asked the Minister for Social Welfare the changes that are necessary in the social welfare system in Ireland to provide equality of treatment for men and women under the EEC Directive of December, 1978; and if he intends to implement them in the coming year.
Written Answers. - Social Welfare System.
The provisions of the social welfare system where equal treatment for men and women in accordance with the terms of the EEC Directive is not yet observed relate particularly to the entitlements of married women. A lower rate of unemployment benefit, disability benefit, invalidity pension and occupational injuries benefit is payable to married women, other than married women who are supporting invalided husbands or who are living apart from and not being supported by their husbands. Further inequalities in the case of such married women are that the duration of payment of unemployment benefit is limited to 312 days as against 390 days generally and the conditions under which they can qualify for unemployment assistance are more restrictive than those applied to other claimants.