Miscarriage and paid leave


Sir, – I commend The Irish Times on its “Parenting in My Shoes” series, which has served over recent weeks to bring the realities of parenthood to light. In particular, the discussion of miscarriage in Mario Rosenstock’s recent contribution (“Mario Rosenstock: The miscarriages were some of the worst things I can remember”, Health & Family, May 18th) gives a very honest account of the journey of so many expectant parents for whom the experience of pregnancy turns to tragedy as a result of miscarriage.

Conversations such as these help to destigmatise isolating and traumatic reproductive health challenges which are lived by so many people in Ireland every day.

In his piece, Mario Rosenstock states that women “know it’s not their fault they had a miscarriage, but somehow they still don’t want to talk about it”.

On Monday, the Seanad will debate my new Bill – the Organisation of Working Time (Reproductive Health Related Leave) Bill 2021 – which, if enacted would give an entitlement of up to 20 days of paid leave for women experiencing the trauma of early miscarriage, and up to 10 days of paid leave for employees accessing other reproductive health treatments, such as IVF.

It is hoped that, with support from Government, this important legislation can progress through both Houses of the Oireachtas to give practical support to workers, and to help to open up a national conversation around reproductive health and fertility in Ireland. – Yours, etc,


Leinster House,

Dublin 2.