-43f6-9957-0eec3d7f0d47.pdf#page=null

Authors – Nicola MacCarthy & Anne O’Connell

06 May 2022

Anne O’Connell Solicitors

19-22 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2

www.aocsolicitors.ie

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