Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Legal Position of Women.

29.

asked the Minister for Labour his legislative proposals for improving the legal position of women.

The current legislative proposals before the house is the Anti-Discrimination (Employment) Bill, 1975, which I introduced recently in the House. The Bill makes it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of sex or marriage in regard to access to employment, conditions of employment, training or work experience, promotion or regarding, or job classification and it provides for enforcement procedures.

Its provisions will come into effect as soon as it passes both Houses of the Oireachtas.

As this is the only legislative proposal affecting women being introduced by the Minister this year, why was it not introduced before the Christmas Recess? What was the reason for the delay? When will it be before the House for a Second Reading?

The parliamentary draftsman's office is overloaded with proposals for new legislation coming from various members of this Government. It is very difficult to get a place in that queue and it was not possible to get it from the draftsman's office sooner. This is the legislative proposal for this year and if we continue in the future producing a major piece of legislation each year in this area we will be doing extremely well.

Would the Minister not agree that in this, the International Women's Year, it would be expected that his Department would have not only introduced the proposal, but would have seen its passage through the House and introduced it as law enacted?

It will be law very early in the next session. It is just the difference of one or two months.

Would the Minister not agree that the reason for its hurried introduction so late in the year is that it is a sort of sop to placate people for the fact that he had not introduced any legislation during International Women's Year, 1975?

The Deputy has a lurid imagination.

I have a very strong suspicion.