I propose to take Questions Nos. 576 and 578 together.
It is important to note that the Government has always been, and continues to be, supportive of the principle of parental leave. In fact, as part of Budget 2019, the Government announced the introduction of a new paid parental leave scheme which will commence later this year. This new scheme will initially provide two weeks of paid, non-transferable leave per parent, with a view to expanding the scheme and increasing the number of weeks of paid leave for both parents in future years.
I can advise the Deputy that work is well advanced on the General Scheme of legislative proposals to implement the new scheme, and these proposals will be brought to Government for approval shortly.
While the Government is not the sponsor of the Parental Leave (Amendment) Bill 2017, a Private Member's Bill, I can advise that officials of my Department are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel to bring forward amendments at Seanad Report Stage.