Minister Helen McEntee to take six months of paid maternity leave


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

13.30 11 Mar 2021


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Minister Helen McEntee to take six months paid maternity leave from April 30th.

Heather Humphreys will be assigned to the Justice brief for the six months, with significant delegation of responsibilities to Super-Junior Minister Hildegarde Naughten and Junior Minister James Browne.

Minister McEntee will, however, remain a member of government and be assigned as a 'minister without portfolio'.

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The Government says she will have no specific duties or responsibilities, or exercise any powers.

However, she'll have access to all government papers, and will be updated on government work - including across the justice portfolio.

She'll be reappointed as justice minister on November 1st.

Minister McEntee last year became the first Cabinet minister in the history of the State to be pregnant while in office.

It has led to fresh calls for maternity and paternity leave for politicians, and a Citizens' Assembly is now due to offer proposals for a long-term solution for public representatives by the end of June.

In a statement, Minister McEntee said the lack of leave remains a barrier for women entering politics.

She said: "Women and men should know that having a family is not an impediment to a career in public life.

"Just as girls of my generation looked to the strong women who came before us for inspiration and guidance, those of us in politics now have a responsibility to make it easier for today’s girls to fulfil those dreams and ambitions.

"I and my colleagues in Government are determined to change the current system for the next generation."

She also thanked the ministers who'll be taking on her portfolio while she's on leave.

Main image: Helen McEntee. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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