Dáil Éireann - Volume 504 - 05 May, 1999

Written Answers. - EU Directives.

51. Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the Government's response to the invitation of the EU Commission under Article 169 of the EU Treaty to address Ireland's implementation of the EU Directive on Parental Leave (96/34/EC) in view of the fact it relates to a child born before 3 June 1996; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11553/99]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): In accordance with Article 169 of the European Treaty, the European Commission notified the Government, by letter dated 11 March 1999, that it was of the view that Ireland, by restricting entitlement to parental leave to children born or adopted on or after 3 June 1996, had included a condition in the Parental Leave Act, 1998 which is not permitted under the Parental Leave Directive (96/34/EC).

Under the established procedures covering Article 169 proceedings, Ireland has two months from the date of the communication from the European Commission within which to respond to the issue raised in it. In accordance with these procedures, a response was forwarded yesterday, 4 May, to the European Commission, via the Permanent Representation. The response sets out the reasons for the approach adopted by Ireland in the context of the Parental Leave Act, 1998.