Dáil Éireann - Volume 497 - 26 November, 1998

Written Answers - Parental Leave.

14. Mr. McDowell asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his Department has prepared an information programme in relation to the Parental Leave Act, 1998, which is due to be implemented on 3 December 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25178/98]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): The Parental Leave Act, 1998 will come into operation on 3 December. I intend to hold a press launch on Tuesday, 1 December with a view to publicising the new Act and to have an opportunity to disseminate information on the new legislation to as wide an audience as possible.

My Department has prepared an information booklet on the new legislation. The booklet will be available free of charge from my Department and from the Employment Equality Agency as and from 3 December. Copies of the booklet will be made available to organisations representing employers and employees.

In addition to these measures, advertisements will be placed in the national newspapers on Wednesday, 2 December, putting both employers and employees on notice concerning the provisions of the Parental Leave Act, 1998.

Arrangements are in train in conjunction with Telecom Éireann to provide a freefone telephone number for queries in relation to the Act which will be operated by officials in my Department. Copies of the explanatory booklet may also be ordered via the freefone number.

The explanatory booklet on the legislation will also be accessible on the Department's website on the Internet.